Also found in: Dictionary, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
the name taken by a number of popes of the Catholic Church, of whom the most important follow.
Pius II. Secular name, Enea Silvio de’ Piccolomini. Born Oct. 18, 1405, in Corsignano (now Pienza); died Aug. 15, 1464, in Ancona. Pope from 1458.
In his youth, Piccolomini sought fame as a humanist. He wrote Latin poems saturated with hedonistic motifs, as well as novellas in the style of Boccaccio. In 1442 he became secretary to Emperor Frederick III, who proclaimed him poet laureate. Ordained in 1446, he was appointed bishop of Trieste in 1447 and bishop of Siena in 1450. In 1456 he became a cardinal; two years later he became pope.
Pius II fought to strengthen papal authority and to curtail the independence of the national churches developing in France, Bohemia, and Germany. He expanded the territory of the Papal States, and he called for a crusade against the Turks. The most interesting of his literary works are the Commentaries, which contain a great deal of information about his contemporaries and about the events in which he participated. Pius II also wrote a history of the Council of Basel (1431–49), a history of the city of Basel, and a history of Bohemia.
WORKSOpera…. Basel, 1571.
Briefwechsel… [vols. 1–4]. Vienna, 1909–18.
REFERENCEVoigt, G. Enea Silvio als Papst Pius II, vols. 1–3. Berlin, 1856–63.
Paparelli, G. E. S. Piccolomini. Bari, 1950.
Mitchell, R. J. The Laurels and the Tiara: Pope Pius II. New York, 1963.
For the most part, Pius VII pursued a policy of concessions to Napoleonic France, in order to preserve the position of the church and the Papal States. In 1801 he concluded a concordat with France, and in 1804 he took part in Napoleon’s coronation. Pius VII’s resistance to some of Napoleon’s demands, particularly the call for the participation of the Papal States in the continental blockade, led the emperor to abolish the Papal States in 1809. Subsequently, Pius VII was taken to France. His rights as a secular lord were restored by the Congress of Vienna (1814–15). He and his secretary of state, E. Consalvi, who was inclined toward a policy of enlightened absolutism, established a somewhat more liberal regime than had existed under previous popes.
Pius VII concluded concordats with a number of European states. In 1814 he restored the Jesuit Order, which had been dissolved in 1773.
Pius IX. Secular name, Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti. Born May 13, 1792, in Senigallia; died Feb. 7, 1878, in Rome. Pope from 1846.
During the upsurge in the social movement in all the Italian states, which was inspired primarily by the goals of national liberation and the unification of Italy, Pius IX implemented several very moderate liberal reforms in the Papal States (1846–47). Among them were minor administrative, judicial, and economic reforms and an amnesty for political prisoners. The newly elected pope’s first measures were enthusiastically received by the liberal bourgeoisie in all the Italian states, by some republicans, and by part of the broad masses, who believed in his “liberating mission.”
The Revolution of 1848–49 in Italy spread to the Papal States. In March 1848, Pius IX formed a government, with the participation of moderate liberals. He gave his consent to the proclamation of a constitution. Moreover, he agreed to send troops to take part in the Austro-Italian War of 1848–49. By Apr. 29, 1848, however, he had prepared an address in which he condemned the nationalistic war against Austria, thereby giving the signal for the onset of a counterrevolution throughout Italy, and exploding the myth of his “liberating mission.” On Nov. 24, 1848, Pius IX fled from the insurgent capital to the Neapolitan fortress of Gaeta, where, on Feb. 18, 1849, he appealed to the heads of the Catholic states to intervene against the republic that had been proclaimed in Rome.
Returning to Rome on Apr. 12, 1850, after the fall of the Roman Republic, Pius IX pursued an openly reactionary policy. In the Syllabus of Errors (1864), a list of propositions attached to the encyclical Quanta cura, he announced a campaign against the forces of progress and democracy. After the unification of Italy (Sept. 20, 1870), which resulted in the elimination of the Papal States, Pius IX stubbornly refused to accept the loss of his temporal authority. Declaring himself a “moral captive” and “prisoner in the Vatican,” he refused to leave the Vatican (Nov. 1, 1870). He condemned the Law of Guarantees of the Prerogatives of the Supreme Pontiff and of the Holy See and the Relations Between the State and Church, which was passed by the Italian government in 1871. Moreover, in the decree Non expedit, he prohibited Catholics from participating in parliamentary elections, thereby urging them, in effect, to boycott the unified Italian state. The proclamation of the doctrine of papal infallibility (1870) is associated with Pius IX.
Pius X. Secular name, Giuseppe Melchiore Sarto. Born June 2, 1835, in Riese; died Aug. 20, 1914, in Rome. Pope from 1903.
Pius X became a bishop in 1884 and was named a cardinal and patriarch of Venice in 1893. Soon after his election as pope, he abolished a right enjoyed by the Catholic rulers of Austria (Austria-Hungary), Spain, and France since the Middle Ages— the right to reject candidates for the papacy. Strongly influenced by the Jesuits, Pius X attacked democratic and socialist ideas and fought against modernist tendencies in the Catholic Church. In 1907 he issued a list of 65 modernist “errors” (a continuation of Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors), as well as the antimodernist encyclical Pascendi domenici gregis. Pius X endeavored to assist the tsarist government in its struggle against revolution. In December 1905 he addressed an encyclical to the archbishops and bishops of the Catholic Church in Russia, suggesting that they urge believers to obey the authorities. In response to the pope’s interference in its internal affairs, France broke diplomatic relations with the Vatican in 1904. On the eve of World War I, Pius X adopted a stance favoring Austria and Germany.
Pius XI. Secular name, Achille Ratti. Born May 31, 1857, in Desio, near Milan; died Feb. 12, 1939, in the Vatican. Pope from 1922.
While prefect of the Vatican Library, Pius XI was sent in 1918 as apostolic visitor (Vatican emissary) to Poland and the Baltic states. (He was refused entry to Russia.) In May 1919 he became papal nuncio in Warsaw, where he collaborated with Polish reactionary circles and representatives of the imperialist powers in their struggle against Soviet Russia. In 1921 he was named archbishop of Milan and cardinal.
During the pontificate of Pius XI the Lateran Treaty was concluded with fascist Italy (1929), as was a concordat with fascist Germany (1933). In his encyclicals Pius XI repeatedly attacked communist ideas, and in February 1930 he called for a “crusade” against the USSR. In 1937 he issued the anticommu-nist encyclical Divini Redemptoris. Before World War II he supported the policies of imperialist circles, who endeavored to channel fascist aggression against the USSR by making concessions to the fascist powers. At the same time, persecution of the Catholic Church in Germany and the orgy of racism in both fascist states forced Pius XI to condemn the Nazis’ policies toward religion, as well as their racist ideology (for example, the encyclical Mit brennender Sorge [With Burning Anxiety], 1937).
Pius XII. Secular name, Eugenio Pacelli. Born Mar. 2, 1876, in Rome; died Oct. 9, 1958, in the Vatican. Pope from 1939. His family, which belonged to the Roman financial aristocracy, was associated with the Vatican.
In 1901, Pacelli began his ecclesiastical career in the Vatican Secretariat of State. As papal nuncio in Bavaria from 1917 to 1920, he was assigned by Pope Benedict XV to conduct negotiations with Kaiser Wilhelm II for a more rapid conclusion of peace with the Entente powers, in order to prevent a revolution in Germany and in other countries. From 1920 until 1929 he was papal nuncio in Berlin. He was made a cardinal in December 1929. From 1930 to 1939 he was secretary of state of the Vatican.
Pius XII held anticommunist and anti-Soviet views. Before and during World War II he was essentially a supporter of the fascist powers; after the war, he actively supported the “cold war.” In 1949 the Congregation of the Holy Office, presided over by Pius XII, published a decree excommunicating Communists and their supporters.