Features > Papacy forged in the crucible of conflict

14 August 2014 | by John Pollard

Papacy forged in the crucible of conflict

When the cardinals met to elect a new pope in September 1914, Europe was at war. But the grim international situation was not the only factor that would influence the outcome The conclave of September 1914 was one of the most important in the entire history of the papacy. It was not only to mark the end of the witch-hunt against the “modernists” – a catch-all term for Catholic theologians and biblical scholars ranging from radical revisers to ­relatively modest reformers – carried out by Pope Pius X and his subordinates, which had suffocated any sort of creative theological thinking within the Church; it was also to result in the adoption of an active peace-­making policy by Vatican diplomats which has continued until this day.The context in which the conc


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