Papal Elections in the Age of Transition, 1878-1922
The startling changes that have taken place within the Catholic Church since World War II were the direct accomplishments of Pius XII and his successors. These modern popes, however, formed their policies and wrought these changes based on the work of four transitional popes who preceded them: Leo XIII (1878-1903), who re-established a direct link between the papacy and the lay communicant; Pius X (1903-1914), who was a conservative reactionary; and Benedict XV (1914-1922) and Pius XI (1922-1939), who revived and extended Leo's efforts to modernize the Church and its policies. Based largely on unpublished or ephemeral materials, Papal Elections in the Age of Transition recounts the stories of how these four men rose to the papal throne, including previously unpublished details of the conclaves. This fascinating narrative sheds new light on the rise to power of the popes who prepared the way for the Catholic Church at the dawn of the twenty-first century.
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