Benedict XV is one of the least known Popes of the 20th century, but one of the most important. Elected in 1914 after the outbreak of the First World War he dedicated his Papacy to achieving peace throughout Europe. In August 1917 he offered a 'Peace Note' to the warring powers to bring about the cessation of hostilities, engaged in humanitarian activities and helped found the Save the Children Fund. At the end of his pontificate he had established peace-making diplomacy as a normal function of the papacy. Benedict sought to heal the wounds created by the 'Modernist crisis' in the reign of his predecessor, Pius X, but only after the end of the War was he able to fully concentrate on matters within the church. He promulgated the Code of Canon Law and despite his innate conservatism he took up progressive positions on both the Eastern Rite Churches and Catholicism's missionary outreach. He died relatively young, yet his reign is one of the most important in the twentieth Century. This is the first biography of Pope Benedict XV published in English in over forty years.
The author has made use of hitherto unavailable archival sources, particularly those of the Vatican and the previously unpublished private papers of his family.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC ISBN: 9780860124085 Weight: 426 g Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 20 mm Edition: New edition
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