861.404/5–2645: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to Mr. Myron C. Taylor, Personal Representative of President Truman to Pope Pius XII

71. Reurtel 128, May 2698 and Moscow’s unknown number to you on same subject.99 Both Flynn and Michael Doyle1 have been kept fully informed on Father Braun case and Department understands that Catholic authorities here are considering matter of sending a replacement.

As you know from Department’s 56 of May 122 Embassy Moscow is of the opinion that the only possibility of sending another priest to Moscow is as a replacement for Father Braun rather than as an assistant to him. Answering Department’s query as to Soviet attitude on overlapping period of 6 to 8 weeks between arrival of successor and Father Braun’s departure, Embassy sees possibility of satisfactory Soviet reaction only when Embassy is in a position to furnish name of successor and possible arrival date. In view of all the circumstances of this case, the Department believes it would be advisable for you discreetly to urge the Vatican authorities to send a replacement for Father Braun as soon as possible. The possibility is not excluded that the indefinite postponement of the trial might have come about in order to afford time to arrange for a replacement. The Embassy is continuing to provide all possible assistance to Father Braun. Factual and well reasoned accounts of circumstances leading up to summons of Father Braun to trial have appeared in several papers here.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Ambassador Harriman had informed the Department in telegram 1814 on May 30 that a brief message had been sent to Mr. Taylor, and he recommended that “it would be preferable if the details of the matter were to be communicated to Mr. Taylor by the Department …” (861.404/5–3045) The Department sent information in telegram 85 of July 5, about the verdict of Father Braun’s trial on July 2, and in telegram 102 of August 18, on the result of his appeal on July 27. (861.404/7–545, 8–1845)
  3. Michael Francis Doyle was a prominent Catholic layman in Philadelphia, Pa.
  4. Not printed; but see footnote 87, p. 1125.