Bishop Daniel Cohalan and the Nazi Legation
Bishop Daniel Cohalan
From The Irish Times, 27th February, 1939:
The German legation in Dublin in 1939 was irritated by Catholic bishops’ criticisms of Nazism and was probably not amused either by the Lord Mayor of Cork’s refusal to welcome the crew of a German naval ship because of German criticisms of the recently deceased Pope Pius XI
WHILE ONE hundred men from the German naval cadet training vessel Schlesien were at Mass at St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cove , yesterday, the Bishop of Cork (Dr. Cohalan) announced his support for the action of the Lord Mayor of Cork (Councillor James Hickey, T. D.) in refusing to welcome the officers and crew.
Dr. Cohalan, speaking to the Cork Catholic Young Men’s Society, said: “I congratulate the Lord Mayor, and thank him.”
The Lord Mayor said his refusal was because of “the insult given to the Catholic world on the death of the Pope, when the responsible German Press termed our Holy Father a political adventurer.”
The Schlesien was greeted by a salvo of guns when she arrived off Cork Harbour on Saturday. This came from the harbour garrison in Carlisle Fort Battery, and was in reply to a salute fired by the German vessel as she hoisted the German flag on entering.
The Lord Mayor’s announcement led to several minor changes in the arrangements for receiving the visitors. Instead of proceeding to anchorage prepared in front of the town of Cove, the Schlesien anchored near Spit Bank Lighthouse one mile away.
Herr Thomsen, German Chargé d’Affaires in Dublin, and other officials, including Captain Power, representing the Irish Army authorities and the Ministry of Defence, went on board the training ship and greeted the officers, cadets and crew.
Commander Lindenaue, captain of the Schlesien and other officers, motored to Cork on Saturday to the headquarters of the Southern Army Command at Collins Barracks and paid a courtesy call on the officer commanding.
The Schlesien carries a personnel of 850, including 200 cadets. The ship is accompanied at Cove by the German oil tanker, Rudolf Albrecht, which has on board part of the cargo of the Norwegian steamer, Jaguar, which broke in two in mid-Atlantic a few weeks ago.
The Bishop said: “The head of the German state is a nominal Catholic. You will remember that a few years ago, when he went to Rome, he did not go to pay homage to the Holy Father. Well, that is past; but after the death of the Pope the language of the official Press in Germany was outrageous – the language with regard to the Holy Father.
“It is not for such occasions as this to refer further to the general persecution of the church in Germany-Austria,” said the Bishop, “but I take this opportunity of congratulating the Lord Mayor in what he did on his own initiative. I did not ask him to do it, nor do I suppose did anybody else. He did it himself. He is a Labour man and a great Catholic.”