Monday 20 December 2010

Giovanni Battista Montini in Warsaw

Reasons behind his recall to Rome

Very little has been written about the future Pope Paul VI’s five-month sojourn in Warsaw. Biographers concur that something went wrong, prompting Father Giovanni Battista Montini’s recall to Rome in the Fall of 1923. Poor health is invariably mentioned but vaguely, without identifying the malaise. Some authors also suggest that Montini might not have been suited for the work of second secretary at the Warsaw Nunciature. Recently, I have uncovered a few documents which shed light on the nature of the youthful Father Montini’s illness and the circumstances which led to his return to the Vatican.

The Warsaw Nunciature was shut down at the end of the Eighteenth Century after the final partition of Poland-Lithuania. Pope Benedict XV reestablished it in 1919 after Poland regained its independence and named his apostolic visitor to Poland, Achille Ratti, as nuncio, upon the request of the Polish government. Ratti was named cardinal-archbishop of Milan in 1921 and in February 1922 was elected Pope Pius XI. Within a year, the new pope was to unknowingly approve the assignment to the same nunciature of his successor in both the archbishopric of Milan and the papacy.

Ratti had been succeeded as Polish nuncio by Lorenzo Lauri in October 1921. Lauri inherited Ratti’s staff, the auditor (first secretary) Erminigildo Pellegrinetti and second secretary Antonio Farfoli. Pellegrinetti had come with Ratti to Warsaw in 1918 and Farfoli joined the nunciature’s staff in April 1920. Pellegrinetti was destined for higher things. He had competently acted as chargé d’affairs, running the nunciature from June to October 1921 until Lauri reached Warsaw. In March 1922, Pius XI named his former secretary Pellegrinetti to be the first nuncio to Yugoslavia. He was replaced as auditor in Warsaw by Carlo Chiarlo while Farfoli retained his position as second secretary.

The climate in Warsaw proved to be very taxing on the health of the Italian clergy, who invariably served at the nunciature. Monsignor Farfoli’s health began to fail at the beginning of 1923. On 18 January, the nuncio sent a dispatch to Monsignor Pizzardo of the papal secretariat of State (Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs), explaining that Farfoli had been in bed for ten days with phlebitis in the left leg. “Obviously the cold climate is not best for such illnesses and the doctor has ordered hot baths as soon as the season will allow him.” Lauri then asked for a replacement, referring to a recent meeting in Rome when Pizzardo had mentioned Montini’s name for the first time:

If you decide to recall him [Farfoli] for another destination, I would ask Your Most Reverend Excellency to not take long to send me another secretary, since the work here is rather intense. Your Excellency spoke to me of a certain Mondini [sic] that you said you thought was most suitable in every respect. I have no objection whatever to the contrary, not knowing him personally and trusting blindly in the opinion of your Excellency.

It appears that Monsignor Pizzardo intended to send Montini to Warsaw as an experiment or at least for only a short period of ‘field work’. This can be understood from Lauri’s next letter to Pizzardo, dated 11 February:

Regarding Father Montini, I will accept him with open arms because he is coming from You and in the hope that he will grow to like this nunciature and decide to remain, at least for the next winter, to brave that cold that many fear but which has not yet killed the nuncio.

But Montini was not the only candidate. Apostolic Visitor to Ukraine, Father Giovanni Genocchi, had been attempting have an ecclesiastical appointed to Warsaw who would be most familiar with the Eastern Catholic Churches. He suggested Monsignor Margotti of the Oriental Congregation. Nuncio Lauri, in turn, suggested that Farfoli be destined for the Oriental Congregation “especially for his knowledge of the Ruthenian question.”

As to the choice between them, on 19 February, Lauri wrote to Pizzardo:

Not knowing either Montini or Margotti I have no greater preference for one than for the. I leave Your Excellency in complete freedom. Send me a intelligent young man, of good character and as soon as possible, and I will be content.

Pizzardo was notoriously slow and no secretary was to be had for another three months. On 24 April, Lauri wrote again, this time asking for Margotti:

Father Genocchi spoke so well to me of Monsignor Margotti that I believe that he would be most useful to this Nunciature, especially for his knowledge of Polish.

Possibly this dispatch or further pressure for the rival finally induced Pizzardo to send his protégé Montini to Warsaw. Montini’s personnel file in the nunciature’s archives has been completely emptied except for a single folio, a telegram send to Nuncio Lauri on 6 June 1922:

I will arrive Wednesday evening at 8:00 pm. Regards. Montini

During his service, Montini does appear to have been mentioned in any of the official dispatches to the secretariat of state, at least not those drafts currently found in the Warsaw Nunciature’s archives. He was mentioned briefly by Monsignor Chiarlo in connection with the affair of the return of the return of Metropolitan Sheptytsky to Lviv.

On 14 September 1923, Chiarlo wrote that, in his absence, Montini had annswered the telephone call from the Polish Ambassador to the Holy See, informing the nunciature that an agreement had been reached allowing Sheptytsky to return to his see.

No further news of Montini occurs until after his departure. The following letter from Lauri to Pizzardo, dated 11 October 1923, sheds much light on what had occurred to warrant the recall of the young ecclesiastical adept:

Yesterday don G. B. Montini departed for Italy, authorized to return to Rome by the telegram of the 2nd current of this Secretariat of State. As soon as I arrived in Warsaw, I discovered that, on the previous day, Don Montini had been visited by house doctor, Mr. Markiewicz, who is well known to Holy Father. The Auditor [Chiarlo] questioned this doctor if he believed the harsh winter in Warsaw could be dangerous for Don Montini. He replied that he was healthy in body but, at the same time, he had discovered that his heart had not developed in proportion to the body, which was the cause of the ailments that Don Montini felt from time to time. Despite this, he considered that Don Montini, if he did not expose himself by leaving the house on the coldest and windiest days or during cold rain, could endure without danger even the most terrible days of winter in this capital.

Still, from what I was able to learn myself on my return to Warsaw, I also shared the opinion of Dr. Markiewicz. However, according to that which had been agreed with Your Most Reverend Excellency, I thought to obtain the opinion of another physician, a specialist in heart diseases. An appointment had already been made when he received the aforementioned telegram, which made further investigation unnecessary. I am happy to report that I was and am happy with the performance of the young Don Montini, who proved to be intelligent, hard working, pious, polite, and educated, just as Your Excellency so rightly had described him to me.

Lauri then asked for Carlo Margotti once more but Margotti was destined to remain in the Oriental Congregation until 1930.

These dispatches appear to contradict the hypothesis that Lauri, somehow dissatisfied with Montini’s work, had asked Pizzardo to recall him. The documents removed from Montini’s personnel file would shed further light on the topic but they will not likely be made available for consultation for many years to come, if at all.

Saturday 16 October 2010

Galician Ciphers Deciphered

The diplomatic representatives of state and civic bureaucracies often send sensitive and or secret communications using coded or ciphered messages. The Western Ukrainian Republic's government-in-exile (ZUNR) did not have the technical means to use ciphers but did make use of creative codes in sharing sensitive information.

I have discovered two amusing examples of coded messages on behalf of ZUNR diplomatists. On 5 January 1923, a curious letter, obviously in code, was sent to finance minister Volodymyr Singalevych from their representative in Rome, Volodymyr Bandrivsky. Writing on the stationary of the Hotel Quirinale, Bandrivsky reported that "one of their men in Western Europe" had written him the following:

Керзон каже, що Костеви не було чого трудитися аж до Льондону їздити, бо Whiskey можна було знайти і у Відні; а як би був написав Витвицькому, то той був би вистарався йому фляшечку і міг би був еї йому передати через Панейка. [Curzon says that Kost [Levytsky] had no reason to take the trouble to come all the way to London because whiskey can also be found in Vienna; and if he had written to Vytsvytsky [the foreign Minister], the latter could have obtained a bottle for him and passed it on through Paneyko.]”

A second example of amusing codes can be found in telegram from ZUNR to Singalevych. In March 1923, Petrushevych had left Vienna for Paris, in anticipation of the final decision of the Allied Council of Ambassadors regarding the sovereignty of Eastern Galicia. On 15 March, when the Council granted de jure sovereignty to Poland, with the condition of a special autonomous statute for the region, Petrushevych sent the following telegram to Singalevych:

"roman decide pour claudia avec condition statut a definir par roman [roman rules in favour of claudia with the proviso [of a] statute to be defined by roman.]" Unlike the January communication, Singalevych penciled in the identity of the code names, roman being "Р. Амб.", the Council of Ambassadors, and claudia "Польща", Poland.

Saturday 21 August 2010

Canadian Ukrainians Pray for the Monarch

Since I don't have time for a full article this month, I would simply like to post this excerpt, as a follow-up to an earlier article on the Prayers for the Head of State. Much new material has come to light and, in future, I hope to rework this earlier article.

"... In particular, I observe that the abolition of the prayer for the Sovereign is not justifiable in the territory of this [Canadian] Ordinariate, where the King of England exercises sovereignty. The oriental rites admit the liturgical prayer for the supreme civil authority and therefore in Canada the Catholics of the Oriental Rite do not have a motive to make changes in this matter."

Cardinal Eugène Tisserant to Bishop Vasyl Ladyka, 25 January 1939.

Sunday 11 July 2010

Volodymyr Singalevych von Schilling

And his Austrian Archive (1911-1930)

Over the years, I have come across the name of Volodymyr Singalevych in correspondence between Ukrainian political organizations and the Apostolic See. Recently, I accidentally discovered his archives. However, when I searched for biographical information about him, I was surprised to discover that almost nothing is available. Like Jan Tokarzhevsky-Karashevych, Singalevych has virtually disappeared from history.
There are short entries on Singalevych in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine and the Екциклопедіа Українознавства. Even Vasyl Kuchabsky's history of the ZUNR (Західна Українська Національна Республіка), recently republished by CIUS in English, does not mention him, despite the fact that he was one of the inner core of Galician parliamentarians and founders of the ZUNR.
To understand the ZUNR one needs to understand something about the men who gave it birth. They generally came from Greek-Catholic priestly families, were lawyers and became political activists in the best Austrian Josephist tradition. Singalevych was literally a member of this club, though he did not embrace the usual Josephist disdain for the Church.

A Brief Biographical Sketch
Volodymyr Singalevych was Born 13 January 1875 in Miskakivtsi, Kosiv district (Ivano-Frankivsk) to a clerical gentry family descended from the German Schillings. In 1893 he graduated from the faculty of law of the University of Lviv and subsequently worked in civil courts in Kamianka-Strymylova (Kamianka-Buzko), Peremyshliany and Hlynjan.
Some years before the First World War he was created Ritter Singalewycz von Schilling (similar to a baronetcy). I have been unable to find the precise date of his ennoblement but it is likely that it took place around 1911, the year that Stefan Smal-Stotsky was also ennobled with the lesser, titleless distinction of edler. As Singalevych held the highest civil rank among his fellow Ukrainian parliamentarians, his signature always appeared first before those who, with the fall of the Monarchy, were to play a more prominent role in Ukrainian affairs. For example, men such as Yevhen Petrushevych and Kost Levytsky.
As a member of Ukrainian National Democratic Party, Singalevych served as a deputy in the Austrian lower house from 1911-1918 and in the the Galician Diet from 1913-1914. He became a leading member of the Ukrainian Supreme Council in September 1914 and was appointed by this council as commander of the War Council of the Sichovi Striltsi regiment in Vienna. In that same month, Galician and Bukovynan deputies had met in Vienna to discuss the situation of the refugees from the Russian-occupied zones. Singalevych served on a government-funded Ukrainian Assistance Committee which dealt with Ukrainian refugees and internees, such as those in the Tallerhoff camp. The committee also solicited funds from the Diaspora to support Ukrainian economic institutions at home.
Volodymyr Singalevych took part in the preparations for the 1 November 1918 uprising, organzied and implemented Ukrainian rule in Stryj and the neighboring districts and was a member of ZUNR and ZO UNR Radas from 1918-1919. During the Polish-Ukrainian War he was arrested and briefly interned following which he left Galicia and worked in Vienna in the Austrian Liquidation Commission. On 3 April 1919 he was appointed ZUNR diplomatic representative to Austria. Petrushevych named him acting finance and trade minister on 1 August 1920 and, two years later, he assumed the porfolio of acting internal minister. Following the 15 March 1923 decision of the Council of Ambassadors to definitively allocate Eastern Galicia to Poland, Singalevych helped dismantle the remainig apparatus of the ZUNR Government-in-Exile.
Among his peers, Singavelych could be singled out for his strong Catholic religious convictions. Evidence of this fact is found in the correspondence he carried on throughout the 1920's with Greek-Catholic notables such as Metropolitan Sheptytsky, Father Lazar Beresovzky, Father (later Bishop) Ivan Buchko, and Mitrat Vojnarovsky. Vojnarovsky was instrumental in helping Singalevych obtain political amnesty from the President of Poland in 1930, allowing him to return to his homeland. From 1930 to 1939 Singalevych served as director of the Agricultural Bank of Lviv and in January 1931 became a founding member of the Ukrainian Catholic Union, an above-party coalition envisioned by Metropolitan Sheptytsky in the wake of the increasing brutality of the Piłsudski dictatorship, including the Pacification of 1930-1932.

The Singalevych Archive
Volodymyr Singalevych's archive contains correspondence from a large section of the Ukrainian notables from 1911-1930. Here are a just a few examples: Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky wrote in 1912 concerning the Ukrainian University. There is also a telegram to Petrushevych from Sheptytsky in October 1918. During the First World War, Basilian missionary Father Marian Shkirpan took up a small collection from his poor parishioners in Brazil (Prudentopolis, 13 July 1915) and sent it to the Assistance Committee to help at home. Shkirpan wrote: Бразильска Україна відчуває моє страшне горе, яке навістило стару відчизну, тому радо прийдуть впомїч."
Olha Kobylianska, wrote several letters to obtain financial support. Kobylianska’s first letter, dated Чернівцї 11/4 915, describes her sad situation: "... Справді, ніколи не думала і не моглам сподіватися я, що попаду колись в моїм життю, в страшнім віку в таке страшне матеріяльне положення в ким злакаюся тепер в раз своєю старшою сестрою її домомом, і тим що мене (від 11. років хоровиту) доглядаюсь...On 16 June, she wrote: “Війна настала, школи позачинювані, ... а літературна праця (не лиш моя, а других) де она опинилася? Літературна праця, та одгичка точка що вже мене ще до землі задає охоти... Singalevych was able to send her funds, for which she thanked him heartily with a postcard (16 June 1915).
Singalevych’s archives also contain letters from international politicians and notables, such as one from the future Pope Pius XII, Msgr. Eugenio Pacelli to Count Michael Tyshkevych (9 January 1915). There is also a letter from Hungarian minister von Burian (22 September 1914 ).
In 1916, the Supreme Ukrainian Council (calling itself Pro-Senate) attempted to intervene with the Holy See in the appointment of the new Greek-Catholic bishop for Przemysl. Singalevych was among the signatories. They presented a tern of candidates to the Apostolic Nuncio in Vienna: Klymenti Sheptytsky, Josyf Zhuk and Oleksi Baziuk. When Josaphat Kotsylovsky was appointed the following year, they intervened without result against the nomination.
Two letters of great interest came into his possession, from Archduke Wilhelm von Habsburg (Василь Вишиваний) (12 and 27 October 1918), one of which has a beautiful red paper seal with his archducal coat-of-arms on the reverse side of the envelope. The archive also contains a printed copy of Emperor Karl's 16 October 1918 imperial manifesto which changed the Monarchy into a federation of nations, at least on paper. We also find the guest-list and speech given at a banquet in honour of the newly-appointed Apostolic Visitor to Ukraine, Father Giovanni Genocchi, who passed through Vienna in April 1920.
Volodymyr Singalevych died on 7 November 1945 in Bregen, Austria. This 35-box archive represents his activity in Vienna, it was certainly located in the Austrian capital until he returned to Galicia in 1930. Afterwards it was entrusted to Metropolitan Sheptytsky (as indicated on the archival boxes), who probably left it in the care of either Cyrille Korolevskij or his procurator Msgr. Enrico Benedetti. Further research should determine specific details of its itinerary.
For over a decade, the current archivist of the Oriental Congregation, Dr. Gianpaolo Rigotti, has sought discover the identity of the Singalevych collection. His research revealed the following: his predecessor, Monsignor Stasys Žilys, archivist from 1962 to 1992, erroneously listed it as Fondo Archivio Politico Szeptyckij on page 35 of his inventory of the Congregation's holdings. Until 2000, together with the other Ruthenian and Ukrainian fonds, the Singalevych collection was located on the second floor of the archives. During the complete renovation of the Congregation's archival rooms, which took place from June 2000 to March 2001, all of the dicastery's fonds were removed. The so-called Fondo Szeptyckij was transfered to an underground facility near the Via dei Corridori, which had been restructured for storage purposes in 1998. Subsequently, the fond in question was returned to the third floor of the fully renovated archives, where are stored the oldest materials acquired from the former Sacred Congregation De Propaganda Fide for the Affairs of the Oriental Rite. In the autumn of 2006, Rigotti called upon the renowned historian and orientalist, Msgr. Giuseppe M. Croce to help determine the content and importance of the collection. Having been made aware of the identity of Volodymyr Singalevych from documents contained in the Vatican Secret Archives, I was able to clarify the precise identity of this fond.
In examining the Singalevych papers, it becomes immediately clear that, per se, not only does the archive have nothing to do with Sheptytsky (except that it had been entrusted temporarily to his care) but that it represents a personal and not an institutional collection. Although it does contain many documents emitted by the Ukrainian Supreme Council and the ZUNR, it also contains private and personal communications, documents that are seldom included in institutional collections. The Singalevych archive itself was not produced for the Ukrainian Government; it was rather meant to be an historical record of a portion of the life (public and private) of its onetime officials.
It might seem odd that such an archive continues to be housed inside the Oriental Congregation. However, at least for the present, I strongly believe that the continuing care of the Singalevych fond by this Vatican department has several advantages. For instance, although the archival boxes themselves are currently in a bad state of repair, unlike other important Ukrainian archives housed in Ukrainian institutions, (such as those of the ZUNR) the documents themselves are intact, safe, under the supervision of a highly competent professional historian. Most imporantly, they are accessible to scholars with the authorization of the Congregation's superiors.

Tuesday 8 June 2010

Monsignor Enrico Benedetti (1874-1941)

Among History’s Vanished
The archivist of the Oriental Congregation, Gianpaolo Rigotti’s recent article “Uomini e attività della Congregazione per la Chiesa Orientale tra i motu proprio Dei providentis (1917) e Sancta Dei Ecclesia (1938)” deals with key figures that served the Congregation of the Oriental Church(es). However, one person is conspicuously absent from among these figures: Monsignor Enrico Benedetti. For twenty years, Benedetti was one of the most important employees of the two oriental departments of the Roman Curia, from 1904 to 1924. After this date he largely vanishes from history and obtaining his biographical data continues to be difficult. There are few overt references to his person and activities in the archives of the Oriental Congregation but, surprisingly, more significant information is to be found in other archives of the Apostolic See and in works dealing with Ukraine and the Greek-Catholic Church. Recently, Benedetti’s memory was brought back to life by the research of Monsignor Giuseppe M. Croce. In his now famous edition of Cyrille Korolevskij’s autobiography and correspondence, there are significant references to Benedetti, a protagonist of Byzantine Catholicism in the Roman Curia. Croce’s work has finally lifted the veil from the mystery of aspects of Benedetti’s curial career. This brief biography, based on what appears to be left of Benedetti’s personal file and supplemented by other archival sources, is intended as a modest addition to such research.
Enrico Benedetti was born in Rome in 1874 and was ordained for his native diocese in 1897, at the age of twenty-three. He subsequently obtained a teaching degree, as well as degrees in theology and in canon law, the latter for which he received top marks. In 1899 he was taken on provisionally at the Congregation of the Council [of the Clergy]. On 13 January 1900, he was given the chair of letters at the schools of the Pontifical Urban College run by the Sacred Congregation De Propaganda Fide where he later taught ecclesiastical history. It was in this teaching capacity that Angelo Roncalli (future Blessed John XXIII) remembered Benedetti in his famous memoirs, Journal of a Soul.
Propaganda Fide called Benedetti to additional responsibilities in 1904. At that time the minutante for the Ruthenian, Romanian, Bulgarian and Georgian Rite affairs received another posting and resigned his charge at the Congregation. According to the custom of the time, Italian priests were asked to submit their names for the vacant post. Among the eighteen contestants, Benedetti ranked among the top three for “the best physical, intellectual and moral requisites.” Benedetti was further prized for his knowledge of Greek, French and a little English and German. On 4 July 1904, the cardinals selected Benedetti and Pope Pius X approved the selection the following 12 July. The new minutante was informed of his appointment in a letter from the Assessor of the Sacred Congregation De Propaganda Fide for the Affairs of the Oriental Rite, Monsignor Savelli Spinola, dated the following day.
When Pope Benedict XV suppressed the old Congregation De Propaganda for the Affairs of the Oriental Rite, in 1917, Benedetti passed over to the newly created Congregation Pro Ecclesia Orientali [for the Oriental Church]. In the new department, his past faithful service and expertise earned him the promotion from simple minutante to official, in which capacity he could co-sign documents with the cardinal-secretary or the bishop-assessor. Additionally, Don Enrico was granted the honourary distinction of papal chamberlain which carried with it the title of Monsignor.
The new Congregation was charged with demonstrating a more sympathetic image to Eastern-Rite Christians and its modus operandi was to be exclusively attuned to their needs. For this purpose the Pope chose Cardinal Marini, who had a certain interest in oriental scholarship, as the Congregation’s head. As second-in-command the Pope chose a Greek-Catholic, Bishop Isaias Papadopulos.
Among those who showed the greatest interest in the Christian East was Monsignor Benedetti himself, especially in his area of competency, the Greco-Slavic Churches, the largest among which was the Byzantine-Ruthenian, which comprised several of what we now call ecclesiae sui iuris. Benedetti soon began publishing material about the history of the Ruthenian Churches. In 1916 he published Punti di storia religiosa del popolo ruteno (Notes on the Religious History of the Ruthenian People) in Cardinal Marini’s journal Bessarione. The article was later printed as a booklet. Another important work appeared in 1922, entitled Le Chiese Orientali (The Oriental Churches).
One of the early issues that the new Oriental Congregation had to tackle was the Ukrainian problem. Benedetti had developed a relationship of trust with the Ukrainian Catholic hierarchs, the most senior of which was Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky. Ukrainian political leaders, Catholic and Orthodox, also reached out to the Apostolic See to secure political recognition. In exchange for which they promised freedom for Catholicism in Ukraine, especially for the Eastern-Rite variant. The Congregation, however, was not authorized to address political questions. These were the responsibility of the papal Secretariat of State and the Sacred Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, which dealt with any religious questions connected with state governments. The Ukrainian question was, in the language of the Curia, a questione politico-religioso (a political-religious mix). The religious values that the Apostolic See intended to promote were intertwined with the political questions of the day. And therein lie the seeds of conflict over Ukraine within the Roman Curia.
With Europe in flux, Benedict XV and his secretary of state Cardinal Gasparri showed significant openness to Ukrainian independence. In 1919 an extraordinary Ukrainian diplomatic representation was received at the papal court. In turn, the Oriental Congregation recommended a papal representative to the Ukraine. Such a pontifical liaison was to assess the situation and present the religious goals of the Apostolic See to Ukrainian notables. The Pope accepted these recommendations and appointed Father Giovanni Genocchi as apostolic visitor to Ukraine.
But who recommended Genocchi to this post? According to his friend and biographer Vincenzo Ceresi: “Enrico Benedetti was a faithful admirer of the religious and devoted to him like a son.” Genocchi’s charming personality had made him many friends in Italian social and intellectual circles but these associations had made him enemies in the Curia, especially during the Modernist Crisis. As had been his predecessor Pius X, so too was Benedict XV an admirer of Genocchi and recognized his fidelity. Pope Benedict sought Monsignor Benedetti’s counsel to find a way to remove Genocchi from the climate of curial suspicion. Benedetti proposed the apostolic visitation to Ukraine and Eastern Galicia at the beginning of February 1920 and, according to Ceresi, the Pope accepted the proposal a week later, naming Genocchi on 13 February.
The instructions that Genocchi received from the Oriental Congregation in March 1920 had been composed by Benedetti and contained a long and sympathetic summary of the history of Ruthenian-Ukrainian questions. Don Enrico’s sympathy was keenly felt by Ukraine’s religious and political men, who, together with Genocchi, corresponded privately with him, seeking counsel and encouragement.
Benedetti also helped many Ukrainian priests. Through the mediation of Ukrainian diplomatic representative Father François-Xavier Bonne, in January 1920 Don Enrico arranged for the future Cardinal Josyf Slipyj to further his studies in Rome. Slipyj received funding through the Congregation for which he wrote to thank Benedetti in November. Two years later, with the Ukrainian diplomatic cause going badly, Bonne himself received a stipend through Benedetti’s intercession.
The turning point in Enrico Benedetti’s curial career occurred at the beginning of 1922 regarding political ramifications to the Ukrainian religious question; namely, the restoration of the ancient Byzantine bishopric of Lutsk.
Metropolitan Sheptytsky had ordained Josyf Botsian Bishop of Lutsk (Volyn) in 1914, using special powers granted him secretly by Pius X. But when Botsian attempted to begin his mission in Volyn he was blocked by Polish civil and religious notables. They feared that the restoration of the illegally suppressed Greek-Catholic Eparchy of Lutsk would help the Ukrainian independence movement and block centuries-old Polish hegemony over the territory. Following his release from Russian captivity in 1917, Sheptytsky made repeated attempts to have Botsian’s appointment legitimized. Finally in 1921, Metropolitan Andrei was able to prove to Benedict XV the existence of the secret faculties granted by Pius X. Thus on 21 February 1921, Pope Benedict did not hesitate to confirm Botsian’s appointment. However, due to the extreme opposition to Botsian in Poland, the Pontiff added the reservation that, although truly Bishop of Lutsk, until a modus vivendi with the Polish government could be achieved, Botsian was not to exercise episcopal jurisdiction.
One of Monsignor Benedetti’s duties was to correct the drafts of the papal Catholic directory, the Annuario Pontificio. In doing so, he added the name of Josyf Botsian under the resident diocese of Lutsk. Shortly before his death in January 1922, Benedict XV had examined these notations but had made neither comment nor objection. During the sede vacante, Polish prelates in the Curia put pressure on the papal secretariat of state to have the entries removed. Monsignor Borgongini Duca ordered the head of the Annuario to remove Botsian’s name but the priest in charge replied that, since the late Pope had approved the drafts, he required a written order. Borgongini complied with the request and the name was removed from the list of resident bishops (page 161). However, the priest-in-charge apparently forgot to remove the name from the index (page 902). Several copies of the first and second editions had already gone into circulation, before the third and final edition removed Botsian’s name altogether.
News about the original versions of the Annuario reached Ukrainian diplomatic representatives resulting in a series of articles in the Italian journal Il Popolo Romano, written by the secretary of the Ukrainian Legation in Vienna, Volodymyr Bandrivsky. A diplomatic incident occurred, resulting in vehement protests from the Polish Legation to the Holy See. Following an internal investigation, Cardinal Gasparri wrote a strong letter to Cardinal Marini blaming Monsignor Benedetti for divulging confidential information. Gasparri argued that, Benedetti, who had added the entries by hand, could not possibly be free from blame because he was aware that the late Pope had ruled that Botsian was not to exercise episcopal jurisdiction. “Mons. Benedetti put the Holy See in a very embarrassing position before the Polish Government.”
Benedetti ardently denied the charge but someone had to take the blame. Recently uncovered archival sources point to the fact that Ukrainian priests in Rome had been the source of the information, especially Basilian Father Lazar Berezovsky who carried on written correspondence with the Ukrainian diplomatic representatives. Pius XI was very annoyed by the incident, especially by the fact that Ukrainian politics seemed to be limiting the Church’s freedom of action. As a result, Cardinal Gasparri summoned Father Berezovsky, informing him that the Pope did not want to hear of “Ukrainians” but only “Ruthenians”. The rector retorted that they were indeed Ukrainians and that no one had the right to take away their name.
The upshot was that the Apostolic See had to give strong assurances to the Polish Government that Bishop Botsian (at least for the time being) would remain a bishop in name only. Enrico Benedetti received a reprimand in kind: his name was also removed from one section of the Annuario, the list of papal chamberlains. This honour, once conferred, remained in force only during the lifetime of the reigning Pope but had to be reconfirmed by his successor. Father Cyrille Korolevskij recounted the affair to Metropolitan Sheptytsky three months later, ended his letter by stating that “Today, the incident has calmed down but Benedetti was not confirmed in his title of “Monsignor” by the new Pope, who said: “We’ll see about it later.”
Even though he was soon restored to his monsignorial title, the Lutsk-Annuario incident had marked Benedetti’s curial career at the very inception of the new pontificate. In Korolevskij’s words: “Benedetti [...] is not in the [new] Pope’s good graces.” The Polish legation was especially on guard against any initiatives of Bendetti and his department, whose attempts to protect Eastern Catholics were regarded as inimical to Poland. Ambassador Skrzyński complained to Genocchi that "as long as Msgr. Benedetti is there, nothing good will be done" by the Oriental Congregation. Leading Polish curialist Monsignor Kazimierz Skirmunt suggested that Botsian’s title be changed without the knowledge of the Congregation so that it "and with it the whole Oriental universe" would not be given the opportunity to protest. Benedetti earned further papal displeasure in 1924, due to his participation in that year's Velehrad Congress. Pius XI complained that he did not want members of the Congregation to participate at such events in an official capacity.

The Oriental Congregation’s wings had been clipped in March 1922. Shortly after the Annuario incedent, its head, Cardinal Marini became ill and was replaced by Cardinal Tacci. Marini had not demonstrated any remarkable capacity and Tacci turned out to be even worse, particularly due to an undiscovered brain tumour. During the latter’s term, many affairs were left unresolved and a number of important documents were mislaid, only to be found among the cardinals papers after his death. By 1924, in the words of Korolevskij, Benedetti had become “disgusted”. He left the Congregation on 31 December 1924 and passed to the Vatican Library the following year.
Although he ceased active service, Enrico Benedetti was well respected in the Roman Curia for his erudition and for many years of service he had given in no less than three Vatican departments. As a result, following his curial retirement, Don Enrico was called upon to serve as consulter to the Consitorial and Oriental Congregations; charges which he fulfilled until his death.
The Ruthenian bishops would have been devastated to see one of their few overt sympathizers retire from the Roman Curia. The relationship of trust that they had formed with Benedetti induced Metropolitan Sheptytsky to propose him for yet one more service. At their Episcopal Conference of 1928, the Ruthenian hierarchs of Poland (Ukrainians) and Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia (Carpatho-Ruthenians) and Bulgaria agreed to Sheptytsky’s proposal to appoint Benedetti as their man in Rome. On 8 July 1928, Sheptytsky wrote to Monsignor Giuseppe Pizzardo, head of the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, asking him if the Curia had any objection to the bishops’ recommendation: The Bishops “considered Msgr. Enrico Benedetti, whom all have known for a long time, and who has always shown great devotion to the interests of their Churches and possesses all the necessary experience.”
Pizzardo asked the opinion of Monsignor Eugène Tisserant, a co-worker of both Benedetti and Korolevskij at the Vatican Library. Tisserant replied that he could not see any difficulty with the appointment. The matter was then forwarded to the Oriental Congregation, which also found no objection. Cardinal Sincero wrote to Sheptytsky on 19 July 1928 that “This Sacred Congregation is very happy to inform Your Lordship that it has nothing against your wish [...] as it has nothing against the person chosen for this office.” Once he had received Benedetti’s consent, Sheptytsky formally presented him to the Apostolic See on 27 November 1928 as procurator of the Ruthenian Episcopate in Rome for the affairs of the Ruthenian Churches.
Being familiar with both worlds, Benedetti was perfectly suited to act as a liaison between the Roman Curial offices and the Ruthenian hierarchy. Among notable affairs handled, in 1929 he made important oral clarifications regarding the candidates for auxiliary bishop to Metropolitan Sheptytsky. Two years later, in 1931, he rendered an important service when, together with Korolevskij, he was consulted by the Congregation on the history and status of Sheptytsky’s title Metropolitan of Halych, as distinct from to that of Archbishop of Lviv and Bishop of Kamiamets-Podilsk.
In his final years, Benedetti endured a long illness. Shortly before his death, which occured on Monday, 10 March 1941, he received a special blessing from Pope Pius XII. Monsignor Professor Enrico Benedetti’s funeral took place three days later, on Thursday, 13 March 1941, at the Roman parish church of the Sacred Heart on the Lungotevere Prati. The funeral rites were attended by numerous officials of the Oriental Congregation, among whom many counted themselves as admirers of their former colleague. Eugène Tisserant, now the cardinal-secretary of that department, subequently paid high tribute to Benedetti’s example of generous and loyal service to the Church.
Benedetti's memory continued to endure in the tiny community of Ukrainian priests and religious in the Eternal City, especially among those whom he had known and helped. As late as 1998, Ukrainian historian Liliana Hentosh identified his photograph, still displayed in the corridors of Piazza Madonna dei Monti, the seat of the Ukrainian procurature. The photo had been displayed at the orders of Cardinal Slipyj, whose first Roman sojourn had been arranged by Benedetti. Sadly, with recent renovations to the Madonna residence, even this last vestige of his memory has vanished.