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region, was born in Treviso, trained for the priesthood in Padua and became patriarch of Venice. The north Italian church owed much to the educational system established under the Austrians and maintained by the Piedmontese: Sarto received a good free elementary school education. The church was strong among the peasant small-holders, whereas in much of Italy it was overidentified with the greater landowners and disliked by landless labourers.

The north was an area of full churches, where the good works of late nineteenth-century Social Catholicism were numerous, and Catholicism was recast in a modern social mode. He felt himself unfitted to be pope, however, lacking diplomatic experience and foreign languages. Some cardinals wanted a successor to Leo who would continue his policies, and voted for his secretary of state Cardinal Rampolla. Rampolla, however, was obnoxious to the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph II, who thought him too sympathetic to the nationalist particularisms of his unstable empire, and Rampolla's election was vetoed on the emperor's behalfby Cardinal Puzyna, archbishop of Cracow. One of Pius's first acts as pope was to abolish this veto, though he was unable to publish this until 1909. Rampolla would probably not have been elected even without the imperial veto. The Conclave wanted change, to follow a diplomat with a pastor.

In his hour of need, Sarto turned to the secretary of the Conclave, Rafael Merry del Val, only thirty-seven, and asked him to be his secretary of state. Merry del Val knew the foreign languages, upper classes and diplomacy that the pope did not know. Pius's programme, however, embodied his love of order, tidiness and completeness as a framework for pastoral care, under his motto 'Instaurare omnia in Christo', to restore all things in Christ. The pope began the most thorough reform of the curia in three centuries, and in his constitution Sapiento Consilio of 1906 his passion for administrative detail -his 'constructive and simplifying genius' - and his choice of servants to carry it through (Merry del Val, Cardinal Gaetano de Lai and the Spanish Vives y Tuto, known for his industry as Vives fa tutto) restructured the thirty-seven Vatican agencies and dicasteries as eleven congregations, three tribunals and five offices. Churches in largely Protestant countries or under Protestant rule were taken from the administration ofthe Sacred Congregation of Propaganda Fide, where they had been for centuries: Holland, England, Scotland, Ireland, the United States and Canada. These were no longer missionary territories, as their churches were come of age.

With this passion for order, the pope in the Motu Proprio Arduum Sane Munus began the codification of canon law largely complete at his death, and issued in 1917 by his successor. Here a genius was to hand in Pietro Gasparri,

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