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Pio Nono; a study in European politics and…

Pio Nono; a study in European politics and religion in the nineteenth…

by E. E. Y. Hales

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Pope Pius IX (Pio Nono) was a man who witnessed and was forced to reckon with some of the most important changes in modern European history. As a young priest, Pio Nono’s papal predecessors fought with the growing importance of liberal thought - culminating as it were in the French Revolution, anti-clerical movements, and a emboldened Gallican, which is to say increasingly national French church.

By the time of Pio Nono’s papacy, the issue of Italian Risorgimento continued these liberal progressions thus pitting Pius IX against some of the liberal ideas he may have held as a young man. In response to the new world and in keeping with his position as the head of the Holy See (being the Universal Catholic Church), Pius IX issued his famous Syllabus of Errors which outlined a contextual set of errors which, though derided, carry temporal (in both meanings of the word) significance. Pius IX is the epitome of a post-Tridentine pope and his solidification the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception and his later canonizing of Our Lady of Guadalupe flavor his papacy throughout – including his Dogma of Papal Infallibility.

Hales’ book deftly, concisely, and authoritatively paints a sympathetic (without succumbing to hagiography) portrait of one of the most influential and perhaps misunderstood Popes of the modern era. Additionally, Hales handles the greater European context with skill and gives students of 19th-century European history a greater context for social and religious paradigm shifts than many survey texts give. ( )
  jordsly | Sep 24, 2015 |
This was a book on a subject of great interest to me, and I enjoyed it much. ( )
  Schmerguls | Jun 12, 2013 |
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