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The History of the Popes, From the Close of…
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The History of the Popes, From the Close of the Middle Ages, Volume XXXIII

by Ludwig Pastor, Ernest Graf (Editor)

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1552 The History of the Popes (Volume XXXIII) From the German of the Late Ludwig, Freiherr von Pastor translated by Dom Ernest Graf, O.S.B. (read 26 Feb 1980) From September 1959 to August 1960 I read the first 32 volumes of Pastor's History of the Popes, to my immense profit and enjoyment. I have long wanted to complete the reading of the remaining eight volumes, and have now finished Volume 33. I only wish I had been keeping a record of my reading of those first 32 volumes, since my volume by volume comments would have been very valuable to me for refreshing my memory of those often-remembered readings. Volume 33 deals with the pontificate of Clement XI, who was born Gian Francesco Albani on July 22, 1649, at Urbino, was elected Pope on 23 Nov 1700 (after having been created Cardinal on 13 Feb 1690 and ordained priest in September 1700) and died 19 March 1721. He really did not have a successful pontificate and seems to have been hesitant and unsure of himself. The volume is rather haphazard in its chronology, but not too bad--since it follows up each major matter in turn. In its first four chapters it takes up the struggles with the major European powers and with the Turks. The first portion of Clement XI's reign of course was taken up with the War of the Spanish Succession, and Clement XI could not seem to do anything right. After that war ended Clement XI did a lot to trying to fight the Turks, with some success. The next chapter (of 188 pages) takes up the struggle with Jansenism and is really quite interesting even though it is a complex and rather tiring matter. The book is a little light on explaining the contentions of the parties. I would like to read the bull Unigenitus, just to see how it reads. The next Chapter (6) is the usual general one: Clement XI created 70 Cardinals and the chapter also tells of missionary encouragement. Chapter VII takes up the Chinese and Malabar Rites issues, and is enough to make one weep. If only Rome had been smarter, and refrained from in effect destroying the mission effort in China, would the subsequent history of the world have been different? Chapter VIII deals with the floods and earthquakes in Rome in the early years of Clement's pontificate, and of course his work for Churches in Rome. Two visits by me to Rome since I read the first 32 volumes have meant I read about these more carefully. I wish I could live in Rome and read these as a guidebook. ( )
  Schmerguls | Dec 24, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ludwig Pastorprimary authorall editionscalculated
Graf, ErnestEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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