“.....We do not pretend to assert that, during the assembly of the Council, those who held the threads of affairs in their hands had calculated upon the approaching Franco-German war, an event which Professor Friedrich, in his 'Diary of the Council, says was then talked of in Rome, at a time when no one in Germany thought of war; but the following circumstances deserve consideration. One of the leaders of the Ultramontane party in Germany, Dr. Moufang of Mayence, now member of the Reichstag, uttered, at the general meeting of the Catholic Unions at Innsbruck, in 1867, these remarkable words: 'As God does not always send miraculous help, the Church stands in need of worldly assistance; and to afford this there are only two great Catholic nations, France and Austria.
My belief therefore is that, if it is God's will to save us from the waters of the Revolution, the Noah's Ark will be built of Austrian timber.'
An ark to be built in the shipyard of Mayerling?
Since that fateful winter day in 1889, more than a century ago, much has been said, speculated and written about the deaths at Mayerling. Speculation has pointed to political intrigues, unspeakable love affairs, and international conspiracies. Yet the great mystery surrounding the death of Crown Prince Rudolf and Baroness Marie Vetsera still remains after more than a century. The last Austrian Empress, Zita, who died in 1989, once said she believed Rudolf had been the victim of an international political conspiracy engineered by Georges Clemenceau, the French Prime Minister. Zita did not believe that with such a promising life ahead of him, Crown Prince Rudolf would have chosen suicide under any circumstances. Zita alleged that Clemenceau was conspiring to overthrow Franz Joseph and place germanophobe Rudolf on the throne. This would allow Austria to break away from her allegiance to Germany and sign an alliance with France. Rudolf, Zita believed, refused to partake in the conspiracy and was killed to secure his silence.
The old Empress Zita's observations on Mayerling were founded on several disturbing facts. These were also an echo of the many speculations freely roaming around Viennese court circles after the death of Rudolf. On February 9, 1889, the German Ambassador in Vienna sent a missive to Berlin in which he reported a conversation with the Papal Nuncio, Monsignor Luigi Galimberti, and the Habsburg Court Chaplain, Monsignor Lorenz Mayer. During this conversation, the officious ambassador reported, the two well-informed prelates expressed their serious doubts concerning the official version of the events at Mayerling.
From: “The Ghosts of Mayerling:
The death of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria-Hungary (1858-1889)
By Art Beéche ”
Or maybe Rudolph, dreaming a revenge for the 1866 defeat, was killed just to instigate the father to declare war to Germany or at least to approach France? In any case nuncio Galimberti was playing the fool. Because Rudolph was the only son of Franz Josef I of Austria.....
During the most acute phase of the imperialist competition, the limits coming from the European powers to the free exercise of the Vatican diplomacy were real and heavy. The central question of the European chancellor's offices at the moment when a pontifical prime minister had to be appointed, was the same all along the reign of Leo XIII. The new Secretary of the State is pro German or pro France? Is he expression of a policy approaching to France or to the Central empires? The crossed fire of the European powers on the Vatican, which culminated with the terrible veto of 1903 against the election of Rampolla, practically lasted for all the period before the start of the first world conflict, transforming every Vatican appointment in a casus belli (latin, it means “excuse to declare war” – avles), ready to unhinge the system of alliances on the European chessboard. Many pressures proceeded the veto expressed in the Conclave of 1903 by cardinal Puzyna in the name of Austria and of its allies in the Triple (alliance, the one Austria-Germany-Italy – avles) against the powerful State Secretary of Leo XIII (cardinal Rampolla del Tindaro, former state secretary and candidate for the succession of Leo XIII, blocked by Austrian veto in 1903 – avles). It is sufficient to think to the French reaction exhibited during the vacancy originated by the death of Ludovico Jacobini, when between February and June 1887 various circumstantial evidences were signalizing in the European capitals a possible appointment of Luigi Galimberti at the charge of State Secretary. It is sufficient to think to the proposal aired by the government of the third republic to break in the August 1886 the diplomatic relations with the Holy See if she would have not annulled the choice as nuncio in Peking of Antonio Agliardi, considered by Paris a clergy man hostile to France.
…..A significant example of the realistic action of the office of the State Secretary during the reign of pope Pecci (Leo XIII – avles), was that progressive approach to the Slav Orthodox world, which should be culminated with the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Russia and Vatican, occurred with the appointment of Alexander Petrovitch Iswolsky in 1894. Disliked by Austria as well by Germany, the Russian policy of Leo XIII was a judicious politic built on the little steps, which had to get over conflicting nationalisms, imbued by pan-slavism and pan-germanism, and thorny questions, as the one related to the Catholicism in the Balkans. The dream of Leo XIII of a coming back to the formula of unum ovile et unus pastor (One sheepfold and One pastor – avles) as regard the relations with the Russian Orthodoxy would have soon become for Vienna and Berlin the nightmare of a possible re-definition of the continental alliances, which would have constrained the central empires in a condition of exposition towards the East.
From “Il Papato e l'Europa”/”The papacy and Europe”, page 338 – 339, Luciano Trincia, chapter “Leone XIII, la politica Vaticana e il Gabinetto segreto dei Perugini”).
Galimberti was in relation with the “German core”, a group of clergy man in the Vatican which was the true soul of the Leo XIII international policy, operating beyond the official State Secretary. With this “German core” the papacy of Leo XIII started particular relations with Germany and Prussia. Galimberti was nuncio in Vienna during the Mayerling affaire. The fact that was not properly loved by the French power, it could have been a good curtain in order to hide a French-Vatican common interest in the death of the only heir of Franz Joseph....
(Note. I solemnly swear to you that this is the first time I read this passage in the book, with the word "nightmare", and hence it didn't influence me in the choice of the title of that old – but foreseeing – post of mine: “The "Drei Freddy Krueger” populating the sleeps of Leo XIII”. Simply the question is too much evident and clear)
* * *
From Dingle Bay to the Straits of Bering: the true cause of the contemporary events shaking the world
(*) Thursday, October 11, 2007
The New York Times On the Papacy and Cardinal Mieczyslaw Ledochowski
“Should Old Pope Leo Die: the political tendencies of his successor. The Cardinal who would probably win the prize – his Polish supporter – affairs in France and Germany – Spurgeon’s return – Lord Lorne’s appointment"
January 23, 1892