The Roman Question : The Papal States
The Roman Question : Of Errors and Anathemas

The Roman Question : The "Prisoner of the Vatican"

...continued from The Roman Question : The Papal States

The new Italian State tried to appease the Vatican and in May 1871 passed the "Law of Guarantees" under which the person of the Pope [then Pius IX] was recognised as sacred.

Insults against him were to be punishable in the same degree as were insults against the King. The Pope was given the right to all royal honours; the right to maintain his private guards; the right to tax exemptions for his palaces, museums and libraries. He was also granted in perpetuity the inviolable right to enjoy the Vatican Palace, the Lateran Palace, and the country residence of Castel Gandolfo, meaning that no Italian government official could enter the Pope's premises without the Pope's permission.

Nowithstanding the concessions conferred by the Italian State upon the Church by the "Law of Gaurantees," Pius IX refused to accept the new regime: he excommunicated its leaders; he refused to accept the loss of his territories; he bestowed upon members of the government such epithets as "wolves," "liars," "satellites of Satan," and "monsters of hell; " and he began calling himself a "prisoner of the Vatican," as did his successors who continued his policies until 1929.

The Lateran Treaties of 11 February 1929 resolved the so-called "Roman Question" and marked the final chapter of the millennial history of the Papal States in Italy.

But the 11 February 1929 also marked the beginning of the great scourge of history. To borrow from President Rooseveldt: "A DAY THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY."

Just how infamous will be the subject of future posts in our series - Rome and 20th Century European Fascism.

to be continued...

Works consulted:
History of the Church: The Church in the Modern Age, Vol 10, Hubert Jedin, Gabriel Adriányi, John Dolan, Konrad Repgen, Continuum International Publishing Group, 1981.

The Vatican and Italian Fascism 1929-1932 : A study in conflict, John F. Pollard, Cambridge University Press, 2005.

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