1878 was a busy year in Rome. Vittorio Emmanuele II died on the 9th January. A month later the Pope died; Pius IX was the longest serving Pope ever, and the last pope who held temporal powers, though Lazio, and Rome itself were absorbed into the Kingdom of Italy in 1870. Meanwhile Mgr Henry O’Bryen seems to be settled in splendidly, having stopped being a parish priest in Lancashire five years earlier at the age of thirty eight, and moved to Rome. He’s certainly in grand company at the dinner at the English College, with two Cardinals, and Archbishop Eyre, the first post-Reformation Archbishop of Glasgow, who was also Henry’s sister’s godmother’s nephew. [ His sister Cecilia (1846 -1856) ]
The following all comes from The Tablet on 5th January.
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)
Rome, Dec. 31, 1877.
THE HOLY FATHER: The health of the Pope improved perceptibly during last week. On Sunday he was moved for a few hours to the private library, a room separated from the Pope’s bedroom. only by a passage, which serves as his dining-room. His Holiness does not use the spring couch, or chair, procured from Paris by Cardinal de Falloux, but continues in bed, supported in a sitting posture by a contrivance which enables him to sit up without feeling fatigue. Cardinal Manning attended the audience on Sunday and other days this week. Cardinals Bartolini and Randi have recovered sufficiently to enable them to visit his Holiness, and to be present at the audiences which, since the 23rd, have been daily held in the private library. On Christmas Day the Pope received visits from the Cardinal Vicar, many Cardinals, and from some of the great officers of the Court, including Marquis Serlupi, General Kanzler, &c., &c.
On the 27th, the name day of his Holiness, the audience was attended by Cardinals Manning, Howard, De Pietro, Caterini, Consolini, Giannelli, Sacconi, Pecci, Pacca, Ferrieri, D’Avanzo, Franchi, Guidi, Franzelin, Hohenlohe, Bilio, Bonaparte, and De Falloux, as also by the Senator of Rome, Marchese Cavalletti ; Prince Ruspoli, the Bishop of Clifton, and others.
THE CONSISTORY: On the 28th a Consistory was held by his Holiness in person. The Consistorial Hall was not used. The Throne Room, the throne being removed, was arranged with chairs for the Cardinals, who assembled at half-past 10 a.m. to the number of thirty-five, or thereabouts. All the Cardinals now in Rome attended, except their Eminences Amat, Asquini, and Brossais Saint Marc, who were unable to be present owing to illness (the Cardinal of Rennes will, it is hoped, be able to attend the next Consistory on Monday, the 31st). Mgrs. Martinucci and Cataldi, the Pontifical Masters of Ceremonies, attended, and the latter read the Acts of Consistory and conducted the ceremonies. At a given signal the Cardinals left the Throne Room and proceeded to the Pope’s private library, where the Consistory proper was held. His Holiness spoke in a clear voice a few words, not a formal allocution, as follows ” Venerable Brothers,—Your presence here to-day in such numbers gives Us an opportunity which We gladly seize to re-turn to you and to each of you Our most sincere thanks for the kind offices you have shown to Us in this time of Our illness. We thank God that We have found you Our most faithful helpers in bearing Our burden of the Apostolic ministry; and your virtue and constant affection have contributed to lessen the bitterness of Our many sufferings. But while We rejoice in your affection and zeal we cannot forget that we need daily more and more your co-operation and that of all Our brethren and of all the faithful, to attain the immediate aid of God for the many pressing necessities of Us and of the Church. Therefore We urgently exhort you, and especially those of you who exercise the episcopal ministry in your respective dioceses, as well as all the pastors who preside over the Lord’s flock throughout the entire Catholic world, to implore the Divine Clemency and cause prayers to be offered to God that he may give • Us, amidst the affliction of Our body, strength of mind to wage vigorously the conflict which has to be endured, to regard mercifully the labours and wrongs of the Church, to forgive Us all Our sins, and for the glory of His Name to grant the gift of good-will and the fruits of that peace which the angelic choirs announced to man-kind at the birth of the Saviour.”
The following appointments to churches were then made:-
- Archbishopric of Nazianzum, in partibus infidelium, Monsignor Angelo di Pietro, translated from Nissa in partibus. (To be sent as Delegate-Apostolic to the Republics of Paraguay, Chili, and Bolivia, and the Argentine Republic.
- Archbishopric of Chieti, with Vasto in administration, Mgr. Luigi Ruffo de’ Principi di Scilla, born in Palermo.
- Bishopric of Fano, Rev. Camillo Santori, Rector and Pro-fessor of Dogmatic Theology in the Roman Pontifical Seminary, Sub-Secretary of Vatican Council, &c.
- Bishopric of Tricarico, Rev. Camillo Sicilian de Marchesi di Rende, formerly a parish priest in the diocese of Westminster, &c., &c.
- Bishopric of Nice, Rev. Father Matthew Victor Balain, Oblate of the Congregation of Mary Immaculate, Rector of the Seminary of Frejus, &c., &c.
- Bishopric of Pella in partibus, Rev. Gustavus Leonard di Battice, President of the Ghent Seminary, &c., &c., deputed co-adjutor, with succession, to the Bishop of Ghent.
His Holiness then created Mgr. Vincenzo Moretti (born in Orvieto November 14, 1815), Archbishop of Ravenna, to be a Cardinal Priest ; and Mgr. Antonio dei Conti Pellegrini (born in Rome August 11, 1812), Clerk of the Apostolical Chamber, to be a Cardinal Deacon. (They receive the titles respectively of Santa Sabina and Santa Maria in Aquiro.)
The pallium was then demanded for two archiepiscopal sees, those of Baltimore, the first see in the United States and of Chieti. Baltimore has the precedence of Chieti, but as Mgr. Ruffo Scilla, the new Archbishop of Chieti, appeared in person, he took precedence in postulating of Dr. D. J. O’Connell, the Procurator of Archbishop James Gibbons, the American Primate.
On Sunday Cardinal Caterini, the Dean of the Cardinal Deacons, in his private chapel in the Palazzo Mattei, imposed the pallium on the shoulders of the new Archbishop of Chieti, and on the shoulders of the Procurator (Dr. D. J. O’Connell) of Archbishop Gibbons, of Baltimore, the oaths of fidelity being first administered to the recipients of the pallium. Mgr. Cataldi officiated as Pontifical Master of Ceremonies.
Triduums have been celebrated in the three great Basilicas and in other churches in Rome, to pray for the complete restoration of the health of the Holy Father.
Dr. Chatard will be appointed Bishop of Richmond, Virginia, at an early meeting of the Propaganda, and will accept that see unless his Holiness should express a desire to retain his services in Rome. If Dr. Chatard becomes Bishop of Richmond, Dr. Hostlot, the present esteemed Vice-Rector, will be made Rector of the North American College in Rome, vice Mgr. Chatard.
PROTESTANT CHURCH IN ROME: The Free Italian church on the Piazza Ponte S. Angelo (which is rarely open) was, however, lighted up a few evenings ago ; and an Englishman might be seen preaching in English, with an Italian interpreting. In front of the pulpit was a table, with bread and wine on it, for the purpose of celebrating an English Dissenting communion. Every evening the Piazza is filled with the soldiers from the neighbouring barracks, who stand about talking and smoking in a very innocent manner until the “retreat “ at 7 p.m. calls them in. The parody of divine worship going on seemed to afford them much amusement, for they kept passing in and out through the little building, dignified by the name of a church, and wondering what it all meant. Apparently the Catholic religion has little to fear front the very feeble attacks of the Protestant sects. The Waldensian sects advertise a ” Christmas tree “ as one of the attractions of their chapel.
PIAZZA NAVONA: Quite a little fair is going on in the Piazza Navona, where may be purchased very prettily-constructed grottos, and all the figures that adorn a ” Presepio,” or representation of the Nativity. The three Magi, the shepherds, the sheep and cattle, and all the accessories are really very cleverly executed.
THE SECOND CONSISTORY; His Holiness held another Consistory this morning in his private library, sitting, as on the previous occasion, in a bed made for him in Rome under the direction of Doctor Ceccarelli, and gave the hats, with the customary formalities, to Cardinals Regnier, Manning, Brossais Saint Marc, Moretti, and Pellegrini. The Pope’s voice was clear and strong. His Holiness seems to be gathering strength, and bore the fatigue of the ceremonial well. Several noblemen and gentlemen were admitted to this Consistory. Several Bishops were nominated, amongst others Dr. Fitzgerald to the See of Ross, Ireland.
DIOCESE OF WATERFORD.—Monsignor Kirby has presented his Holiness with the sum of £1,700 from the Bishop (Dr. Power), the clergy, and faithful of the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore.
THE ENGLISH COLLEGE.—Dr. O’Callaghan entertained at dinner on the 30th, at the English College, Cardinal Manning, Cardinal Howard, Protector of the College, Archbishop Eyre, the Bishop of Clifton, Monsignor Stonor, Mgr. Cataldi, Monsignor Kirby, Dr. Grant, Dr. Hostlot, Dr. O’Bryen, Mr. Ward, Mr. Winchester, &c., &c.
The above text was found on p.17,5th January 1878, in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .