by John Gavin Nolan
Anything the Catholic Near East Welfare Association might place at the disposition of the Propagation of the Faith would be of no more service to it than the help a sinking ship could give to a ship that came to its rescue. And just as the sinking ship could not increase the capacity or the efficiency of the rescue ship, so neither could the means or methods the Catholic Near East Welfare Association might have to offer, help in any way the Propagation of the Faith.28
In June 1930, Father Walsh was in Rome again and Monsignor Quinn was there as well; all concerned must have been on edge. For support, the S.P.F. could look to the powerful Propaganda Fide, with its crustaceous Cardinal Van Rossum, and to the majority of the American bishops who had little regard for CNEWA.29 Father Walsh looked to Cardinal Sincero and the Oriental Congregation, who by now, although ambivalent on this issue, were accustomed to receiving CNEWA assistance. The new Vatican secretary of state, Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli, had received CNEWA help when he was apostolic nuncio in Germany, and, of course, there was Pope Pius XI himself who was passionately interested in Russia and the East.
Everyones worry was wasted, however, for the decisions had all been made, one suspects, before Father Walsh had left New York. On 28 June 1930 Cardinal Pacelli sent a letter detailing the resolutions to Cardinals Van Rossum and Sincero. The document is worth quoting at length:
After conference on all this matter with Their Eminences, the Prefect of Propaganda and the Secretary of the S. Congregation for the Oriental Church, and after hearing the views of Monsignor Quinn, who was recently in Rome, the Holy Father saw fit to lay down the following rules and dispositions. ...
(1) The Holy Father, desiring not to burden the charity of the faithful in America ... has seen fit to determine that from now on there is to be no special collection in the United States of America for the missions and for the spiritual and temporal needs of the Near East and Russia.
(2) The collecting, fixed for one Sunday of the year, and called therefore “Mission Sunday,” for the purpose of giving an opportunity to everyone, even to those who are not members of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, to contribute to the maintenance of the missions, is ... to provide not only for the Home missions and for the missions and the needs of the Propagation of the Faith among the heathens, but also for the missions and spiritual needs of the Near East and Russia.