Benedict XV (1914–1922)

Giacomo Giambattista Della Chiesa

_ Born in Genoa on November 21, 1854 to a wealthy and prominent patrician family
_ Studious and introspective: wanted to be a priest
_ August, 1875: Doctor of Laws from the Royal University of Genoa
_ Studied for priesthood in Rome
_ Ordained at St. John Lateran on December 21, 1878 and the next day said his first mass on the tomb of St. Peter
Fr. Della Chiesa _ Completed doctorates in Theology (1879) and Canon Law (1880)
_ 1882: Della Chiesa (now a Monsignor) is private secretary to papal nuncio to Spain (Archbishop Rampolla)
_ 1887: Rampolla recalled to Rome by Leo XIII to become Cardinal Secretary of State. Della Chiesa returned to work with him
_ 1901: Della Chiesa named Undersecretary of State by the Pope (six years)
Cardinal Della Chiesa _ 1907: named Archbishop of Bologna by Pius X
_ 1914: raised to the red hat, just weeks before the outbreak of World War I
Pope Benedict XV _ His urbi et orbi blessing was given from a balcony inside of St. Peter’s
_ The least physically impressive of the twentieth century popes, Benedict is said to have referred to himself as "an ugly gargoyle on the beauties of Rome"
Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum , Nov 1, 1914 _Brought an end to the panic measures resorted to by the church in face of the modernist crisis
_ But the boycott of modern thought continued; Roman Catholic scholarship becoming synonymous with sterility
Peace Efforts During WWI _ Tried to bring about an end to hostilities, calling initially (and unsuccessfully) for a Christmas truce
_ maintained a strict "impartiality" (the word "neutrality" implied that he was "indifferent" which he wasn’t)
_ condemned abuses on both sides and offered his services as a negotiator
_ In August, 1917, Benedict circulated a "peace note" to both Allied and Axis Powers which set forward a seven point plan for peace (allies not interested)
_ When the war finally came to an end and a peace was negotiated, it was without reference to his proposals although it is generally accepted that President Wilson’s Fourteen Points were built on Benedict’s suggestions.
Fatima, Portugal _ 1917: Mary, reportedly appeared to three children in the town of Fatima in Portugal on six occasions over as many months (May 13-October 13)
_ Mary predicted the end of the war but also predicted on July 13 that "Russia will spread her errors through the world, promoting wars and the persecution of the Church."
_ The children were also told that later "Russia would be converted and a time of peace granted to the world"

_ Code of Canon Law, 1917
_ 1920: Secret meeting with Mussolini to discuss the "Roman Question"
_ 1920: canonization of Joan of Arc
_ Encouraged Catholics to read the Bible
_ Died January 22, 1922
_ Money borrowed for funeral
_ Italy declared a time of offical state mourning for the first time since 1870