Tuesday, September 20, 2016

ADSS 1.223 Montini - notes on Christmas truce

 ADSS 1.223 Giovanni Montini, notes.

Reference: AES 8992/39

Location and date: Vatican, 07.12.1939

Summary statement: Michael Faulhaber (Munich) has intervened in favour of the Christmas truce.  Pope will try and obtain agreement of governments.

Language: Italian


During this morning’s audience, His Holiness ordered the Substitute to tell the Most Eminent Cardinal Secretary of State that His Eminence Cardinal Faulhaber (1) has begged the Holy Father to give his assistance in favour of the proclamation of a Christmas truce (without which, amongst other things, all Midnight Masses would be prohibited); and therefore His Holiness would like everything done to obtain the consent of the various Governments for the approval of the truce.

Handwritten note of Luigi Maglione, Secretary of State


Yesterday I asked the Ambassadors of France and Germany and the Minister of Great Britain to sound out their governments (2).

(1) In a letter of 25.11.1939 Cardinal Faulhaber addressed the pope: “Your Holiness has probably already considered whether it would be possible to arrange a cease fire for all fighting and instructions for fighting, at least for Christmas Even and Christmas Day.  Those at the front as well as at home would welcome this most sincerely.”  In this way it would be possible to ask for the authorisation to ring the bells and to celebrate Midnight Mass.

(2) Francois Charles-Roux (1879-1961), French Ambassador to the Holy See 1932-40; Diego von Bergen (1872-1944), German Ambassador to the Holy See 1920-42; D’Arcy Osborne (1884-1964), UK Minister to the Holy See 1936-47.

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