Der erste Stellvertreter Pius XI. und der geheime Pakt mit dem Faschismus

by David I. Kertzer

Other authorsMartin Richter (Translator), Hubert Wolf (Foreword)
Ebook, 2016

Status

Available

Call number

NQ 4005 K41

Collection

Publication

Darmstadt Theiss 2016

Description

History. Religion & Spirituality. Nonfiction. HTML:PULITZER PRIZE WINNER  ā?¢ NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE From National Book Award finalist David I. Kertzer comes the gripping story of Pope Pius XIā??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 Mussoliniā??s spies inside the highest levels of the Church, will forever change our understanding of the Vaticanā??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 ā??Il Duceā? 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. (ā??We have many interests to protect,ā? 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 Mussoliniā??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 popeā??s demands that the police enforce Catholic morality. Yet in the last years of his lifeā??as the Italian dictator grew ever closer to Hitlerā??the pontiffā??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 Mussoliniā??s anti-Semitic racial laws before it was too late. Horrified by the threat to the Church-Fascist alliance, the Vaticanā??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, Piusā??s personal emissary to the dictator, a wily anti-Semite known as Mussoliniā??s Rasputin; Victor Emmanuel III, the king of Italy, an object of widespread derision who lacked the statureā??literally and figurativelyā??to stand up to the domineering Duce; and Cardinal Secretary of State Eugenio Pacelli, whose political skills and ambition made him Mussoliniā??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 XIā??s papacy, the full story of the Popeā??s complex relationship with his Fascist partner can finally be told. Vivid, dramatic, with surprises at every turn, The Pope and Mussoli… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member etxgardener
This will be a tough book for Catholics to read - the account of the story of two men, not as dissimilar are one may think, who both came to power in 1922. One man was a devout churchman while the other was a thuggish and womanizing bully who cared little for the sensibilities of the church.
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However, Pope Pius XI and Mussolini had many things in common: a love of authoritarian rule, a disrespect for parliamentary democracy and an almost pathological fear of communism. Both used the other to consolidate their power culminating in the Vatican-Italian Lateral Accords of 1929 which established the Roman Catholic Church as the only religion of the state, extended religious instruction into all state elementary and secondary schools and effectively muzzled the Catholic Action organization and the Partito Populare Italiano (PPI or Popular Party) from any opposition to Mussolini's rule.

Contrary to the popular notion that the Church opposed fascism, this meticulously researched book (seven years of research in the newly opened Vatican Archives of the period) shows how the Pope played a crucial role in making Mussolini's dictatorship possible by exchanging his supports of the regime for restored privileges of the Church in Italian society. As for fighting the anti-semitism of the Axis powers, that, too is proven to be a myth.Only toward the end of his life, did the Pope come to regret his pact with the Devil, and then only because it infringed on yet another prerogative of the Church.

Pius XI died in 1939. His successor was Eugenio Pacelli (Pius XII) who had been Pius XI's Secretary of State and a staunch defender of Mussolini's polices. As the Vatican opens its archives to his reign, one can anticipate an even more sordid tale to see the light of day.
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LibraryThing member Alex1952
This is a fantastic, well written and well researched book. Although many would have suspected the role of the church during Mussoliniā€™s years, this book contains new evidence that were obtained after the 2006 opening of the Vatican archives and demolishes the "hero" narrative that the church had
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tried to build vis-a-vis its role during those years.

The title (The Pope...) is a bit confusing because there are two popes: Pius XI, who came to the throne of St. Peter in 1922 and Pius XII who became pope in 1939. Pius XI was the one who helped Mussolini not only to obtain power but also to sustain it once a dictator, with the help pf Pius XII who was his secretary of state at the time. Pius XII, who was crowned in 1939 by a pederast cardinal on the balcony of St Peter's basilica, was a lot easier on fascists and Nazis than Pius XI and he was the subject of another book called ā€œHitlerā€™s Popeā€, that came out a couple of years ago.
This is a fascinating story of hypocrisy, bigotry and racism and everyone should read.
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LibraryThing member Alex1952
This is a fantastic, well written and well researched book. Although many would have suspected the role of the church during Mussoliniā€™s years, this book contains new evidence that were obtained after the 2006 opening of the Vatican archives and demolishes the "hero" narrative that the church had
Show More
tried to build vis-a-vis its role during those years.

The title (The Pope...) is a bit confusing because there are two popes: Pius XI, who came to the throne of St. Peter in 1922 and Pius XII who became pope in 1939. Pius XI was the one who helped Mussolini not only to obtain power but also to sustain it once a dictator, with the help pf Pius XII who was his secretary of state at the time. Pius XII, who was crowned in 1939 by a pederast cardinal on the balcony of St Peter's basilica, was a lot easier on fascists and Nazis than Pius XI and he was the subject of another book called ā€œHitlerā€™s Popeā€, that came out a couple of years ago.
This is a fascinating story of hypocrisy, bigotry and racism and everyone should read.
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LibraryThing member DinadansFriend
This is the second book I have read that is centred on the co-operation between the Fascist regimes and the Papacy, and it does dwell on the theme of the likeness of the totalitarian regimes, Spain, Italy, Germany and Catholicism. If you are looking for reasons to dislike the present drive to grant
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Pius XII sainthood, the evidence against his sainthood is easily seen here. Along with the Cornwell book on Pius XII, Mr. Kertzer has added to the evidence of the overall revisionist tendency of Vatican history. Though several priests and nuns resisted the Fascist tide, the overall approach of the European church as well as that of South America was pro-fascist and this should be understood by modern Catholics.
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LibraryThing member UberButter
The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe by David I. Kertzer
598 pages

ā˜…ā˜…ā˜…

This book is about Mussolini and Pope Pius XI, in case the title didnā€™t give that away to you. The came into power in Italy at the same time and boy would those two butt
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heads over the next several years. And well, thatā€™s pretty much the book in nutshell.

This is one of those books that won all kinds of awards and acclaim for being amazing. I found it to be alright. Maybe too many years of critical thinking as a history major long ago or reading too many history books have left me jaded. Maybe itā€™s because the only time Iā€™d get to this book was at the crack of ā€œwhy am I still awakeā€ hour so I wasnā€™t always 100% coherent. Either way, this book seemed to drag on which sucked because I was really looking forward to those one. Interesting enough people and well researched, I think I just expected too much going into this.
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LibraryThing member dickmanikowski
I was aware that there had been some ugly cooperation between the Vatican and Mussolini's Fascist regime leading up to and during World War II. This book reveals the details that have become accessible since the opening of the Vatican archives covering that period.
Granted, the Roman Catholic Church
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had been stripped of nearly all of its land in Italy when the Kingdom of Italy was founded in 1870. The Papal States were folded into the new kingdom, leaving only the 110 acres that constitute Vatican City. A succession of popes feared that even that property would be seized.
So when Benito Mussolini rose to power, Pius XI and his advisors saw an opportunity. The previous government had done its best to strip the Church of its official ties to the state, but the Italian population was still overwhelmingly Catholic. The Vatican made a deal with the Fascist leader. Not only wouldn't they oppose him or his party (Pius was distrustful of democracy, feeling that a state was better run by a strong leader), they would tacitly endorse him. In return, Mussolini pushed through new laws favored by the Church. Crucifixes went back up in public schools, and religion classes were added to their curriculum. The government provided a stipend to Italian clergy. Measures were put in place restricting evangelizing by Protestants.
Pius was deeply concerned about the threats of Socialism and Communism. Both, he (and many of the Curia at that time) saw those movements as the evil efforts of an international alliance between Jews and Freemasons. Who better to combat those evils than the imperial Mussolini?
Over time, however, the political landscape changed. Mussolini and his cohorts became enthralled with Hitler and the Nazi party that had taken over Germany and was encroaching on its neighbors. Unlike Mussolini, Hitler was unwilling to make peace with the Church. The Nazis arrested thousands of German priests and nuns, accusing them of foul sexual sins and endangering the morals of German youth.
Then the Nazis began disenfranchising Jewish Germans. And Mussolini followed suit.
Eventually, Pius XI saw how bad things had gotten. He tried to rein in Mussolini, but his advisers and intermediaries worked behind his back to soften the tone of his criticism.
At the very end, the Pope wrote up a document utterly condemning the racist excesses of both the Fascists and the Nazis. He called all the Italian bishops to the Vatican, where he planned to read the document to them and to circulate it to priests across the nation. Except that he died the day before the planned announcement. (No foul play has been suggested; he was old and had been very sick for a long time.)
His Secretary of State, Cardinal Pacelli, succeeded him to become Pius XII. All copies of the document were destroyed, as was the text of the speech Pius XI had planned to deliver. An encyclical on the topic (whose authors had managed to delay for many months) was never completed.
It's a sad, sad story.
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LibraryThing member muddyboy
As a history teacher I am always looking for a book that will broaden my understanding. This well researched and written book fills what always was unclear to me which was the uneasy relationship between the Catholic Church and Fascism in Italy (and later with Hitler in Germany) in the period prior
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to and including World War 2. The principle focus is Pope Pius XI who at first embraces Mussolini as they make a mutual beneficial agreement. Later things sour when Mussolini embraces more racist policies that conflicts with the Pope's beliefs This is a very important book and is an essential read to anyone interested in this critical era.
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LibraryThing member addunn3
The author documents the relations of Pius XI and Mussolini in the years preceding WWII. Mussolini gave the Church control of much of the lives of Italians and the Church gave Mussolini government legitimacy as it stepped closer to Hitler, de-citizened Jews, and trampled human rights, as well as
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humans. It will give you some new perspectives on Catholicism, Mussolini, how WWII came about, and why Jews were so easily singled out as the target of hate.
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LibraryThing member DLMorrese
Emotional, impulsive, vindictive, deceptive, flexible in his convictions, an authoritarian, and a womanizer, Mussolini led the Fascists in Italy. Despite his antics, he was apparently quite popular. "What he understood, in a way that none of his predecessors had, was that people were ruled most of
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all by emotion, and that their reality had less to do with the external world than with the symbolic one he could fashion for them." (pg. 62)
Pope Pius XI led the Catholics. There was some similarity in their personalities and considerable overlap in their constituencies. Both held considerable distaste for liberalism, personal freedom, democracy, communism, and (of course) Jews. It would be an exaggeration to call them allies, but they supported one another, and each hoped to use the other for their own ends. This exhaustively researched history relates the conflict and cooperation between these two men and the fascinating story of their time and place in history. It's and excellent read. I recommend it.
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LibraryThing member rivkat
The Pope helped Mussolini get and keep power in return for making Catholicism mandatory in Italy, paving the way for Hitlerā€™s rise. He wasnā€™t an aggressive anti-Semite, but did nothing to fight the anti-Semitism in the Catholic church, some of whose official publications in this period sound
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like they came straight from Goebbels. Ultimately, he seems to have felt a little bad about what he enabled, but not awfully bad (except perhaps for the fate of converted Jews who married Catholics, whose marriages he wouldā€™ve strongly preferred to recognize in contravention of the racial measures enacted under Nazi pressure).
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Language

Original language

English

Original publication date

2015

ISBN

3806233829 / 9783806233827
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