Pius IX. - 19th Century Encyclopedia Entries



Nordisk Familjebok 1876-1899, Meyer 1885-1892,


Nordisk Familjebok 1876-1899, Article : Pius IX. (1888)
Pius IX., in Italian Pio nono, Count Giovanni Maria Mastai-Feretti, born in Sinigaglia on May 13th 1792, first dedicated himself to a military career, which he wasa unable to continue because of the falling sickness. In 1818 he was ordained a priest, became a popular preacher in the city of his birth and in 1823 travelled to Chile as a missionary priest. In 1825 he became director of the hospital San Michele in Rome, a canonic, and in 1827 archbishop of Spoleto, in 1832 bishop of Imola, in 1840 cardinal, and after Gregory XVI.'s death was elected pope on June 16th 1846. Known for his liberal political views, he was greated almost with jubilation, as the reformer of the Papal State and of all of Italy. By amnesty decrees and reform measures in administration, jurisdiction, education, finances etc. he gave substance to these hopes. The city of Rome was given a new municipal constitution, the Papal State a new constitution. The Italian Liberal Party looked up to the pope as the one "who should do it". The Jesuits feared him as a "Robespierre with a tiara". By a number of church decrees he quickly showed already then, that he was a supporter of the old Papal system, politically liberal, ecclesiastically conservative, a mild prince, but a proud pope. Forced by the Zeitgeist, he was forced to expel the Jesuits from Rome. The revolution year of 1848 came, and the Italian Liberal Party, the foremost goal of which was Italy's unification, began the work of Italy's liberation by trying to expel the Austrians from Italy. The pope gave the blessing of the church to the army with which King Carlo Alberto of Sardinia rushed to the aid of the Lombard rebels. But when the call for the pope's active participation in this war of liberation became much stronger, he uttered his historical "non possumus" (this we can not do). This was the end to his popularity, and on November 24th 1848, disguised and at night, he had to flee to Gaeta. A provisional government was established in Rome, where the Republican Party lead by Mazzini got the upper hand. The pope's protests from Gaeta were disregarded. In Gaeta, negotiations were opened with the ambassadors of France, Austria, Spain and Naples. Before these were concluded, the French president, Prince Napoleon Bonaparte, sent an army into Italy, which entered Rome in 1849, dissolved the provisional government and restored the pope in his rights. Now followed the reactionary years 1850-1870 in which Cardinal Antonelli, as secretary of state, was the actual ruler. Shaken up by the events of 1848, the pope threw himself into the arms of the Jesuits, and in both ecclesiastical and secular respect the formerly liberal policy of the pope became utterly medieval in nature. The Catholic Church in England and the Netherlands was given a new organization. A number of bishops and cardinals was appointed, letters of indulgence and liturgic regulations were issued, canonizations and beatifications were implemented, education was completely entrusted to the Jesuits, and the Jesuit gazette "Civilta Cattolica" became the pope's organ. Pope Pius IX. dedicated Virgin Mary an enthusiastic prayer, especially since, before he had been ordained a priest, by calling upon her, by priest Strambi laying his hand upon him, had freed him of his falling sickness. Therefore, on December 8th 1854, he proclaimed the dogma of "Virgin Mary's immaculate conception". Among the many concordats which the pope during this period in part concluded, in part strove to conclude, one has to mention the convention with Württemberg of 1857 and that with Baden of 1859, for the appearance of the papal claim in the medieval spirit. When the Kingdom of Italy was established in 1860, the pope, despite his protests, lost a large part of the already reduced Papal State. Rome with its nearest environs he held on to because of French bayonets, which have been his protection since 1850. Napoleon III. and Vittorio Emmanuele in 1864 concluded the September Convention, without having heard the pope, in which the latter declared not to attack the Papal State, while the former declared to withdraw his troops from Rome within two years. The pope, who in 1860 had declared the great church ban against all who had been the cause of the reduction of the pope's worldly power, in the encyclical "Quanta Cura" of December 8th 1864 condemned modern policy and modern ideology, and followed up on this by a "Syllabus, complectens praecipuos nostrae aestatis errores", in which 80 errors are listed and condemned. Based on the September Convention, in December 1866 the French troops left Rome, and the King of Italy became Rome's and the pope's protector. The pope, who did not fully trust in this protection, named Saint Catherine as Rome's patron saint. In the summer of 1867 a dazzling convention of bishops was held in Rome, which was attended by about 500 archbishops and bishops, to celebrate the 1800th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Peter and St. Paul. The real purpose was to strengthen the reputation of the pope. Not less than 25 new saints were created, and 205 persons were beatified. Here also the convocation of a general church council was decided upon. At the same time the pope, in a letter to the council, declared that the entire Catholic world, by a vote, should speak out for the necessity to see the pope being returned his worldly power. The Italian "national junta" responded to this declaration by a proclamation that the time for the liberation of Rome from the rule of priests now had come, and to implement Italy's unity. Volunteers assembled under flags, Garibaldi left his prison on Caprera. In accordance to the September Convention, the Italian government in the beginning resisted the volunteers, but later took on a passive attitude. Then help one more time came from France. The French gained a victory at Mentana in November 1867, and occupied Rome, from when onward a detachment of French troops was garrisoned here to defend the pope. The general church council decided on in 1867 was held in 1869-1870, the so-called Vatican Council (see there), which most importantly accepted and proclaimed the dogma of papal infallibility (see infallibility). In the same year the Franco-German War broke out. Therefore the French troops left Rome, Italian government troops entered the city of the pope and was made the capital of unified Italy. The worldly power of the "infallible" pope now was limited to the Vatican, where the pope, until his death, played the role of "the prisoner in the Vatican". On November 1st 1870 the pope declared the great ban over the conquerors of Rome, and on December 8th he declared St. Joseph to patron saint of the entire church. The civil list of 3 1/2 million Lira offered to him by the Italian government he rejected, but he was compensated by the greatly increased Peter's penny which was paid by the entire Catholic Christianity. That the dogma of infallibility was a mistake in church policy the pope experienced in many ways (see Old Catholics). Since its proclamation the last 8 years of his pontificate passed with conflicts and negotiations with worldly powers (see Kulturkampf), conflicts with the opponents of the dogma of infallibility, the issuance of ban bulls, protests and decrees, the celebration of jubilees, among which his 25th anniversary as pope on June 16th 1871, and his 50th anniversary as a bishop in 1877. He survived both his secretary of state, Cardinal Antonelli (died November 6th 1876) and his archenemy Vittorio Emmanuele (died January 9th 1878), and died himself on February 7th 1878. Without education, outstanding talent and strength of will, but with personal piety, tending toward bigotry, and because of the purity of his habits, Pius IX., by the circumstances, was made one of the most remarkable popes.
source in Swedish, posted by Project Runeberg

Meyer's Konversationslexikon 1885-1892, Article : Pius IX.
Pius IX., before Giovanni Maria Count of Mastai-Feretti, born on May 13th 1792 in Sinigaglia, was educated in the college of the Piarists in Volterra, studied theology in Rome, and in 1823 accompanied the apostolic vicar Muzi to Chile. Returned to Rome in July 1825, Mastai became president of the hospital San Michele, in May 1827 archbishop of Spoleto, in 1833 bishop of Imola and cardinal in 1840. When, after the death of Gregory XVI. on June 16th 1846 the exceptionally brief conclave elevated Cardinal Mastai onto the papal see, and he, by chosing the name Pius IX., connected with the tradition of two mild and honest popes, Italy's Liberals invested the greatest expectations in him, as he had not approved of the stern, reactionary measures of Gregory XVI. Pius IX. immediately decreed a general amnesty and began to thoroughly reform the Papal State; in 1847 the city of Rome received a new municipal constitution, the Papal State a state consulta, the latter in 1848 a written constitution and with it a Chamber of Peers and a Chamber of Deputees, as well as a partially secular ministry. In the meantime the waves of the radical movement reached such a height, that on March 29th the banishment of the Jesuits from Rome had to be approved. After the assassination of Rossi (November 15th) the pope fled to Gaeta, from where he returned to Rome only on April 12th 1850, in order to implement ruthless reaction under the protection of French and Austrian bayonets, which restored all abuses of ecclesiastical government, and which did not take into account all monitions of the powers for the implementation of timely reforms. In the ecclesiastical system Pius IX. from the beginning had not intended any change.
Despite personally being amiable and mild, free from asceticism and zealotism, Pius IX. from the beginning confessed to the hierarchic principles of his predecessors. The infallible Roman Church, lead by the successor of St. Peter, seemed him in his sensitive outward piety and in his naive lack of understanding of the ethical and spiritual conditions of Europe, to be the only unmistakable cure against all material and spiritual damages and defects of humanity, namely against the plague of Liberalism, as already his encyclical of November 9th 1846 expressed, and, in his opinion, standing under the special protection and the direct inspiration of Virgin Mary, he believed himself to be called upon, to lead the world to eternal salvation by reuniting it under the Roman See. Pius did achieve surprising successes, by, in 1848, skillfully and simultaneously making use of both the doctrinary principles of the Liberals and the reactionary endeavours of the governments. In England and the Netherlands, under the principle of unconditional freedom of religion, Catholic dioceses were established, with Austria and other German governments concordats concluded. Everywhere the number and activity of the orders was increased. In gratitude for such successes Pius IX., to the greater glory of his patron saint, on December 8th 1854, in an assembly of 167 bishops, proclaimed the dogma of the immaculate conception of Virgin Mary, and from then onward, he favored the Jesuits, under the influence of whom he had hitherto achieved so much, even more determined. During the great political changes in Italy in 1859 and 1860, in which Napoleon III. would have liked to give him an influential role at the helm of an Italian Confederation, as a counterweight to Sardinia, he played an utterly negative and stubborn role, so that the loss of the Legations and of the Marches to the new Kingdom of Italy was unavoidable. Pius IX. described the latter as a harm,ful case of church robbery, and declared the ban over the "Subalpine" government, and both himself and the Jesuits declared the worldly possessions [of the church] as necessary to maintain the continued existence and security of the church. But his call for help to the Catholic Church was unsuccessful. All the more determined and passionate he used his spiritual armament against the pernicious Zeitgeist [which seemed] hostile to the church. On December 8th 1864 he addressed an ancyclical to all prelates of the Catholic Church, in which, in 80 sentences he condemned the liberal views of modern times on religion and civic society. This encyclical was followed by a "Syllabus complectens praecipuos nostrae aetatis errores", an index of 80 errors concerning religion, science and civil life, in which the pope entirely took on a medieval standpoint, by demanding the subordination of science and state under papal authority. The modern means of the press and of associations were used with success to suffocate deviating opinions, to compensate the pope for the loss of his revenues by St. Peter's Penny, and to raise his spiritual authority to such an unlimited, deeply interfering power, as hardly any pope ever had had. The Vatican Council opened on December 8th 1869, which, despite of the objection of the most respected bishops from the leading civilized nations, under the personal influence of the pope, on July 18th 1870 accepted the dogma of papal infallibility, and which completed the unrestricted absolutism in the Roman hierarchy. When, after the departure of the French garrison, the Italians on September 20th entered Rome, he locked himself in in the Vatican, rejected the law of May 13th 1871 and, on every opportunity, showered the Italian government with abuses. Also with the German Reich, which unexpectedly thwarted the Jesuit plans, he took on the struggle in the most provocative way. After on June 24th 1872 making the threatening utterance of the pebble which will shatter the foot of the colossus, on August 3rd 1873 he wrote an arrogant letter to Emperor Wilhelm, and in the encyclical of February 5th 1875 declared the Prussian May laws for invalid. With an indestructible certainty of victory he pursued his goals which were out of reach, and fortune favored him insofar, as he, despite his high age and occasionally shaky health he not only could celebrate his 25th anniversary, but even his 30th in 1876. In the 86th year of his life he died on February 7th 1878, and was buried in 1881 in San Lorenzo.
See the biographies by M. Marocco (Turin 1861 ff., 5 vols.), Legge (London 1875, 2 vols.), Gillet (in French, Münster 1877), Wappmannsperger (Regensburg 1878), Stepischnegg (Wien 1879, 2 vols.) und Pougeois (Paris 1877-1886, 6. vols.), as well as the shorter biographies by R. Pfleiderer (Heilbronn 1878) and Hasemann (Leipzig 1878).

source in German, posted by Retro Bibliothek





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DOCUMENTS Article Pius IX., from Catholic Encyclopedia
Article Pius, from EB 1911
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