I was reading Joseph Pearce’s ‘Old Thunder,’ which is a biography of Belloc, when I noticed something that struck me as odd.
During his adult life, Hilaire Belloc had many seemingly private audiences with various pontiffs. In the letters cited, he describes talking to them in person and receiving blessings for himself and loved ones.
Now, I realise that this was up until the second world war, and perhaps the Nazi threat effected some change upon Vatican policy that outlived the war, but it seems odd that even Belloc, who was a well known English author, would be able to regularly be worked into the different popes’ appointment books at such leisure. Short of becoming a head of state, you or I would be hard pressed to have face-to-face meetings with Pontiff.
Do any of you have any information on this?