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763.72/2691½

The Secretary of State to President Wilson

My Dear Mr. President: I received your letter of today enclosing a copy of the communication which you received from the Pope. I enclose a letter which I suggest as a reply.

[Page 16]

This morning Monsignor Russell called upon me with a letter10 addressed to you from Cardinal Gibbons,11 which he asked me to read and if I thought you intended to answer the Pope’s communication to deliver it to you.

I have also drafted a reply to Cardinal Gibbons which provides for the transmission of your answer to the Pope’s communication through him.

Monsignor Russell indicated to me that there was some feeling on the part of the Cardinal that no reply had been made to the Pope before this. I believe, although your letter does not indicate it, that you received the Pope’s communication on May sixth. Monsignor Russell said that you had agreed to make answer on Monday, the 8th, and for that reason they were disappointed it had not been received before.

Faithfully yours,

[File copy not signed]
[Enclosure]

Draft Reply to Pope Benedict XV 12

I greatly appreciate the friendly sentiment of broad humanity that prompted your personal communication to me concerning the questions that have arisen between this country and Germany.

I am gratified to say that before the receipt of your message the discussion had already entered upon a stage of satisfactory understanding.

With great respect I have the honor to be, Your Holiness,

Very sincerely,

  1. Not found in Department files.
  2. Archbishop of Baltimore.
  3. Filed separately under file No. 763.72/2692½. No final copy of a letter from President Wilson to Pope Benedict XV has been found in the Department files.