their generation, Lamennais, Lacordaire and the comte de Montalembert, visited Rome to persuade him of the value of a liberal Catholicism. Lamennais was politely received, but his liberalism was anathematised in the encyclical Mirari Vos in 1832, and his apocalyptic tract Paroles d'un croyant (1834) bitterly satirised Gregory, who condemned the work in his encyclical Singulari Nos in 1834. Lamennais left the church, but his followers did not, and their contribution to the Catholic revival was largely responsible for the church's popularity in the French revolution of 1848. Gregory, however, remained intransigent: he urged his faithful Catholic Poles to obey the Tsar after their rising, while the secretary of state, Cardinal Bernetti, in 1832 created a civil guard, the Centurions, whose unruly behaviour contributed to the unpopularity of papal rule. The liberal conspiracy to kidnap three leading ecclesiastics (one ofthem the future Pius IX) in 1843 was repressed by another secretary of state, Luigi Lambruschini, with executions and condemnations to the galleys. Gregory's antiliberalism was confirmed by the destruction of Spanish monasticism by anticlerical administrations from 1835, and the imprisonment ofthe archbishop of Cologne in 1837 for his resistance to Prussian legislation on mixed marriages. The pope's opposition to building railways in his states was taken by European liberals to symbolise his hostility to change. This was not wholly fair, as Gregory reorganised the Vatican and Lateran museums and refounded the Catholic missions, creating more than seventy new dioceses and vicariates apostolic, doubling those in England from four to eight. In the freshly independent states of Latin America and in India, he ignored Spain's patronato real and Portugal's padroado in appointing to bishoprics, and in 1839, in In Supremo, he condemned the African slave trade. He pragmatically accepted the liberal Belgian constitution, but he made the papacy appear the main obstacle to Italian unity, an omen for the future.

The Italian Catholic revival included such major figures as the theologian Antonio Rosmini and the novelist Manzoni, and liberals like Count Cesare Balbo who sought an accommodation between the church and the spirit of the age. Thus the priest Vincenzo Gioberti, in his Moral and civil primacy of the Italians (1843), defended the ideal of a united Italy under a papal presidency Gioberti influenced Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti, the cardinal bishop of Imola, and the conclave of 1846 elected him pope, under the name of Pius IX, Pio Nono (1792-1878; ruled 1846-78), the longest-reigning pope in history. Pius had pleaded with the rebels in 1831 and had given a safe conduct to the young carbonaro Louis Napoleon. He announced an amnesty for political prisoners and the appointment of a consultative lay council. When a dove alighted on his coach, it seemed to liberals that heaven had come to earth.

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