The History Book Club discussion

The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe
This topic is about The Pope and Mussolini
273 views
THE SECOND WORLD WAR > THE POPE AND MUSSOLINI - THE SECRET HISTORY OF PIUS XI AND THE RISE OF FASCISM IN EUROPE

Comments Showing 1-50 of 180 (180 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3 4

message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 23, 2015 08:51PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
This is a buddy read thread for the following book:

The Pope and Mussolini The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe by David I. Kertzer by David I. Kertzer (no photo)

Remember we use spoiler html on a single thread discussion. This discussion can begin on August 31st if folks are ready. We place a beginning and end date on the discussion but both dates are always open ended and you can read the book as you like with a group of like minded members.

Thanks and Enjoy. Bentley will be leading the buddy read.

The discussion and read begins August 31st and the formally led discussion ends on December 13th. However, group members can read the book at any time and post here and somebody will always respond to your posts - but it is always more fun to take part in the actively led discussion if one can find the time to join in and participate.


message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 14, 2016 12:19AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Remember the following:

Everyone is welcome but make sure to use the goodreads spoiler function.

If you come to the discussion after folks have finished reading it, please feel free to post your comments as we will always come back to the thread to discuss the book.

The rules

You must follow the rules of the History Book Club and also:

First rule of Buddy Read:
Respect other people's opinions, no matter how controversial you think they may be.

Second rule of Buddy Read:
Always, always Chapter/page mark and spoiler alert your posts if you are discussing parts of the book.

To do these spoilers, follows these easy steps:

Step 1. enclose the word spoiler in forward and back arrows; < >

Step 2. write your spoiler comments in

Step 3. enclose the word /spoiler in arrows as above, BUT NOTE the forward slash in front of the word. You must put that forward slash in.

Your spoiler should appear like this:
(view spoiler)

And please mark your spoiler clearly like this:

State a Chapter and page if you can.
EG: Chapter 24, page 154

Or say Up to Chapter *___ (*insert chapter number) if your comment is more broad and not from a single chapter.

Chapter 1, p. 23
(view spoiler)

If you are raising a question/issue for the group about the book, you don't need to put that in a spoiler, but if you are citing something specific, it might be good to use a spoiler.

By using spoilers, you don't ruin the experience of someone who is reading slower or started later.

Thanks.


message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 23, 2015 07:15PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
You can copy and paste below to get your spoiler right:

<spoiler>Put Text Here</spoiler>


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 23, 2015 07:16PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Table of Contents

Maps xi
Cast of Characters xvii
List of Publications and Organizations xxv

PROLOGUE: ROME, 1939 - xxix

Part One

THE POPE AND THE DICTATOR

1. A New Pope 3
2. The March on Rome 19
3. The Fatal Embrace 39
4. Born to Command 57
5. Rising from the Tomb 69
6. The Dictatorship 78
7. Assassins, Pederasts, and Spies 88
8. The Pact 98

Part Two

ENEMIES IN COMMON

9. The Savior 117
10. Eating an Artichoke 134
11. The Return of the Native Son 146
12. Cardinal Pacelli Hangs On 158
13. Mussolini is Always Right 166
14. The Protestant Enemy and the Jews 181
15. Hitler, Mussolini and the Pope 199
16. Crossing the Border 213
17. Enemies in Common 227
18. Dreams of Glory 241

Part Three

MUSSOLINI, HITLER AND THE JEWS

19. Attacking Hitler 255
20. Viva II Duce 266
21. Hitler in Rome 276
22. A Surprising Mission 287
23. The Secret Deal 302
24. The Racial Laws 316
25. The Final Battle 332
26. Faith in the King 340
27. A Convenient Death 354
28. A Dark Cloud Lifts 370
29. Heading Toward Disaster 385

Epilogue 306

Author's Note 405
Acknowledgements 409
Notes 413
References 499
Photograph Credits 511
Index 513


message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 23, 2015 07:18PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
For those who like a schedule, you can follow this one below. You are welcome to read faster or slower, since this discussion will remain open after December.

Syllabus

Table of Contents

Maps xi
Cast of Characters xvii
List of Publications and Organizations xxv

PROLOGUE: ROME, 1939 - xxix - Week of August 31st, 2015 - WEEK ONE

Part One

THE POPE AND THE DICTATOR

1. A New Pope 3 - Week of August 31st, 2015 - WEEK ONE
2. The March on Rome 19 - Week of September 7, 2015 - WEEK TWO
3. The Fatal Embrace 39 - Week of September 7, 2015 - WEEK TWO
4. Born to Command 57 - Week of September 14, 2015 - WEEK THREE
5. Rising from the Tomb 69 - Week of September 14, 2015 - WEEK THREE
6. The Dictatorship 78 - Week of September 21, 2015 - WEEK FOUR
7. Assassins, Pederasts, and Spies 88 - Week of September 21, 2015 - WEEK FOUR
8. The Pact 98 - Week of September 28, 2015 - WEEK FIVE

Part Two

ENEMIES IN COMMON

9. The Savior 117 - Week of September 28, 2015 - WEEK FIVE
10. Eating an Artichoke 134 - Week of October 5, 2015 - WEEK SIX
11. The Return of the Native Son 146 - Week of October 5, 2015 - WEEK SIX
12. Cardinal Pacelli Hangs On 158 - Week of October 12, 2015 - WEEK SEVEN
13. Mussolini is Always Right 166 - Week of October 12, 2015 - WEEK SEVEN
14. The Protestant Enemy and the Jews 181 - Week of October 19, 2015 - WEEK EIGHT
15. Hitler, Mussolini and the Pope 199 - Week of October 19, 2015 - WEEK EIGHT
16. Crossing the Border 213 - Week of October 26, 2015 - WEEK NINE
17. Enemies in Common 227 - Week of October 26, 2015 - WEEK NINE
18. Dreams of Glory 241 - Week of November 2, 2015 - WEEK TEN

Part Three

MUSSOLINI, HITLER AND THE JEWS

19. Attacking Hitler 255 - Week of November 2, 2015 - WEEK TEN
20. Viva II Duce 266 - Week of November 9, 2015 - WEEK ELEVEN
21. Hitler in Rome 276 - Week of November 9, 2015 - WEEK ELEVEN
22. A Surprising Mission 287 - Week of November 16, 2015 - WEEK TWELVE
23. The Secret Deal 302 - Week of November 16, 2015 - WEEK TWELVE
24. The Racial Laws 316 - Week of November 23, 2015 - WEEK THIRTEEN
25. The Final Battle 332 - Week of November 23, 2015 - WEEK THIRTEEN
26. Faith in the King 340 - Week of November 30, 2015 - WEEK FOURTEEN
27. A Convenient Death 354 - Week of November 30, 2015 - WEEK FOURTEEN
28. A Dark Cloud Lifts 370 - Week of December 7, 2015 - WEEK FIFTEEN
29. Heading Toward Disaster 385 - Week of December 7, 2015 - WEEK FIFTEEN

Epilogue 306 - Week of December 7, 2015 - WEEK FIFTEEN

Author's Note 405 - These should be reviewed while reading different chapters
Acknowledgements 409
Notes 413
References 499
Photograph Credits 511
Index 513


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 23, 2015 08:04PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
ABOUT THE POPE AND MUSSOLINI

PULITZER PRIZE WINNER

From National Book Award finalist David I. Kertzer comes the gripping story of Pope Pius XI’s secret relations with Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. This groundbreaking work, based on seven years of research in the Vatican and Fascist archives, including reports from Mussolini’s spies inside the highest levels of the Church, will forever change our understanding of the Vatican’s role in the rise of Fascism in Europe.

The Pope and Mussolini tells the story of two men who came to power in 1922, and together changed the course of twentieth-century history. In most respects, they could not have been more different. One was scholarly and devout, the other thuggish and profane. Yet Pius XI and “Il Duce” had many things in common. They shared a distrust of democracy and a visceral hatred of Communism. Both were prone to sudden fits of temper and were fiercely protective of the prerogatives of their office. (“We have many interests to protect,” the Pope declared, soon after Mussolini seized control of the government in 1922.) Each relied on the other to consolidate his power and achieve his political goals.

In a challenge to the conventional history of this period, in which a heroic Church does battle with the Fascist regime, Kertzer shows how Pius XI played a crucial role in making Mussolini’s dictatorship possible and keeping him in power. In exchange for Vatican support, Mussolini restored many of the privileges the Church had lost and gave in to the pope’s demands that the police enforce Catholic morality. Yet in the last years of his life—as the Italian dictator grew ever closer to Hitler—the pontiff’s faith in this treacherous bargain started to waver. With his health failing, he began to lash out at the Duce and threatened to denounce Mussolini’s anti-Semitic racial laws before it was too late. Horrified by the threat to the Church-Fascist alliance, the Vatican’s inner circle, including the future Pope Pius XII, struggled to restrain the headstrong pope from destroying a partnership that had served both the Church and the dictator for many years.

The Pope and Mussolini brims with memorable portraits of the men who helped enable the reign of Fascism in Italy: Father Pietro Tacchi Venturi, Pius’s personal emissary to the dictator, a wily anti-Semite known as Mussolini’s Rasputin; Victor Emmanuel III, the king of Italy, an object of widespread derision who lacked the stature—literally and figuratively—to stand up to the domineering Duce; and Cardinal Secretary of State Eugenio Pacelli, whose political skills and ambition made him Mussolini’s most powerful ally inside the Vatican, and positioned him to succeed the pontiff as the controversial Pius XII, whose actions during World War II would be subject for debate for decades to come.

With the recent opening of the Vatican archives covering Pius XI’s papacy, the full story of the Pope’s complex relationship with his Fascist partner can finally be told. Vivid, dramatic, with surprises at every turn, The Pope and Mussolini is history writ large and with the lightning hand of truth.

Source: Random House


message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 23, 2015 08:05PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

“Kertzer has an eye for a story, an ear for the right word, and an instinct for human tragedy. This is a sophisticated blockbuster.”—Joseph J. Ellis, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Revolutionary Summer

“A fascinating and tragic story.”—The New Yorker

“Revelatory . . . [a] detailed portrait.”—The New York Review of Books


message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 23, 2015 08:06PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
PRAISE

“David Kertzer has an eye for a story, an ear for the right word, and an instinct for human tragedy. They all come together in The Pope and Mussolini to document, with meticulous scholarship and novelistic flair, the complicity between Pius XI and the Fascist leader in creating an unholy alliance between the Vatican and a totalitarian government rooted in corruption and brutality. This is a sophisticated blockbuster.”—Joseph J. Ellis, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Revolutionary Summer

“Much more attention has been given to the Vatican’s compromises and complicity with Hitler, but Kertzer tells a fascinating and tragic story of its self-interested support for Mussolini when he was vulnerable early on.”—The New Yorker

“Revelatory . . . [a] detailed portrait of the inner workings of the Vatican in this period . . . The general outlines of this story have always been matters of public record, but Kertzer’s book deepens and alters our understanding considerably. The portrait that emerges from it suggests a much more organic and symbiotic relationship between the Church and fascism. Rather than seeing the Church as having passively accepted fascism as a fait accompli, Kertzer sees it as having provided fundamental support to Mussolini in his consolidation of power and the establishment of dictatorship in Italy.”—The New York Review of Books

“Gripping storytelling . . . a book whose narrative strength is as impressive as its moral subtlety . . . Kertzer has uncovered a fascinating tale of two irascible—and often irrational—potentates, and gives us an account of some murky intellectual finagling, and an often startling investigation of the exercise of power.”—The Guardian

“Captivating . . . the real Da Vinci Code—only it’s rigorously documented and far less implausible.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“The papacy of Pius XI remained essentially a foil for discussing his successor. Kertzer’s excellent volume will change all of that. . . . From the outset of his new book, Kertzer deftly reconstructs the parallel lives of Achille Ratti, who became Pius XI, and of Benito Mussolini, both men whose beginnings do not point to the historic role that they began to play in 1922. The narration unfolds along the separate political, ideological, and institutional backgrounds of the Pope’s and Duce’s careers and brings up in fascinating detail the issues on which their interests converged and clashed. . . . Kertzer’s essential book reveals a window on this sordid history—a window that for a long time was shuttered, but will not be obscured anymore.”—The New Republic

“Stunning . . . remarkable . . . Kertzer authoritatively banishes decades of denial and uncertainty about the Vatican’s relationship with Italy’s fascist state.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“A capstone on David Kertzer’s already crucial work, The Pope and Mussolini carefully and eloquently advances the painful but necessary truth of Vatican failure to meet its greatest moral test. This is history for the sake of justice.”—James Carroll, National Book Award–winning author of Constantine’s Sword

“Sweeping and nuanced . . . required reading for anyone with an interest in the Roman Catholic Church and early twentieth-century European history.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“The author spares no toes in his crushing of the Church’s ‘comforting narrative’ around its relationship with Mussolini’s Fascist regime. . . . Kertzer is unflinching and relentless in his exposure of the Vatican’s shocking actions. . . . Deeply troubling revelations around Vatican collaboration with evil.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A compelling case that the Catholic Church should pay greater penance for its support of Mussolini and the rise of fascism . . . The Pope and Mussolini matches rigorous scholarship with a fair yet forceful prose voice. It is an impressive work of history.”—The Daily Beast

“[Kertzer] reconstructs, as if in a historical docudrama, the paths taken by these two men who had such a great impact on the course of the twentieth century. . . . [A] brilliant narrative . . . [with] pages that display enthralling narrative skill.”—Marco Roncalli, Avvenire

“Meticulously researched and captivating . . . a remarkable achievement.”—Commentary

“Brisk, rigorously documented and persuasive.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Vividly recounted . . . Kertzer had access to recently opened Vatican archives regarding Pius XI, and his thorough research goes a long way in overturning conventional notions about Catholic church resistance to Mussolini.”—USA Today

“Compelling . . . Kertzer charts his own course not only by virtue of the depth of his archival research and analysis, but also by virtue of his engaging prose.”—America: The National Catholic Review

“Fast-paced and well-written . . . This book is a readable popular history, with well-drawn characters and interesting incidental detail. It is also a serious study that incorporates the most recent scholarship made possible by the 2006 opening of the Vatican archives for the reign of Pius XI.”—The Irish Times

“The Pope and Mussolini is a riveting story from start to finish, full of startling, documented detail, and nobody is better prepared to tell it than David Kertzer.”—Jack Miles, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of God: A Biography

“Wholly deserving—even demanding—the adjectives ‘groundbreaking,’ ‘courageous,’ and ‘captivating,’ The Pope and Mussolini decisively challenges the received narrative about Pius XI and the Fascist leader. The relationship, in short, was one not of hostility but of mutual dependence. David Kertzer’s conclusions are unflinchingly and conclusively proven, thanks to his profound and thorough research, scholarly authority, and narrative panache. This is a meticulously researched and crafted book, exquisitely written, fresh, mesmerizing, and enlightening.”—Kevin Madigan, Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Harvard University

“The Pope and Mussolini tells the story of two remarkable men, Achille Ratti, Pope Pius XI, and Benito Mussolini, Duce of Fascism. Both demanded absolute obedience. Those who knew the pope called him ‘a block of granite’ and ‘cold as marble.’ The highest prelates trembled in his presence. Mussolini, swollen with his success, became ‘a statue’ who listened to no one. David Kertzer tells their stories in counterpoint as they could never have been told before. The opening of the Vatican archives in 2006 and the discovery of a vast archive of Mussolini’s spies in the hierarchy of the Vatican provide Kertzer staggering new evidence, and his wonderful portraits of everybody involved give this book the fascination of a great novel.”—Jonathan Steinberg, Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Modern European History, University of Pennsylvania, and New York Times bestselling author of Bismarck

“David Kertzer, who pored through the recently opened Vatican secret files gives, us a ghastly history of the poisonous alliance between a weakened Vatican and an ambitious Mussolini. The Pope’s blessing gave Il Duce the needed credibility to take Italy and the Italian people where he wanted them to go. In exchange for that approval, the Fascists provided the Church with its only perceived bulwark against the forces of Communism and the modern age. Enter Hitler. I can imagine Machiavelli overseeing the manipulations on both sides and saying either ‘Well played’ or ‘You go too far’ or ‘Beware.’ David Kertzer has written a harrowing portrait of a ghastly union whose only by-product was the nightmare of World War II.”—John Guare, award-winning playwright and author of Six Degrees of Separation

“A thoroughly engrossing story with an ever-changing cast of fascinating characters . . . Like a couple in a loveless marriage, entered into for all the wrong reasons, Pius XI and Mussolini could not get free of each other. Mussolini hated priests. Pius XI swallowed his scruples about the Duce’s growing megalomania. Each reckoned that he had much to gain from the other. Beneath their endless squabbling about precedence, their continual posturing, Pius and Mussolini undermined and ultimately squandered the happiness of the millions who trusted them. Kertzer has written the definitive book on this tragic history.”—Richard S. Levy, professor of history, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and co-editor of Antisemitism: A History

“Kertzer unravels the relationship between two of twentieth-century Europe’s most important political figures and does so in an accessible style that makes for a fast-paced must-read.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)


message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 23, 2015 08:08PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
ABOUT THE AUTHOR



David I. Kertzer is the Paul Dupee, Jr. University Professor of Social Science and professor of anthropology and Italian studies at Brown University, where he served as provost from 2006 to 2011. He is the author of nine books, including The Popes Against the Jews, which was a finalist for the Mark Lynton History Prize, and The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. He has twice been awarded the Marraro Prize from the Society for Italian Historical Studies for the best work on Italian history. He and his wife, Susan, live in Providence, Rhode Island.


message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 23, 2015 08:12PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
'Pope And Mussolini' Tells The 'Secret History' Of Fascism And The Church
JANUARY 27, 201411:00 AM ET


Source: NPR (with interviews)

http://www.npr.org/2014/01/27/2657946...


message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 23, 2015 08:21PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Excerpt of Chapter One:

A New Pope

Outside the Vatican gate, a small crowd gathered, applauding the black sedans as they slowly made their way inside the medieval wall. In recognition or appreciation, or simply from habit, each arriving cardinal waved a hand in ecclesiastical benediction from his backseat. Standing on either side of the gate was a harlequin-clad Swiss Guard, his white-gloved hand raised to his gleaming helmet in salute. A little later, once the last cardinal had found his room in the Apostolic Palace, six officials scurried through the long, cold halls, each swinging a bell. A voice shouted “Extra omnes!” as the last of the outsiders exited. Clutching a massive antique key chain, a Chigi prince, the conclave’s ceremonial marshal, locked the heavy door from the outside. Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, the chamberlain, locked it from within. The windows were sealed. It was Thursday, February 2, 1922. The doors would not open again until there was a new pope.

Only two weeks earlier a persistent cough had begun to bother Pope Benedict XV. Although he was a small, frail man who since childhood had walked with a limp—the Vatican gossips called him the “little one”—he was not old and had enjoyed good health during his seven years on St. Peter’s throne. But what began as bronchitis quickly turned into pneumonia, and the sixty-eight-year-old Benedict took last rites. The next afternoon, lying on his simple iron bed, he lost consciousness. The following morning, January 22, he was dead.

Giacomo Della Chiesa had been an unusual choice when the genial but repressive Pius X died in 1914, just as the Great War began. When the fifty-two cardinals assembled in late August that year to elect a successor, Della Chiesa had been a cardinal for only three months. Born to an aristocratic but far-from-wealthy family, respected for his intelligence and good judgment, he did not look the part of a pontiff. Although dignified in bearing, and courtly in manners, he was undersized, with a sallow complexion, an impenetrable mat of black hair, and prominent teeth. Everything about him seemed slightly crooked, from his nose, mouth, and eyes to his shoulders.

As a young priest, Della Chiesa worked in the Vatican Secretariat of State, which deals with the Holy See’s relations with governments around the world. There he made his way through the ranks until 1913, when he was sent to Bologna to become its archbishop.

Some believed that Della Chiesa’s departure from the Vatican was the work of Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val, Pope Pius X’s secretary of state and his main partner in the crusade to stamp out any sign of “modernism” in the clergy. Pius X worried that modern ideas were replacing the Church’s centuries-old teachings. Particularly noxious, in the pope’s view, were beliefs in individual rights and religious freedom, along with the heretical notions that church and state should be separated, and that faith should come to terms with the lessons of science. Believing Della Chiesa to be too moderate, Merry del Val wanted him far from the seat of Church power.

On the tenth ballot, Della Chiesa reached—just barely—the two-thirds vote required. One of Merry del Val’s fellow hard-liners, Cardinal Gaetano De Lai, humiliated the new pope by demanding that his ballot be examined to ensure that he had not voted for himself.

Pius X had died at a frightening time for Italians, but his successor’s death, in 1922, came amid even greater unrest. Many feared that revolution could erupt at any moment, although they differed on whether it was more likely to be sparked by the socialists or the fascists. The Great War, which the elite had hoped would help unify the hopelessly divided Italians and rally the population around the government, had done neither. Over half a million Italians had died, and even more had returned wounded. A demobilized army came home to find few jobs. The country’s political leaders seemed incapable of finding a way out of the crisis.

The Socialists—whose numbers had been growing for decades—had hoped to ride the tide of popular anger to power. Workers occupied factories in Turin, Milan, and Genoa. Agricultural laborers struck, threatening the old rural landowner class. Only two years earlier, in 1917, a communist revolution had brought the Bolsheviks to power in Russia and destroyed the old tsarist order. Energized by their example, Italian protesters dreamed of a future when workers and peasants would rule.

But the Socialists had to face a violent threat of their own. Shortly after the war, Benito Mussolini, thirty-five years old and formerly one of the country’s most prominent Socialists, founded a new fascist movement. It drew heavily on disaffected war veterans. Fascist bands soon sprang up in cities throughout much of the country. Its first recruits came, like Mussolini, from the left and shared his hatred of the Church and the priests. But Mussolini quickly turned from vilifying priests and capitalist war profiteers to denouncing Socialists, guilty of opposing Italy’s entrance into the war. Recruits began streaming in from the extreme right.

From their headquarters in the cities of northern and central Italy, black-shirted fascists crowded into cars and rampaged through the countryside, burning down union halls, Socialist meeting rooms, and the offices of left-wing newspapers. Mussolini had little direct control over these squadristi, who were led by local fascist bosses dubbed ras. Beginning in 1919 and with increasing frequency and size over the next three years, the bands attacked Socialist officials and activists, beating them and forcing castor oil down their throats. The squadristi took sadistic delight in using the oil, which produced not only nausea but humiliating, uncontrollable diarrhea. Panicked Socialist mayors and town councilors fled, leaving a large swath of Italy under the control of fascist thugs.

These “punitive expeditions” also took aim at members of Italy’s Catholic political party. The Popular Party was a new attempt by Italy’s Catholics to compete for political influence. That the Vatican looked kindly on the establishment of a Catholic party in Italy was a new development. In 1861 Victor Emmanuel II, king of the Savoyard state based in Turin in the northwest, had proclaimed a new Kingdom of Italy, having annexed much of the Italian peninsula. Among the territories he acquired by a combination of rebellion and conquest were most of the lands long ruled by the popes. Only Rome and its hinterland remained as part of the Papal States. Then in 1870 the Italian army seized Rome as well, declaring it the new nation’s capital. Pope Pius IX retreated to the Vatican, vowing not to leave its walls until the Papal States were restored.

The pope excommunicated the king and forbade Catholics to vote in national elections or run as candidates for parliament; he was hoping to gain international support to return Rome to papal rule. But as the nineteenth century wore on, this prospect seemed ever more remote. A new threat meanwhile arose with the rapid growth of the socialist movement. Popes from the time of Pius IX, in the mid-nineteenth century, had regularly condemned socialism. In 1891, in his famous encyclical Rerum novarum, Pope Leo XII had charged socialists with “working on the poor man’s envy of the rich.” He blasted their proposal to abolish private property. By the dawn of the new century, the Vatican had made clear that socialism was one of the Church’s most formidable enemies.

With the expansion of the right to vote in Italy in the early twentieth century, the Vatican’s voting ban became untenable. Unless the Church did something, the socialists would likely come to power. In November 1918 Luigi Sturzo, a Sicilian priest, met with Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, to discuss his plans for a Catholic party, to be called the Italian Popular Party. It would offer a progressive platform intended to lure peasants and workers away from the socialists. It was formally launched early the following year with Benedict XV’s blessing. By 1922 it was among the country’s largest.

The conclave that year turned into a showdown between two factions. On one side were those cardinals dubbed the zelanti, the intransigents. They looked back nostalgically to the days of Pius X, eager to resume the Church’s crusade against the evils of modern times. On the other side, the moderates, dubbed the “politicians,” hoped to continue Benedict XV’s more middle-of-the-road and outward-looking policies. Pius X’s secretary of state, Rafael Merry del Val, led the zelanti. Pietro Gasparri, Benedict’s secretary of state, was the champion of the moderates. The conclave was shaping up as an epic battle over the direction the Catholic Church would take in the twentieth century, made all the more dramatic by the uncertainty of its outcome. It seemed doubtful that either faction could obtain the two-thirds vote required for election, and there was no obvious compromise candidate.

If Cardinal Gasparri was sometimes called the pecoraio, the shepherd, it was not in the pastoral sense. Sixty-nine years old at the time of the conclave, he came from a peasant family in a small sheep-raising village in the Apennine Mountains of central Italy. The nickname—which he delighted in himself—came with the Italian connotations of being a country hick, a parvenu amid the sophisticates of the Vatican hierarchy. When he was a child, his family followed its herd into the mountains each spring, returning each fall to the valley, where they sent Pietro to the local parish priest for school lessons. A bright child, he entered Church seminaries for his later education, but unlike many in the high Vatican diplomatic service, he did not attend Rome’s prestigious Pontifical Academy of Noble Ecclesiastics, which traditionally drew on sons of the aristocracy.

Gasparri grew into a short, rotund adult, a priest who seemed to move without his feet ever leaving the ground. His dress “showed an unusual indifference to neatness.” But he was popular with the diplomatic corps, making up in bonhomie what he lacked in polish. Gesticulating broadly, eyes sparkling, and laughing often, he was constantly pushing his red skullcap back into place. Gasparri saw himself—and was seen by others—as having a mountain peasant’s shrewdness, intuition, tenacity, and capacity for hard work. “His black, intelligent eyes,” one observer noted, “betrayed his finesse.”

On the evening of February 2, the conclave began in the Sistine Chapel; each of the fifty-three cardinals was provided with a seat at his own small table. Among those absent were the two cardinals from the United States, still on a ship somewhere in the Atlantic. The thirty-one Italians constituted a majority, and only with strong Italian support could anyone be elected. At the altar at the front of the chapel stood a large crucifix and six burning candles. Every time a vote was called, the cardinals approached the altar one at a time, in order of seniority. At the foot of the altar, each got down on his knees, spent a moment in prayer, and recited a Latin vow pledging to choose the man whom he believed God would want elected. He deposited his folded paper ballot and then bowed before the cross before returning to his seat.

Two votes were held each morning and two in the afternoon. Three cardinals, chosen by lot, counted the ballots. Over the next days, the solemn rite was repeated fourteen times, marred only once when, as he rose from his chair, a Dominican cardinal bumped into his table, draining an ink bottle over his white cassock.


message 12: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 23, 2015 08:23PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Continued:

Twelve cardinals received votes. On the second day, Merry del Val reached what would be his high of seventeen. Gasparri received twenty-four votes by the sixth ballot but remained stuck at that number for the seventh and eighth as well. Outside the Vatican, a large crowd of Romans—both the curious and the devout—waited anxiously. “Only one thing is certain,” the French paper Le Figaro reported, “no one knows anything.” Cardinal Gasparri spent the night after the eighth ballot lying awake in bed, aware that he would never become pope. The following morning, before the third day of voting began, he went to see the conclave’s most junior member, Achille Ratti. He told the surprised Ratti, who had been made a cardinal only a few months earlier, that he would urge his supporters to switch their votes to him.

Ratti was born in 1857 in the small town of Desio, in the deeply Catholic Brianza region just north of Milan, where his father managed a silk factory. His mother, a devout Catholic, was the kind of organized and intimidating woman who seemed born to run something much bigger than a household. In later years Ratti often spoke of her with deep affection and respect, but he never talked about his father. At the time of his birth, Desio and Milan were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Ratti’s earliest memory was of his father telling him at age two that French and Savoyard forces were battling the Austrian army nearby. Within weeks the patchwork of duchies and kingdoms that had long composed the Italian peninsula dissolved, and a new unified Italian nation took shape.

There being no school in Desio, at age ten Achille was sent to live with his uncle, a parish priest in the tiny town of Asso, near Lake Como. The frequent presence of neighboring priests, a gregarious lot, warmed his uncle’s household. Achille decided that he too wanted to be a priest and soon went off to a seminary. He returned each summer, not to his parents but to his uncle. The seminary enforced a ferocious discipline. Priests were to be obeyed without question, and rules were to be followed to the letter. None of this bothered the studious boy. His classmates called him “the little old man,” for Achille would rather be left alone to his meditations than play with the other children.

In 1875 Ratti entered Milan’s seminary to prepare for the priesthood. He read voraciously, not only the Italian classics such as Dante, but also English and American literature. He expressed such concern for the challenges faced by Mark Twain’s Jim, Huckleberry Finn’s enslaved sidekick, that his classmates dubbed him l’africano. Although the nickname would not stick, Achille pronounced himself pleased with it, telling his classmates he would one day serve as a missionary in Africa. Ratti’s favorite author was the great Milanese writer Alessandro Manzoni. One day many years later, when he was pope, his master of ceremonies entered his study and, as was the custom, got on his knees to await instructions. The pope was pacing the room, absorbed in reading aloud a passage from Manzoni’s novel The Betrothed. Twenty minutes passed before he stopped and took note of the kneeling cleric. The pope apologized for the delay but added with a smile: “These are pages that are worth listening to on one’s knees, Monsignor!”

After four years in Milan, Ratti moved to Rome to continue his studies at the recently opened Lombard College. Rome had been ruled by popes for over a millennium, but nine years earlier it had been conquered and was now the capital of the newly unified Italian nation.

Source: Edelweiss (Posts 11 and 12)


message 13: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 23, 2015 08:36PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Awards - David Kertzer

Rome Prize for Modern Italian Studies, 2015-2016[6]

Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography, 2015

Elected Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2005

Mark Lynton Prize for History, finalist 2002, The Popes Against the Jews.

Fellowship, Rockefeller Foundation Study Center, Bellagio, Italy, May–June 2000.

Fulbright Chair, University of Bologna, Spring 2000.

American Academy of Rome, Department of Education Professor, Fall 1999.

National Book Award for Nonfiction for 1997, finalist, for The Kidnapping of Edgardo

Mortara. Also National Jewish Book Award for Jewish-Christian relations, 1997.

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 1995-1996.

1990 Marraro Prize (Society for Italian Historical Studies) for "the best work on Italian history" in 1989 for Family, Political Economy, and Demographic Change.

Guggenheim Fellowship, 1986-1987.

1985 Marraro Prize (Society for Italian Historical Studies) for "the best work on Italian history" in 1984 for Family Life in Central Italy.

Fellowship, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, 1982-1983.

Fulbright Senior Lecturer, University of Catania, Italy, winter-spring 1978.

Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellow, 1972-1973.

Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, Brown University, 1969.

His Blog:

http://www.davidkertzer.com/blog

Sources: Wikipedia
and http://www.davidkertzer.com


message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 23, 2015 08:39PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
The Vatican's Role in the Promulgation of Italy's 1938 Racial Laws (Full Video)

https://youtu.be/Zq-Rd1ehSfg

On October 7, 2013, David Kertzer, Paul Dupee University Professor of Social Science and Professor of Anthropology and Italian Studies at Brown University, spoke about Pope Pius XI's complicity with Mussolini's fascist regime in Italy in the 1930s.

Source: Harvard Divinity School


message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 23, 2015 08:46PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Those of you who are going to read The Pope and Mussolini. Use the spoiler html because this is a single thread discussion.

1. Read message two and that message shows you the rules for the buddy read discussion and how to do the spoiler html.

2. Message 3 actually shows you the spoiler html code. Use it on this thread.

3. Where is the Table of Contents and the reading syllabus? - Message 4 and 5.


message 16: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 23, 2015 08:48PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
All, we do not have to do citations regarding the book or the author being discussed during the book discussion on these discussion threads - nor do we have to cite any personage in the book being discussed while on the discussion threads related to this book.

However if we discuss folks outside the scope of the book or another book is cited which is not the book and author discussed then we do have to do that citation according to our citation rules. That makes it easier to not disrupt the discussion.


message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 31, 2015 08:44PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Cast of Characters - Italo Balbo



(1896-1940) The swashbucking Fascist boss of the city of Ferrara, Balboa was one of the leaders of the 1922 March on Rome. President Roosevelt awarded Balboa a Distinguished Flying Cross in 1933 when he led an expedition of twenty-four seaplanes to the United States. While his aerial heroics won him great popularity on both sides of the Atlantic, they sparked Mussolini’s jealousy.

More:
From Italy to the Americas: Italo Balbo's 1930 and 1933 Seaplane Squadrons

The Italian Minister of Aviation Italo Balbo planned two Atlantic crossings by squadrons of Savoia-Marchetti seaplanes to celebrate the Fascist air force and mark the anniversary of the Fascist revolution. After successfully flying to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1930, Balbo led another larger squadron in a more ambitious flight from Rome to the 1933 Chicago Century of Progress Exposition and back. Hailed as monumental feats of organization and engineering, these transatlantic crossings were used by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini to generate excitement for Italy's technological achievements, promote good will for the regime in the Americas, and demonstrate the power and reach of his Fascist government.

A wide range of printed ephemera, from posters, postcards, pamphlets, stickers, and even chocolate bar wrappers and cigarette cartons, were produced to commemorate the events and inspire national pride. Imagery evoking the glories of ancient Rome—the fascio (a bound bundle of rods attached to an axe head), busts of Mussolini, and monumental statuary inspired by classical antiquity—were combined with modern airships to foster the belief in a rebirth of Roman greatness under Fascist leadership.

Link: https://youtu.be/s17Mu7_Q2Q4

Wings Over The World: Wings of Italy (Part 1)

In this aviation documentary from the 1980s the history of Italian involvment in the development of the airplane. It focuses on the Caproni family and their company which was responsible for many seaplane and bomber aircraft in the period between the early 1900s through Mussolini's Regia Aeronautica. This part of the doco looks at the work of Guilio Douhet and Italo Balbo.

Link: https://youtu.be/OkbqFTKQPFc

Wings Over The World: Wings of Italy (Part 2)

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d21NP...

Wings Over The World: Wings of Italy (Part 3)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWDRO...


message 18: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 28, 2015 06:59PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Rome 1925




message 19: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 28, 2015 07:24PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Vatican City 1929



10 Things You May Not Know About the Vatican

http://www.history.com/news/10-things...

For nearly 60 years in the 1800s and 1900s, popes refused to leave the Vatican.
Popes ruled over a collection of sovereign Papal States throughout central Italy until the country was unified in 1870. The new secular government had seized all the land of the Papal States with the exception of the small patch of the Vatican, and a cold war of sorts then broke out between the church and the Italian government. Popes refused to recognize the authority of the Kingdom of Italy, and the Vatican remained beyond Italian national control. Pope Pius IX proclaimed himself a “prisoner of the Vatican,” and for almost 60 years popes refused to leave the Vatican and submit to the authority of the Italian government. When Italian troops were present in St. Peter’s Square, popes even refused to give blessings or appear from the balcony overlooking the public space.

Benito Mussolini signed Vatican City into existence. The dispute between the Italian government and the Catholic Church ended in 1929 with the signing of the Lateran Pacts, which allowed the Vatican to exist as its own sovereign state and compensated the church $92 million (more than $1 billion in today’s money) for the Papal States. The Vatican used the payment as seed money to re-grow its coffers. Mussolini, the head of the Italian government, signed the treaty on behalf of King Victor Emmanuel III.

Source: History Channel

The History of Vatican City:

Link: http://www.history.com/topics/vatican...
Source: History.com

Behind the Closed Doors of the Vatican

https://youtu.be/urLxLj_UU8w


message 20: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 01, 2015 07:17AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Cast of Characters - Pope Benedict XV (Giacomo Della Chiesa) - (1914 - 1922)



Born to an aristocratic family in Genoa, Giacomo Della Chiesa rose to become archbishop of Bologna in 1913. Despite his non papal appearance, he was elected to succeed Pius X in 1914. He dismantled his predecessor's fierce anti modernist crusade and clerical spy force but failed in his efforts to play an effective role as peacemaker during and after the Great War.

More:
Benedict XV: 100 years since his election | Vatican
Link: https://youtu.be/fpDuK6LN7lU


message 21: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 28, 2015 08:30AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Folks, hello this thread opens up on August 31st Monday - I have saved some posts so that I can open it up on Monday as planned and my folks for this week's reading will be first - please make sure to read message 15 and I will be adding to this thread for start of our discussion. I have opened up the thread.


message 22: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 31, 2015 10:31AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Prologue - Rome 1939 (with Topics for Discussion)

(view spoiler)


message 23: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 31, 2015 08:29AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
We are open for discussion - since this is a one thread discussion if your responses to any of the questions include spoilers - please use the spoiler html like I did in message 22 about the Prologue.

If there are general discussions about the era that are not being discussed in the book - of course the spoiler html does not have to be used. But if we are discussing elements or story line then of course it does.

Always put in bold above the spoiler the section of the book you are describing as I did in message 22 - the how to's are described in message 2 and 3. The suggested reading schedule - table of contents and syllabus are laid out in message 4 and 5.

Also, to not disrupt the flow of the discussion:

All, we do not have to do citations regarding the book or the author being discussed during the book discussion on these discussion threads - nor do we have to cite any personage in the book being discussed while on the discussion threads related to this book.

However if we discuss folks outside the scope of the book or another book is cited which is not the book and author discussed then we do have to do that citation according to our citation rules. That makes it easier to not disrupt the discussion.


So let us dig in and discuss a very interesting and complex set of relationships - not only between Pope Benedict XV or the popes that followed with Mussolini but the church's relationship with Mussolini and all that it might have entailed. This should be an interesting read which will foster much discussion and academic debate.

Just remember that the conversation at the HBC is always civil and respectful of group members, the author and the book we are discussing. We can disagree without being disagreeable and we should be able to have a lot of fun with our discussion.

So read on - this week's assignment includes the Prologue and Chapter One.

I look forward to reading your posts.

Regards,

Bentley


Fausto Betances Hello everybody. I'm new to the group and happy to be part of this discussion.
I started reading this morning and it is nice book so far!


message 25: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 31, 2015 10:32AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
I am glad that you like it Fausto - I look forward to reading your posts. After you have read or during the reading of the Prologue - I would be interested in hearing your viewpoints regarding the topics of discussion and questions posed in my message 22.

Make sure to follow the spoiler format when responding to anything in the book itself. Your post above is fine not being in a spoiler.

We welcome you to the discussion - this book really takes a look at a time period in Italian and church history and some of the most pivotal figures of that time.

Thank you for your post and keep posting.


message 26: by G (last edited Sep 01, 2015 06:44AM) (new) - added it

G Hodges (glh1) | 901 comments Prologue Question 1 (view spoiler).


message 27: by G (new) - added it

G Hodges (glh1) | 901 comments Please let me know if I have done this correctly by putting it in Spoiler format. Thanks.


Fausto Betances Question 2 (view spoiler)


message 29: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Excellent use of the spoiler html G - very good - you should put Prologue not in the spoiler but above the part that is hidden so that folks know when to read the spoiler like I did above the questions. Whatever section the topic is about should be above the spoiler segment.

I agree with your response and wonder about this unlikely accommodation - I guess we will discover more as we read on.


message 30: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 31, 2015 04:39PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Hello Fausto - you are doing a great job. Same advice that I gave G.

Just place the section of the book on top of the spoiler html that you are discussing or topics for discussion questions you are responding to.

Like this:

Prologue
(view spoiler)

If text is not a spoiler then you do not need the html but on a one thread discussion it is better to be safe than sorry.

A follow up comment/question that I have about the Prologue and what was written and what you commented on:

Prologue
(view spoiler)


message 31: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Folks please feel free to open up the discussion about things that jump out at you when reading this week's assignment.


message 32: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Chapter One

(view spoiler)


message 33: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 31, 2015 09:14PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Cast of Characters - Francesco Borgongini - Duca (1884 - 1954)



Born in Rome, Borgongini was appointed in 1921 to be secretary of the Congregation of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, one of two key positions under the Vatical Secretary of State. There he dealt with international affairs despite never having lived outside Rome. In 1929, Pius Xi named him the Vatican's first nuncio or ambassador to Italy, a position he would occupy for over two decades. Devout and unworldly, Borgongoni was an irresistible target of Mussolini's teasing. However, he wrote the Lateran Accords (Treaty).

More:
http://media-1.web.britannica.com/eb-...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/world...


message 34: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 01, 2015 05:45AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Cast of Characters - Alfred Baudrillart (1859 - 1942)



Catholic Scholar and long time head of the Catholic University of Paris, Baudrillart was named a bishop in 1921 and a cardinal in 1935. Keeper of a precious diary, Baudrillart worried over the intrigue surrounding the ailing Pope Pius XI as Mussolini solidified his alliance with Hitler.

More:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred-...
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg....


Fausto Betances Bentley wrote: "Hello Fausto - you are doing a great job. Same advice that I gave G.

Just place the section of the book on top of the spoiler html that you are discussing or topics for discussion questions you a..."


Got it!


message 36: by G (new) - added it

G Hodges (glh1) | 901 comments Prologue question 2: (view spoiler)


message 37: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Prologue

(view spoiler)


message 38: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 01, 2015 08:57AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Cast of Characters - Pope Pius X - (1903 - 1914) - He was the Pope before Pope Benedict XV.



First, he fought against modernism. This alone is a controversial fact about Pope Pius X.
Pope Pius X was Bishop of Rome from 1903 to 1914. His tenure was characterized by internal reforms such as frequent Communion, early first Communion for children, proper training of the clergy, and the restoration of plain chant. In style, he was autocratic, and he is often most remembered for his forceful condemnation of 'modernism,' which earned for him the reputation of being opposed to most of what goes to make up the modern world. He did not issue any encyclicals that were socially oriented or were accepted into the tradition of Catholic social teaching. In discussions of the tradition, Pius X is usually discussed in terms of his contribution--or lack thereof--as successor to Leo XIII, whose principles he seems to have interpreted in a narrow, 'conservative' fashion. Pius X was canonized a saint in 1954.

More:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12137... - Source: The New Advent which is the Catholic Encyclopedia write-up - most favorable
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Pi...
http://www.americancatholic.org/featu...
http://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/po...
http://saintpiusxnh.org/biography-of-...
http://www.shc.edu/theolibrary/resour...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/world...
http://www.ccjr.us/dialogika-resource...
http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/...
http://www.novusordowatch.org/wire/po... (most certainly the most opposite to the Catholic Encyclopedia)
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lcc...
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lcc...

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUsuD...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlgCZ...

Memories of Pope Pius X by Cardinal Merry Del Val by Cardinal Merry Del Val
(no photo)


message 39: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 01, 2015 09:15PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Cast of Characters - Pope Pius XI - Achille Ratti - (1857 - 1939) - was Pope from February 6, 1922 - 1939

The son of a silk factory supervisor from a small town North of Milan, Ratti decided as a child to become a priest. Appointed professor at Milan's Grand Seminary at age twenty-five, he soon took a position at Milan's famous Ambrosiana Library, ultimately becoming its director. In 1914, Ratti was appointed prefect of the Vatican library, a position he assumed would be his last. But in 1918, Benedict XV unexpectedly chose him to be his envoy to Poland, where he experienced the invasion of the Red Army in the wake of the Russian Revolution and developed a lifelong loathing of Communism. Recalled to Rome in 1921, he was appointed cardinal and archbishop of Milan. He had barely taken his new office when following Benedict's death, his fellow cardinals elected him Pope on the fourteenth ballot in February 1922.





It is with Pope Pius XI that the Prologue and this book begins - and what he planned to do right before his death.

More:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Pi...
http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bis...
http://www.britannica.com/biography/P...
http://www.nytimes.com/learning/gener...
https://books.google.com/books?id=MHO...

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_D_p...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoJcv...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVeu8...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dllk...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpba6...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gz7sF...

Books:
Hitler, Mussolini, and the Vatican Pope Pius XI and the Speech That Was Never Made by Emma Fattorini by Emma Fattorini (no photo)
Pius XI and America Papers from the Conference, Brown University, Providence, 28-30 October 2010 by David I. Kertzer by David Kertzer (no photo)
On Christian Marriage - Casti Connubii by Pope Pius XI by Pope Pius XI Pope Pius XI


message 40: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 01, 2015 11:27PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Cast of Characters - Pope Pius XII - Eugenio Pacelli (1876 - 1958) - he was Pope from 1939 until 1958

The frail but highly intelligent child of a Roman family linked to the popes for generations, Pacelli joined the Vatican Secretary of State office shortly after his ordination. Sent in 1917 to be papal nuncio to Munich, and from there to Berlin, he lived in Germany for a dozen years. Pius XI called him to Rome in 1929 to become cardinal and in early 1930, to replace Pietro Gasparri as secretary of state. The cautious, soft spoken Pacelli and the authoritarian, temperamental Pius XI developed a curious relationship. On the Pope's death in 1939, he would be elected pope himself, taking the name Pius XII.








Pope Pius XII with the Harlem Globetrotters in the Swiss Guard Hall at Castel Gandolfo, Italy, August 1, 1952
Source: The Daily Mail

More:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Pi...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Pi...
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/...
http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/vat...
http://www.catholic.com/documents/how...
http://www.britannica.com/biography/P...
https://www.ewtn.com/library/answers/...
https://www.ewtn.com/library/issues/p...
http://www.wsj.com/articles/pope-fran...
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/res...
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new...
http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/st...
http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v13/v13n5p26_M...

Videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZTl5...
The following contains some graphic photography - please be forewarned - actual footage of the events unfolding for the Pope
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gJpz... - Part 1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWGfK... - Part 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IfvF... - Part 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDvTt... - Part 4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9io0B... - Part 5

Under the Roman Sky:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=840E6...

World Mourns Death of Pius XII
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sk5VY...

The US Army in Rome - 1944 - audience with Pope
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hGCp...

Books:
Hitler's Pope by John Cornwell by John Cornwell (no photo) - possibly not fair to the Pope - Pope Francis will be opening up Pope Pius XII's files in order to get the truth out there

Pope Pius Xii And The Holocaust by John K. Roth by John K. Roth (no photo)
Eugenio (Pope Pius XII) True Hero of the Holocaust by M.L.T. Brown by M.L.T. Brown (no photo)
Pope Pius XII Architect for Peace by Margherita Marchione by Margherita Marchione (no photo)
The Lonely Cold War of Pope Pius XII The Roman Catholic Church and the Division of Europe, 1943-1950 by Peter C. Kent by Peter C. Kent (no photo)
Consensus and Controversy Defending Pope Pius XII by Margherita Marchione by Margherita Marchione (no photo)
Did Pope Pius XII Help the Jews? by Margherita Marchione by Margherita Marchione (no photo)
Man of Peace Pope Pius XII by Margherita Marchione by Margherita Marchione (no photo)
Soldier of Christ The Life of Pope Pius XII by Robert A. Ventresca by Robert A. Ventresca (no photo)


Helga Cohen (hcohen) | 591 comments I just got this book today and am starting to read it. So far the discussion is interesting and the book is interesting.


message 42: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
I am glad Helga that you are enjoying it. I look forward to reading your posts.


message 43: by Michele (last edited Sep 01, 2015 02:17PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Michele (micheleevansito) | 1044 comments Just got the book and got though chapter one.

Comment on Chapter One.

(view spoiler)


Fausto Betances Chapter One
(view spoiler)


message 45: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Michele that is a possibility - there were a lot of strange things going on.


message 46: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 01, 2015 02:38PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Response to Fausto -

Chapter One
(view spoiler)


message 47: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
All remember this is the reading for this week:

Table of Contents

Maps xi
Cast of Characters xvii
List of Publications and Organizations xxv

PROLOGUE: ROME, 1939 - xxix - Week of August 31st, 2015 - WEEK ONE

Part One

THE POPE AND THE DICTATOR

1. A New Pope 3 - Week of August 31st, 2015 - WEEK ONE

And for next week - this is the reading -

2. The March on Rome 19 - Week of September 7, 2015 - WEEK TWO
3. The Fatal Embrace 39 - Week of September 7, 2015 - WEEK TWO


message 48: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Another video on MSNBC - Morning Joe with the author on this book

http://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watc...


message 49: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 02, 2015 06:29AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Topics for Discussion - The state of Italy, Socialists and Fascists, the two Popes

Generally speaking - Italy was having a rough time when Pope Pius XI died and Pope Pius XII was elected (I cannot think of a worse time to be Pope)

a) Revolution or a civil war could erupt at any time
b) And it could be sparked by either the Socialists or the Fascists
c) The Great War had not united the Italians
d) Over half a million Italians had died during the Great War
e) There were few jobs
f) There were strikes by those who had them
g) The Fascists were trying to create dissatisfaction or capitalize on dissatisfaction among the war veterans
h) The Fascists like Mussolini hated the Church and priests
I) Union Halls were being burned down
j) Socialist leaders and others not deemed friendly to the Fascists had castor oil poured down their throats or worse
k) Both the Fascists and the Socialists took aim at the Italian Catholic political party
l) Socialism had been condemned by the church and the king had been previously excommunicated from the Church
m) The Nazis and Mussolini were already on the horizon
n) World War II was looming and the Holocaust was right around the corner with all of its horrors and crimes against humanity

Let us discuss generally the state of Italy at that time and its history because all of this is relevant to this book and what Pope Pius XI and then Pope Pius XII dealt with. Especially Pope Pius XII was dealt a very bad hand.

Please feel free to jump in and discuss the state of affairs which these Popes had to face generally speaking and the state of Italy and its governing body. Since this is a general history topic of discussion - we do not have to place this discussion in the spoiler quotes. However if your response has details from the book - make sure to add the Chapter number and use the spoiler html.


message 50: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 02, 2015 07:58AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Topics for Discussion: - Fascism, Mussolini, Nationalism

Sal Khan on Khan Academy has a few learning videos which are short and quite informative about Benito Mussolini and Fascism and I would advise folks reading The Pope and Mussolini to become familiar with them and watch them - I think it will help tremendously in understanding what Fascism was and what it was not as well as what Nationalism is about a little better. Khan also gives a progression timeline which is very helpful.

Video One - Introduction - Fascism and Mussolini -https://www.khanacademy.org/humanitie...

Video Two - Mussolini becomes Prime Minister -
https://www.khanacademy.org/humanitie...

Video Three - Mussolini becomes absolute dictator (Il Duce) -
https://www.khanacademy.org/humanitie...

Video Four - Mussolini aligns with Hitler -
https://www.khanacademy.org/humanitie...

Questions on Fascism and Mussolini/Recap -
https://www.khanacademy.org/humanitie...

Fascist regimes, typified by that of Mussolini's Fascist Party, are aggressively nationalistic. They also tend to be anti-communist (and thus are against ideas of class warfare). Even though Fascist regimes tend to be more associated with the extreme right, they believe that economic interests need to be subordinate to a dominant government (definitely not limited government). This strong government is often ruled by an absolute dictator (like Mussolini or Hitler).

Source for all of the above: Khan Academy

Symbol of Fascism - in the Fascist flag - but actually a symbol of ancient Roman times and power which means strength through unity - (bundle of rods with axe)



a) This is a bundle of rods called a "fascio" in Italian and "fasces" in Latin and dates to even pre-Roman times to represent authority (it was NOT a negative sign of aggression).

b) The figurative term "Fasci" as a group or league comes from this idea of a bundle, it symbolized "strength through unity."

c) The Nazis are considered to be an example of a fascist movement, but they didn't consider themselves fascist - nor did they ever use this symbol.

The symbol of the bundle of rods (fasces) or fascio in Italian is used by many organizations and countries including the United States and does not have anything to do with Mussolini or the Fascist movement nor does it have anything to do with aggression - it's original meaning is "strength through unity".

It is used everywhere - (you just probably did not notice it)





Please feel free to discuss Benito Mussolini, Italy, or Fascism and the impact upon the Popes of this period and the Catholic Church - as it relates to our discussion and book. We are here to discuss simply historical events and people and we do NOT agree with their actions or the outcomes of their actions. Let me know what you think about the Khan videos and any thoughts or ideas that came out of those videos or books that you have read that you want to discuss here.

Source: some of the above from Khan Academy


« previous 1 3 4
back to top