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David I. Kertzer Ö 7 Summary

Till a king as well as a spiritual leader welcomed by the citizens of the Papal States who hoped he might bring in modern reforms such as a constitutional government after the repressive rule of Pope Gregory XVI In the first year of his rule Pius IX tried to please his subjects with incremental changes while holding onto absolute authority he believed was The tumultuous life of Pope Pius IX Here is an opportunity to study the life of Pope Pius IX and take a journey through the history of Roman Catholic Church that paved the way for modern Europe Following the death of Pope Gregory XVI 1831 46 the political climate within Italy was turning its tide against Catholic Church s autocracy The church was steeped in a factional division between conservatives and liberals The conservatives favored the hardline stances and papal absolutism of the previous pontificate while liberals supported reforms In this book author David Kertzer chronicles the tumultuous life of Pope Pius IX and the fate of Catholic Church in progressive Europe Majority of the inhabitants of Papal states during this time did not like the church s abuses Majority of them wanted to live free from its clutches Jews found themselves in the confines of poverty abuse and antisemitism in the slums of Rome Life for them was beyond unbearable Worst of all was that they lived in fear that their children may be taken from them forcibly baptized under Roman Laws and they would be raised as a Catholics During earlier years the election of Pope Pius IX created much enthusiasm in Europe But soon it faded as French revolution dominated the continent s political arena The separation of church and state was becoming increasingly popular Conseuently Pope s influence on people was decreasing But Pope Pius did not shirk he wanted control within Europe and at the same time he expected Roman Catholics to have freedom in Russia and the Ottoman Empire He also fought against anti Catholic sentiments in Italy and Germany When Pope s life was threatened and became dangerous he was guarded in seclusion by French forces But after the French defeat in the Franco Prussian War 1870 1871 the Papal States lost its protector in Emperor Napoleon III and came under control Italian rulers But until this time Pope Pius IX was a Sovereign Ruler of the Papal States and expected to be treated as a King During his reign the Pontiff made full use of his spiritual arsenal and warned that Catholics must not believe in freedom of religion or freedom of speech or freedom press He summoned the world s bishops and cardinals and addressing the conference he condemned the godless forces that emerged from French revolution He proclaimed that he alone would find spiritual solutions for people Many modern day Christian conservatives blame the hippie culture and X generation for turning away from God Pope Pius IX felt the same way during his leadership But in its absolutism the separation of church and state is less meaningful as religions like Islam is making inroads and introducing its political ideology through teachings of its books and Sharia Laws The state of affairs in the Middle East and other Islamic countries demonstrate how clergy have cleverly taken control of its masses by intimidating their governments

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The Pope Who Would Be King

Divinely ordained But as the revolutionary spirit of 1848 swept through Europe the Pope found he could not have it both ways By the end of his rule the Papacy and Europe had completely transformed In The Pope Who Would Be King David Kertzer tells the story of the revolution that spelled the end of the papacy as an earthly rule and the birth of modern Europ I have a friend who is militantly anti Catholic who once observed how odd he found it that every single Pope since Pius IX has either been canonized or is in the pipeline for it The only exceptions are the Benedicts one of whom isn t dead Benedict XV s lack of promotion is odd since he was arguably both holy and a good steward of the papal throneBut I digress It is certainly true that Popes have been less exciting in the post Pio Nono reigns To say nothing of less political which may be the direct result of the loss of the Papal States Kertzer s well written book focuses upon the beginning of the divestiture of the papal patrimony ie the removal of the Pope to Gaeta in the face of Roman uprisings during the troubles of 1848 An actual republic was declared and Pius IX invited the Catholic powers of Europe France Austria Spain and the Bourbon Kingdom of Naples to suppress it and restore him to his secular authority The republicans were perfectly happy to have the Pope reside in Rome and continue his role as spiritual leader of the Roman Church but Pius wasn t interested His early liberalism after his election in 1846 seems to have been a misguided attempt to curry favor with the citizens of the Papal States rather than any deep seated convictions Once it became apparent that the genie of democracy was out of the bottle the Pope fled the Eternal City The damndest people keep showing up in this story Alexis de Tocueville yes that guy actually winds up being the French Foreign Minister who sends troops against the Roman Republic Rome is bombarded and people die although the French wring their hands a bit over the prospect of damaging the center of Western civilization Pius sits it all out in Gaeta whining non stop about how unfair his people are being to him The net result is to turn a not very bright man into a hardened tyrant no other real word will do when he is restored The Pope has people guillotined In the 1850s Which is not something I knew before Kertzer bends over backwards to be personally kind about Pius character flaws but a modern pontiff who has people beheaded should be disualified for sainthood Apparently not he was declared Venerable in 1985 and Blessed in 2000 by St Pope John Paul II During the previous century three other attempts to advance his cause had failedThe book is a good read Kertzer writes in such a way that one can keep track of the characters and clearly understand what the major players considered to be at stake during Pius early regnal years As for the emergence of Modern Europe subtitle it is less effective That probably had to do with the revolutions that swept the Austrian Empire and the emerging nationalisms in Italy Germany Hungary and the Russian Empire But Pius rejection of the Modern certainly didn t help the cause of the ancien regimeRecommended

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The Pulitzer winning author of The Pope and Mussolini takes on a central untold story of the Papacy the revolution that stripped the Pope of political power and signaled the birth of modern EuropeThe longest reigning pope Pope Pius IX also oversaw one of the greatest periods of tumult and transition in Church history When Pius IX was elected the pope was s Netgalley 28Many thanks to David Kertzer Random House and Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased reviewI knew nothing about this period in history and I m Catholic so now I feel guilty which isn t really anything new since I m Catholic This took place in Italy around the same time as the first World s Fair Indian territory is evacuated the Republican Party is founded and the Dred Scott case is decided It was major upheaval in the country which was really tiny states at that time with the Papal States encompassing Rome through the middle Lots of rebellion lots of dead Pope took off in hiding concerned for his safety because everyone is being killed Basically the people want a republic he wants a papal monarchy The people want a Constitution he wants government by the church I guess because I m an American I found this absolutely absurd I ve never known the Pope as a governmental leader I really couldn t blame the Roman population at all except for all of the violence There was so much death Reading this book was uite the educational experience for me I learned something about my religion as well as something about history


10 thoughts on “The Pope Who Would Be King

  1. says:

    Netgalley #28Many thanks to David Kertzer Random House and Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased reviewI knew nothing about this period in history and I'm Catholic so now I feel guilty which isn't really anything new since I'm Catholic This took place in Italy around the same tim

  2. says:

    The Pope who would be King is tremendously entertaining and highly informative for a reader possessing a modest knowledge of the history of Italian Unification The subject is the Roman Republic which was proclaimed on February 9 1849 and suppressed by the French Army on July 2 1849 The goal of the author is to show how the

  3. says:

    This is a well researched well written and unexpectedly gripping account of the reign of Pius IX the last pope to govern central Italy as a secular and absolute monarch The narrative mostly focuses on the first tumultuous years of his papacy from his election in 1846 through his well meaning beginnings amid an

  4. says:

    The tumultuous life of Pope Pius IX Here is an opportunity to study the life of Pope Pius IX and take a journey through the history of Roman Catholic Church that paved the way for modern Europe Following the death of Pope Gregory XVI 1831–46 the political climate within Italy was turning its tide against Catholic Church’s autocracy The church was steeped in a factional division between conservatives and lib

  5. says:

    Through the description of the early years of Pope Pius IX’s administration the general reader comes to understand the passions people and events that lead to the unification of Italy David Kertzer makes the complex issues easy for the lay reader to understandPius IX was an unlikely candidate to emerge as Pope from the 1846 conclave He had

  6. says:

    This is a very fine piece of tradional narrative history writing Clearly a huge amount of research has gone into it but Kertzer does the job of sifting it for us and putting it in narrative form If there is any problem it's

  7. says:

    I have a friend who is militantly anti Catholic who once observed how odd he found it that every single Pope since Pius IX has either been canonized or is in the pipeline for it The only exceptions are the Benedicts one of whom isn

  8. says:

    forgetting the maxim that one must never have for enemies either women or priests

  9. says:

    In the 100 pages of the book that I could force myself to read Pius IX is portrayed as an unimaginative and unskilled leader with no f

  10. says:

    The title of this book suggests some of the historical significance of Pope Pius IX who occupied the papacy in the middle of the 19th century We think of the pope as occupying the tiny space of the Vatican City in Rome and being cautious about involvement in the political affairs of the world but a century and a half ago the papacy was still a medieval one with huge investments in land and possessions It didn't divest itself of these and

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