Info

and Prussia - had proposed a series of reforms, including the creation of a consultative assembly to provide advice on governmental matters. Their suggestions were ignored as Pope Gregory condemned liberal Catholicism and nationalism in his Mirari Vos of 1832,7 and later denounced the false idols of 'modern civilisation'.8 Gregory resisted even technical innovations such as the railways, provoking resentment throughout his state. In 1837, Viterbo was stricken, while in 1843 and 1844 the Legations exploded.9 Moderates believed revolution imminent and considered reform the antidote to an impending catastrophe.10

The new pope appreciated the need for change. As bishop of Imola (183246), he had explored the prospect of conciliation between Catholicism and liberal-national principles. Although far from a revolutionary, Mastai proved critical of the ponderous Roman administration which provoked the constant round of revolt and repression. He suggested that the condition of the Papal States could be improved by infusing a bit of common sense and Christian justice in the government. Theology, Mastai observed, was not opposed to the development of science and industry.11 He catalogued his suggestions in a work entitled 'Thoughts on the administration of the Papal States' (1845), which saw the need for some collegiate body to advise and co-ordinate the administration.12

Once pope, Pius proposed a series of innovations encouraging liberals and nationalists such as Minghetti and Cavour, while inspiring the revolutionary Mazzini. Pio Nono's July amnesty of political prisoners electrified Rome and Italy. To the delight of liberals extraordinary tribunals were abolished, while railway lines were projected and telegraph companies chartered. The pope reformed the collection of revenue and the management of finances, while opening a number of offices to laypeople. Unlike his predecessor, Pio Nono allowed his subjects to participate in the scientific congresses that were convoked in Italy. To reduce unemployment he urged the provinces to provide public work projects for his subjects.13 He relieved the burdens imposed on

7 Momigliano (ed.), Tutte le encicliche, pp. 186-95.

8 EPrincipio certo, in Carlen (ed.), Papal pronouncements, vol. 1, pp. 25-6.

9 Archivio di Stato di Roma (ASR), Fondo Famiglia Antonelli (FFA), busta 1, fascicolo 125.

10 Metternich-Winneburg (ed.), Memoirs, vol. vii, p. 246; British and Foreign State Papers (BFSP) vol. xxxvi (1847-8), p. 1195.

11 P. D. Pasolini (ed.), Giuseppe Pasolini, Memorie. 1815-1876 (Turin: Bocca, 1887), p. 57.

13 Atti del sommo pontefice Pio IX, felicemente regnante. Parte seconda che comprende I Motu-proprii, chirografi editti, notificazioni, ec. per lo stato pontificio, 2 vols. (Rome: Tipografia delle Belle Arti, 1857), vol. i, pp. 8-10, 15.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment