The Last Inquisition of the Papal States
and the Last Pope-King
The Last Inquisition took place in the years 1823-1846. It was
not on the same scale as the previous Inquisitions simply because this
was limited to the Papal States and the population itself limited the
carnage. However the brutality of it and the fear it engendered in the
populace was to bring to an end the Holy Roman Empire. In the end the
Beast that had been created by the democratic processes set in motion
in Europe was to turn on and reject the whore of the Holy Roman System
The Story of the Inquisition and the end of the Holy Roman Empire
under the Pope Kings was told most eloquently by the late Malachi
Martin, who had been a Jesuit Priest and perhaps the most famous Roman
Catholic historian and writer of the late twentieth century. This story
comes from the work Decline and Fall of the Roman Church, published
twice, the latest being Secker and Warburg, London, 1982. It is published
here in the public interest and for translation. It is recommended that
the book be purchased and read in its entirety for the important information
Comments on Malachi Martin's The Last
[Martin deals with the end of the structure
commencing from the events of August 1870 which saw the total removal
of power of Pius IX. The end of the Inquisition had ceased in 1846 with
the death of his predecessor Gregory XVI. This pope Pius IX was to lose
the temporal power of the Roman Church but it was not in 1870 that the
end of the persecutions came for the people of Rome and the Papal States
but in 1850 with the plebiscite we see Martin mention below. The politico-military
manipulations did not cease finally until 1870 but the real end of the
Holy Roman Empire was in 1850 exactly 1260 years after it had begun in
590 under Gregory I. Perhaps the last gasp of this pope between 1850 -1870
were to make up for the interference in the active power of the Roman
Church and the Holy Roman Empire after the French Revolution had
limited its activities and Napoleon had disbanded it in 1806. It had only
been reconstituted in 1815 as a German Confederation under Austrian presidency.
These eleven missing years might have been given back tokenism over this
later period. We will see the case develop during Martins comments here
for the rise of the church sponsorship and involvement with the fascists
due to the social conditions and socialist movements in Europe. When Fascism
failed because it was so dangerous to the very fabric of society itself
and the British Commonwealth and the United States of America virtually
alone saved the freedom of Europe and the entire world we see the Roman
Church political system involve itself in the cold war situation and assist
to bring down the Soviet Union in this still ongoing power struggle. In
order for Europe to raise this fascist beast again it had to work to undermine
the British Commonwealth and when ready it will rise again to destroy
the English speaking world and establish this horror once again. This
section is useful in understanding the end of the prophesied time times
and half a time or 1260 years of the church in the wilderness and the
ongoing horror of the mindset that saw nothing wrong with establishing
the Inquisition and then supporting the fascists and the entire process
of extermination of categories of humans it saw as opposing its power
as a temporal kingdom. We se here in this chapter of Martin's work the
mindset that simply moved from Inquisition to Holocaust in the space of
a few decades and will move to that position again as soon as temporal
power allows it to do so.]
On the morning of August 19, 1870, seventy-year-old
Pope Pius IX gets up two hours earlier than usual in his Vatican apartments.
The sun is barely above the horizon, reddening and gilding the blue of
a cloudless sky. His valet throws open the central window. Rome is still
asleep. Across the way, Pius can see the papal flag fluttering over the
Quirinal Palace. In between and all around, the steady sunlight, silent
and peaceful, is creating a pastel of brown, ochre, cream, gray, white,
and maroon, as walls, tiles, roofs, marble monuments reflect the new day's
This day and tomorrow are going to be very busy
days for him. And he knows exactly what is going to happen. Today and
tomorrow, as sovereign pontiff, ruler of the papal states, regent of all
princes and powers and governments on earth, he is going to enact a drama
of political suicide. In two acts. This Monday will witness the first
Pius IX and his chief advisor, Leonardo Cardinal
Antonelli, are dominated and directed by that rugged, granite-hard, weather-beaten
Roman memory of an authority that has outlived all its enemies. But both
Pius and Antonelli realize what is happening: this day will witness the
last act of Pius as pope-king. Since the first pope-king, Leo in the fifth
century, there have been 210 pope-kings. After more than 1,420 years of
successful survival, who better than they could know that their long reign
is about to end? Besides, this last of the pope-kings has already played
his trump card. The world at large will take at least one hundred years,
perhaps two, perhaps more, to understand the significance of that
trump. Pius together with 535 bishops from all over the world played that
card one year and one month ago, on July 18, 1869.
Before this century, whenever an external and
secular power threatened the papacy, popes regularly had recourse to some
other secular power as the right arm of their defense - Silvester I in
the fourth century, Leo III in the eighth century, Gregory VII in the
eleventh century, Clement VII in the sixteenth century. They sought help
from this world below. Now, in this supreme hour, in 1869, there was no
more help from any secular quarter, no temporal power to turn to. All
the major powers and many lesser powers of Pius's day have decided the
papacy must go. The authoritative London Times has already written
its lugubrious obit in which it will shed crocodile tears over "the
final passing of this venerable institution." Pius knows this. Antonelli
knows it. Everybody knows it.
So Pius and his bishops sought help from above.
If the secular world would strip the papacy of its temporal power as a
prelude to suppressing it totally, then the papacy would reach for a power
the secular world could never touch. The power of the spirit. The power
Jesus guaranteed to Peter the Apostle. On that July 18, 1869, the bishops
declared that the pope was infallible and that he was the titular head
of all and any Christianity that might exist on the face of this earth-what
Catholics call the pope's primacy. Infallibility and primacy: the trump
Papal infallibility means that a pope, when teaching
matters of faith and morals for all the faithful, cannot err and is to
be obeyed. Papal primacy means that no other bishop in all Christianity
and no gathering of bishops or theologians-much less of layfolk-can supersede
or set aside the teaching authority and jurisdiction of a pope.
No one should forget in what frame of mind and
with what intention Pius and his bishops chose this particular moment
to define papal infallibility and papal primacy. Cardinal Manning of.
England, leading light at the First Vatican Council, clearly expressed
that frame of mind and that intention.
"European powers," Manning wrote, "are
dissolving the temporal power of the Vicar of Christ . . . because they
are no longer Christian ... . . and, in so doing, they are striking out
the keystone of the arch which hangs over their
own heads. This done, the natural society of the world will still subsist,
but the Christian world will be no more."
As to that intention, it was clear. The peace
of Europe is broken: never again, it may be, to be restored, till the
scourges of war have gone their circuits among the nations. . . . The
head of the Church, be he in Rome or in exile, free or in bondage, will
be all that the Vatican Council has defined: supreme in jurisdiction,
infallible in faith."
Now, on this August morning of 1870, with this
irrevocable step taken, Pius and his advisors are ready for what is to
follow. After his private Mass and a light breakfast, Pius is at his desk.
He puts the finishing touches on a speech, composes a letter to be sent
to all governments, reads some documents left for him the previous evening.
At 7:30 A.M., Antonelli enters Pius's study,
a sheaf of papers, some books, and the morning edition of Osservatore
Romano in his hand. Tall, bony, distinguished-looking, Cardinal Antonelli
has always refused, for personal reasons, to be ordained a priest. He
is a lay cardinal. Antonelli gives Pius a summary of all foreign dispatches
and telegrams and letters. Minor details such as the death of novelist
Charles Dickens, an announcement that Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet
would have a first Roman playing in the coming September-these Pius
It is the war between Prussia and France which
occupies him. The German armies are besieging Metz and Chalons. The French
armies are falling back everywhere. It looks like a Prussian victory before
the end of the year. All French troops are leaving Rome today. Finally,
the latest figures on foreign investments, the condition of Rome's municipal
financing, and of food supplies in the city are discussed. Pius and Antonelli
pore over the latest messages from Bleichröder. Bleichröder, Bismarck's
financial advisor, takes care of Vatican investments in one sector. Then
the two men turn to the day's program
"How many men have we?" Pius asks.
"Barely four thousand. Badly led. Badly
armed," is Antonelli's answer, and he adds: "General Kanzler
is a pessimist."
One dispatch informs them that General Raffaele
Cadorna, commander of the Italian national army, is advancing on Rome
with 60,000 troops One day's march from Rome's walls! They are going to
attack within thirty-six hours.
"Tell Kanzler to make only a show of resistance.
One breach of the walls, and we surrender." These are Pius's instructions.
Antonelli reads a last series of dispatches from
Austria, Russia, Spain, Portugal, England-reactions to what he had told
the assembled diplomatic corps in Rome two days ago, namely that their
governments had an obligation "to cooperate by their intervention
to reestablish his Holiness in his See and in the capital of his dominions
guaranteed by all the treaties which form the basis of European public
law." Now, all the answering dispatches are negative: no help, no
intervention. Pius is alone.
Antonelli pauses, then cautiously: "Should
we not read the king's letter again?" A shadow crosses Pius's face
as he remembers. In late July, King Victor Emmanuel of the new, utterly
new Italian republic, sent Count Ponza di San Martino to Pius with that
letter. "Acquiesce in the occupation of Rome. Your Holiness,"
the letter said. "Italians are one now, are a nation. Rome is their
capital." The letter went on to describe the conditions. A quid
pro quo: Pius and his successors would be confirmed as owners of the
Vatican, of the surrounding buildings and streets. The pope's summer residence
at Castel Gandolfo, and a narrow strip of land running down to the Adriatic
Sea would be theirs. The pope would receive cash indemnity for the loss
of land and property and an annual income of not less than 2 million
lire. Pius remembers the letter well and bitterly. "A
beggar's remnant" . . . "salaried servant of the state"
."make the Pope a penurious campesino (dirt-farmer)"
."our dignity and sovereignty" . . . "never" . . .
"never". . . . He again utters all the phrases with which
he assaulted Count Ponza. Then to Antonelli: "No! No!" He does
not need to read the letter again.
"Ebbene, Santitā (Antonelli's favorite
way of ending an unpleasant interlude), please glance at the translation
of Karl Marx."
Pius stares a moment, then puts his hand on one
of the books Antonelli had brought him. They had been over this ground
before. Secretly, Pius felt Antonelli may have been right all along. One
day in 1848, Antonelli had come to him with a document just published:
The Communist Manifesto, composed by this Karl Marx and a fellow-German,
"I fear, Your Holiness," Antonelli
had said, "I fear this is what is going to happen. The old order,
our order of things is finished. It may take one year. It may take one
hundred, two hundred. But I fear it is ended. All of it."
[The passing of the old order did indeed come
with the rise of the new orders of Europe and Russia under a social upheaval
with competing notions and ideologies. The Roman Church simply would not
adapt to the new situation. That was to take a series of disasters and
a failed Holocaust. Martin could have made much more here of the circumstances
that led to the church inspired struggles in Europe that were to a rise
in the twentieth century. He misses this opportunity again a little further
down in this chapter of his work. He could have then taken the real struggle
up to the present time and placed it under John Paul II and the murder
of John Paul I for his attempted dispersal of the patrimony of Constantine
and the wealth and structure of the church which had hamstrung the Roman
Church and finally destroyed it. He is aware of this problem and makes
much mention later in the book but avoids the Holocaust issue for his
own reasons. His last work may well have made a great impact on the final
controversies of the church and the European and Russo Asian powers. Perhaps
we will never know the real power of what it was he was to have published
and which the world may never know due to his death.]
Pius now looks at the cover of Das Kapital.
It is only Volume One. "Let's wait until the second one appears.
Then we can make a proper assessment of the whole thing." Pius turns
away and begins writing.
At 11 AM., Pope Pius is escorted to the Basilica
of St. John Lateran. He gets out of his carriage, kneels for a few moments
at the bottom of the Scala Sancta, a staircase of twenty-four steps. Christians
believe that these were the original steps up which Jesus climbed, all
bloodied from his scourging, to be judged by Pontius Pilate. They had
been brought to Rome in the fourth century.
Pius then commences to climb the staircase in
the traditional way of a penitent-on his knees, knee by knee, step by
step. At the top, after a few more moments of prayer in the basilica,
he is helped down to his carriage and returns to the Vatican. The crowds
are sullen. There are few cheers.
Time was in his first year as pope, in 1846,
that the crowds in Rome used to unharness the horses and themselves draw
his carriage in joy and triumph through the streets. And he had played
up to them: demolished the ghetto, expelled the Jesuits, granted a general
amnesty, allowed the people to publish a newspaper, permitted the first
railway in the papal states, allowed the mob's popular orator and leader,
Angelo Brunetti (whom the Romans wittily nicknamed Ciceruacchio because
when he opened his mouth to speak you thought Cicero was about to
speak divinely but he sounded just like a quacking duck), to harangue
him in the Trastevere district: and he even proclaimed a civil constitution.
The Fundamental Statute. But all to no purpose. They hate him now.
They want to belong to the newly born Italian nation. He, the pope who
owns them and Rome, has refused to cede. Hence their hate. Hence Cadorna's
army advancing on Rome to liberate it. The hate is on all the faces on
either side of his carriage as he proceeds home.
Beneath the Quirinal Palace is the last painful
stop before entering the Vatican courtyard. A small cluster of Italians
block the way. No weapons, of course. No tricolor flags. No violence.
Just silence. Those sullen reproachful faces. Each man's hand is raised
and pointing to the Quirinal steps. And in a flash their message is clear
to Pius and Antonelli "There," they are saying silently and
significantly, in their dreadful mime, "there, as Rossi went, so
you too." The silence is deafening.
Rossi was the last of the pope's prime ministers,
the only successful one after the failures of Bofondi, Antonelli, Ciocchi,
Monriani, Gallietti. Pius can recall how Rossi went: Rossi the aristocrat
with nerves of granite stepping out the main doors of the palace, casting
one sharp experienced eye down those steps at the knot of surly young
men leaning nonchalantly on their canes, each left hand inside each frock
coat holding something, all the eyes staring expressionlessly. Then, shoulders
squared, head up, hat in hand, Rossi stepping down dignifiedly, his lips
moving in death-prayers taught him by his mother fifty-three years before.
Halfway down, a sudden halt. A young man leans forward; as quick and sure
as the fangs of a serpent, the stiletto severs the carotid artery in Rossi's
neck. Rossi falling, tumbling, falling, leaving little pools of red blood,
glistening living blood. And, then, for the first time that low roar,
the soul of the mob as a beast, growling and threatening with one animal
beat. Pius had seen it all from the windows of his study above.
They drive his carriage past those steps at breakneck
speed back to the Vatican. Pius remains closeted, receives Antonelli's
reports on the approaching army, prays, composes letters of protest, paces
to and fro, finally goes to bed.
Act 2 of this last drama of the last pope-king
opens one month later on September 19. At 7 P.M., Antonelli comes with
two members of Pius's Court and Marcantonio Pacelli, the undersecretary
of state. "Holy Father, we think you should leave the city. We cannot
guarantee your safety. We must leave immediately. One hour more and all
exits are blocked."
"No!" Pius fairly shouts the word.
"You both know what happened the last time. We very nearly never
got back here again!"
On November 24, 1843, that year of revolutions,
the mob had taken over in Rome. Pius remembers how, a week after Rossi's
assassination, he put off his papal clothes, donned the garb of a stableman,
and fled with Marcantonio Pacelli and Cardinal Antonelli by night in the
open carriage of the Bavarian minister, Count de Spaur and his countess,
all the way to Naples, staying at Gaeta for nine months, then Pontici
for a few more months, while the Romans established a republic, declared
him deposed, desecrated the churches, killed priests and nuns, and he,
Pius, futilely launched excommunications, petitioned France, Austria,
Spain, and Sicily for help to repossess his domains; finally to be humiliatingly
restored to Rome on April 12, 1850. A French army took Rome and sent Garibaldi
scurrying to the mountains, and Mazzini yelping into Switzerland.
"No," Pius says again, this time more
quietly. They all retire for the night. Before they are asleep, the Italian
army is camped around the walls of Rome. Escape is now impossible.
On the morrow, the 20th, at 5:30 A.M.,
the Italian cannons send a first hail of destruction at the walls
of Rome. Kanzler's troops respond with a weak volley-a token resistance.
The Italian cannons speak again and again and again. Pius says a special
Mass at eight o'clock for the diplomatic corps and preaches a sermon holding
"the King (Victor Emmanuel) and the Republican Government and ultimately
the Great Powers of Europe responsible for this unworthy and sacrilegious
spoliation of the patrimony of St. Peter. "As for us," Pius
concludes, "we will be a prisoner in St. Peter's until this desecration
At 10 A.M., back in the Vatican, behind barred
doors and gates, Pius gets the news: the Italians have breached the Aurelian
wall at the Porta Pia; they are pouring into Rome. "It is finished,"
Pius says, crossing himself. He orders the white flag to be hoisted on
the cupola of St. Peter's Basilica. There is a sudden silence as no cannon
speaks anymore. Then, imperceptibly at first, but growing more audible,
Pius and Antonelli and Marcantonio Pacelli standing on the central balcony
of St. Peter's hear that five-syllable cry growing rhythmically as the
repeated beats on the syllables grow nearer. "Roma o Morte! (Rome
or Death) Roma o Morte!" Garibaldi's war-cry repeated by thousands
of throats. Within minutes, they see the first ranks of the invaders running
and shouting and waving the Italian tricolor. The three men retire within
They spend the next ten days just waiting. On
all sides, the armies of the republic have them hemmed in. "Antonelli,
what do we do?" is Pius's repeated question. "We wait, Holiness.
We wait. We both have made our last confession. We wait." Then another
repeated question: "Antonelli, where did we act wrongly?" Antonelli
wants to explain that this is only the beginning of some profound ending
in the old order of things: but he unfortunately mentions Pius's former
popularity with the mobs. And this sets Pius off in a regretful reverie.
What did all that give him? he wants to know. He always had bad advisors.
The very cardinals who elected him pope wanted him to be liberal. So he
was. And look what has happened!
"Remember, Holiness," Antonelli breaks
in, "long before you became Pope, the damage was done."
[Here we see the Last Inquisition described
by Martin in such clear and simple terms. As a Jesuit he saw the reasons
for the expulsion of the Jesuits and he himself left that order. The Description
of the horrors of the Inquisition in the Papal States of 1823-1846 shows
us clearly why the people simply would no longer tolerate the barbarity
of the Roman Church system ruling over them.]
Pius was not yet a cardinal on the death of Pius
VI. But he remembers the three popes after Pius VII (Leo XII, Pius VIII,
and Gregory XVI); they had done the damage. The legacy of Pius VII was
a terrible one: oppression, surveillance, a dictatorship. Between 1823
(death of Pius VII) and 1846 (when Pius IX was elected), almost 200,000
citizens of the papal states were severely punished (death, life imprisonment,
exile, galleys) for political affiances; another 1.5 million were subject
to constant police surveillance and harassment.
There was a gallows permanently in the square
of every town and city and village. Railways, meetings of more than three
people, and all newspapers were forbidden. All books were censored. A
special tribunal sat permanently in each place to try, condemn, and execute
the accused. All trials were conducted in Latin. Ninety-nine percent of
the accused did not understand the accusations against them. Every pope
tore up the stream of petitions that came constantly asking for justice,
for the franchise, for reform of the police and prison system. When revolts
occurred in Bologna, in the Romagna, and elsewhere, they were put down
with wholesale executions, sentences to lifelong hard labor in the state
penitentiary, to exile, to torture. Austrian troops were always being
called in to suppress the revolts. Secret societies abounded. Assassinations,
robberies, crime in general increased.
Pope Leo XII kept cats, about threescore cats,
as his pets and rebuilt St. Paul's Church with 60,000 francs from King
Charles of France. He also forbade the selling of wine and any woman's
dress that went above the ankles. He restored the Inquisition and its
torture chambers, hated France and all Frenchmen. Pope Pius VIII was pope
for twenty months, suffered from violent torticollis, took long placid
walks with members of the diplomatic corps, and literally dropped dead
on hearing that Charles X of France had died. Pope Gregory XVI published
one book, Triumph of the Church Against the Assaults of Innovators,
took two extended tours through the papal states, each costing 400,000
gold crowns, was a renowned Epicurean, created the Egyptian and Etruscan
museums in the Vatican, put down a revolution in Rome by wholesale butchery
of the rebels, and died suddenly and unaccountably in 1846. Pius IX remembers
that he got a full account of it all from Marcantonio Pacelli, who had
been head of Gregory XVI's finance department.
"Where did we go wrong, Antonelli?"
Pius asks again and again, as he goes over all this. "Give them what
they ask, and the papacy is ruined. Refuse it, and they will ruin us.
What to do?" Neither today nor on the succeeding days have they any
Then on October 2, the victors held a plebiscite:
Did the inhabitants of the papal states want to join the Italian republic?
There are 46,785 yeas to 47 nays in Rome alone; and, in the whole papal
states, there are 132,681 yeas to 1,505 nays. When Pius gets the news,
he breaks down.
Eight months later, the Italian parliament passes
the Law of Guarantees: the pope is an independent sovereign, the parliament
acknowledges; he has personal inviolability and immunity, and liberty
to come and go, to hold conclaves, councils, consistories, as he wills.
He owns the Vatican, the Lateran, the papal offices, and Castel Gandolfo.
He will have an annual revenue of 3,225,000 lire. Pius tore up the copy
of the law saying: "We will be a prisoner." He keeps repeating
it for years to all and sundry, to Antonelli, to public audiences, to
foreign powers, to visiting ambassadors, to the Lord at Mass, to himself
in bed at night. He remains shut up in the Vatican. He relies on Pacelli
and Antonelli exclusively. Pacelli fulminates about Pius's imprisonment
on the editorial page of every edition of the Osservatore Romano
which he, Pacelli, founded in 1861. It is Pius's only way to speak
to the world.
In 1876, Antonelli falls sick and is dying. Pius
IX comes to give him the last rites.
"When, Holiness," asks Antonelli, "when
did Your Holiness first know that the Holy See was in trouble?"
"After Pius VIII became Pope," is Pius's
How? Simple: from the diplomatic corps, from
the type of useless careerists who replaced the energetic and formidable
envoys of previous times. Pius IX has the dying Antonelli even chuckling
gently as he runs over the principal envoys to the Holy See in 1829: the
bearded Prussian, Baron de Bunsen, dabbling in scientific research and
nearly killing himself: the Russian Prince Gagarin perpetually talking
of his conquests among the ladies of Rome; the gloomy Spanish misanthrope,
Marquis de Salvador, solemn, taciturn, taking long walks by himself, always
discoursing with the ghosts of Ferdinand and Isabella about their conquests
of the Moors in Spain in the thirteenth century, the Neapolitan Fuscaldo,
swarthy and suspicious and tortured by a perpetual fear of being assassinated
by some secret society; the Portuguese Funchal, as ugly as a chimpanzee
("as ugly as Cavour," Pius quips; Cavour was prime minister
of the new Italian republic, nearsighted, stout, balding, low-sized, with
a commonplace appearance), lost in his music day and night. And so on
down the line of the diplomats.
"When they sent such idiots, we knew we
no longer had any value or dignity for them," Pius concludes.
Only one event before his own death gives Pius
IX a moment of enthusiasm. On January 9, 1878, the first king of Italy,
Pius' archenemy, King Victor Emmanuel, dies in the Quirinal Palace. And
Emmanuel's minister, Crispi, who had vowed an implacable hatred for Pius
and the papacy, had to read the official announcement: "His Highness,
King Victor Emmanuel, died today fortified by the Sacraments of the Church."
The king had asked for a priest before he died. "They have to come
back. They have to ask for forgiveness," Pius remarks, as he is reminded
of all the other times in history when rebellious Christians had to return.
His Roman memory has not given an inch. He still hopes he can recover
Rome and the papal states.
But it is not to be. Three weeks after King Victor,
the eighty-six-year-old Pius IX, who has been sickening over two months,
dies. He receives Filippo Pacelli, son of Marcantonio, for the last time,
asks him how things are going at the Consistorial College of which Filippo
is dean, and asks how Filippo's two-year-old son, Eugenio, is doing. "He
will serve the Holy See well, Filippo. Teach him well," are Pius's
Just before he dies, Pius says simply: "Let
us go into the house of the Lord." It is February 7, and thirty-one
years since they made him pope. Over on the Via degli Orsini, the little
Eugenio Pacelli notices the tears in his father's eyes and asks: "Why
are you sad, Papa? Isn't the Pope gone home to Heaven?"
The real pathos and enduring tragedy of this
last of the pope-kings was not his final loss of political power and territory.
Rather it was the legacy of bitterness he left in the papacy and the church.
He left the whole church repeating, "We've been robbed," for
over sixty years.
[It is here in this section that Martin gives
the tie in to the later rise of the Nazi system beginning with the fascists
under Mussolini in Italy. The negotiations were conducted and the church
saw itself as reemerging from this abyss of the democratic and republican
monster that had turned on the Papacy and taken its power. Martin should
have made much more of the church involvement here with the Nazi system
and we will remedy that limitation in the section dealing with both Lutheran
and Roman Catholic involvement in the Holocaust.]
After Pius IX died, three more popes remained
'-prisoner" in the Vatican. In 1928, the up-and-coming dictator of
Italy, Benito Mussolini, decided for the sake of national unity that the
"Vatican question-' should be solved amicably. After protracted negotiations,
in 1929, Mussolini's government and the Vatican of Pope Pius XI signed
the Lateran Pacts, thus ending the sixty-year-old official enmity between
the Vatican and Italy. Young Eugenio Pacelli, now an archbishop and the
highest ranking diplomat in the Vatican, was deeply involved in the process.
Mussolini could point to the pacts as proof that he was as Catholic as
the pope (this was meant as much for foreign consumption in Spain, France,
Germany, and the U.S.A., as for the Italians). The Vatican could now move
more freely in the Italian political arena: and immediately it would launch
into a new career in the world of international finance.
The Vatican was guaranteed sovereign territorial
integrity within the Vatican state, an area equal in size to a substantial
golf course and englobing St. Peter's Basilica and Square, the Apostolic
Palace with its famed gardens, and other adjoining buildings. Included
in that sovereign integrity were extraterritorial possessions-about fifty
of them, such as the papal summer villa at Castel Gandolfo, a mountain
on which stands the antennae of Radio Vatican, institutes in the
city of Rome and elsewhere. Indemnities of over 90 million were paid for
the material losses incurred by the Vatican because of the nationalist
takeover in 1870.
The successor of the popes today lives in the
Apostolic Palace flanking St. Peter's Square, with its 10,000 halls, suites,
rooms, and passages, its 12,532 windows, its 997 flights of stairs. Within
his city-state, he has thirty squares and streets, two churches, one parish,
a railroad station, four post offices, a court of law, two jails, his
own coinage and postage stamps, and at least four newspapers and periodicals.
The normal population of his state is about 2,000, the vast majority being
clergymen. He has a tiny army, the Swiss Guards, and his own police and
security forces who work in close collaboration with Italian police and
state security. The official colors of his state are white and yellow,
the national anthem a piece composed by Gounod. Vatican automobiles carry
license plates marked with SCV (State of Vatican City). Within his city-state,
the pope has all the offices of his administration, religious, financial,
political, diplomatic. And from here he governs the religious life of
over 740 million adherents. Over on the Quirinal Hill is the seat
of the Italian government with which the Vatican maintains diplomatic
relations, as it does with over 110 other sovereign nations.
This then is the visible worldly status of the
Roman pope, after all the vicissitudes of greatness and misery, of holiness
and unworthiness, of empire and of poverty, over a period of nearly two
Between the death of Pius IX and our day there
have been nine popes. Two of these stand out. Eugenio Pacelli as Pius
XII (1939-1958) was the last of the great Roman popes. He was succeeded
by Angelo Roncalli as John XXIII (1958-1963), "Good Pope John,"
as his contemporaries knew him. The surprising aspect of Pope John is
that in a short five-year period he undid what every pope since the fourth
century had sought and fought to maintain and foment. John's successor,
Pope Paul VI, merely completed Pope John's destruction of the old church.
And the present pope, John Paul II, is left with a shattered institution
waiting at the crossroads of history with only the gravest of doubts and
the deepest of problems as his constant companions.
[We see now how the mindset of the Holocaust was already in
operation during the previous century in the Roman Church and it had been
quelled then by the Republic and the sheer horror of the Roman and Papal
State populace. Go now to the Section of the Church Involvement in the
Holocaust and see what logically progressed among a people who had forgotten
the horrors of not so long ago and allowed their education to be hampered
by half truths and lies and the fear of an unknown menace in the Communist
system. We also see in an earlier section this extraordinary situation
happen in Ireland where the Roman Church had given Ireland to England
in the 12th century simply to eradicate the Quartodecimans
who were still there after many centuries and we saw that country reduced
to ruin and a state of barbarism unequaled in Europe]
Christian Churches of God