ARDINAL Raphael Merry del Val was a special assistant to—and close friend of—Pope Pius X. It’s funny to realize that Pius X was the son of a poverty-stricken mailman, while his immediate predecessor (Leo XIII) was a prince by birth. 1 Merry del Val, too, came from an extremely powerful family, and was a Monsignor before he was a priest! You see, he was appointed an ambassador while still a seminarian. There was some “rule” saying all ambassadors must be at least a monsignor, so (according to what I’ve been told) the pope made him a monsignor! 2
Cardinal Merry del Val published a book—in response to a Protestant—about whether the pope is “infallible” or “impeccable” and you can download it in PDF:
Another great resource is RADIO REPLIES by Fr. Leslie Rumble. The entire collection can be read online, but the website is painfully slow and frequently offline. Somebody should go through and—using technology—transfer all that information to a faster, more reliable server. Here are two PDF examples I think you’ll find fascinating:
Those were taken from the 1970s volumes. You see, the RADIO REPLIES were published in many volumes, beginning in the 1920s and stretching all the way to the 1970s. here’s how the website looks, once it finally downloads:
We hope to someday scan the RADIO REPLIES books, and this is an example of what we use $5.00 monthly donations toward. The following quote from Fr. Rumble seems like it could have been written forty years later!
“…irresponsible utterances from within the Church gain wide publicity, although to many Catholics the academics giving voice to them seem like theological termites bent on undermining the faith.” —Fr. Leslie Rumble
NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
1 He’s often referred to as a prince, although I don’t know if that’s technically correct; but Leo XIII was from a very powerful European family.
2 By the way, Pope Francis abolished the title of Monsignor for most priests.