by John Gavin Nolan
The merger talks were to take place in Rome. Everyone understood that the talks would be crucial, and Father Paul, who would be in Rome anyway with a Holy Year pilgrimage, agreed to represent both sides. On 24 April, Bishop Calavassy wrote that he would meet Father Paul in Rome for the discussions, but no decision to merge would be taken before Father von Galen arrived. I also think it would be an excellent thing, the exarch wrote of the merger, provided Rome takes more interest in it. I therefore shall not take any decision before making sure what the Authorities in Rome think about it. Bishop Calavassy urged Monsignor Barry-Doyle to mail him any suggestions he might have, unless you think (it) more expedient to come yourself to Rome with Dr. von Gallon [sic] or any how in the month of May, that we may meet there.62 Monsignor Barry-Doyle and Mr. Moore both decided to go.
Events moved quickly. On 28 March 1925, Father Paul sailed for Europe aboard the SS Ohio; and at the pier to see him off were Father von Galen and Monsignor Barry-Doyle, both with their organizations managers, Messrs. Stenzel and Moore.63 In Rome Father Paul spoke with officials in the Curia, and on 5 May 1925, he was granted a private audience with the pope. As vice-president of CNEWA and a director of the Catholic Union, Paul favored the merger, as he believed Monsignor Barry-Doyle and Father von Galen also favored it. By his account, the Curia was led to understand that the merger was desired by all parties concerned for the good of all.64
The impression was reinforced a week later when Bishop Calavassy arrived in Rome. Father Paul had gone from Rome to Athens to explain to the exarch the necessity of amalgamating the two agencies, and Bishop Calavassy now came to Rome to find out for himself how the authorities felt about Father von Galens association, and what arrangements could be made so that neither CNEWA nor the CU would suffer. En route he wrote to Joseph Moore:
...You do not need me to tell you that while in Rome I shall do all I can to strengthen our Association, even if we do not succeed to amalgamate it with the Catholic Union. I am confident however that I shall succeed and even in a satisfactory way. By my next letter to you or to Msgr. Barry-Doyle I shall be able to give you the results of our meetings.65