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A History of the Popes 1830-1914$
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Owen Chadwick

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198269229

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198269226.001.0001

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Pope Pius X (1903–1914)

Pope Pius X (1903–1914)

(p.332) 8 Pope Pius X (1903–1914)
A History of the Popes 1830-1914

Owen Chadwick (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The election of Giuseppe Sarto, archbishop of Venice, as Pius X in 1903 was a surprise in that he had little political or diplomatic experience and knew nothing of the workings of the Curia. He did not understand modern thought in science and religious scholarship, and his papacy was marked by a conservatism condemning the modern world and appealing to a loyalty involving the practice of the whole faith of the traditional Church. Pius X's papacy saw the codification of canon law and encouragement of frequent communion, but his reforms of the Curia did not go very far. In France the Dreyfus case and the separation of Church and State caused vehement, sometimes violent, conflict between Catholics and anti‐clericals. The division, which would take years to overcome, was caused by the papacy's earlier condemnation of democracy and socialism, the belief of the French Right that Catholicism was its political strength, the prejudices of some left‐wing politicians, and the centralization of authority which made it impossible for French bishops to ignore the pope's decisions. In Italy the old fight between the pope and the Italian government was now obsolete. It continued on the level of words, but by 1913 Catholics were participating wholeheartedly in Italian politics.

Keywords:   cardinals, Curia, Dreyfus case, France, separation of Church and State, Italy, politics, modernism, Pius X

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