The Pope and Mussolini came to power in the same year. In 1922. And they ruled together.
This is one of the key points made by David I Kertzer in a new book.
It was in 1922 that Cardinal Achille Ratti, a reserved and bookish autocrat, succeeded his predecessor Benedict XV and became Pope Pius XI, and it was in 1922 that Benito Mussolini’s “March on Rome” seizure of power made him and his fascist followers the political and military masters of Italy.
As Kertzer writes, both men were prickly, thin-skinned and strong-willed. “Each bristled at the charge of being the patsy of the other,” he tells us. “Both demanded unquestioned obedience from their subordinates, whose knees literally quaked in fear of provoking their wrath. Each came to be disillusioned by the other, yet dreaded what would happen if their alliance were to end.”
Their 17-year relationship was fraught with tension and guarded cooperation, although at first, each was mainly concerned with consolidating his own power.
By the end of 1926, Mussolini had crushed all internal resistance to his regime, muzzled the press, instituted rubber-stamp treason tribunals and even reinstated capital punishment.
By 1929, Pope Pius and his key cardinals (foremost among them Cardinal Pacelli, the now-infamous subject of John Cornwell’s 1999 bestseller Hitler’s Pope) had succeeded in establishing Vatican City as an independent nation within the boundaries of Italy, with the pope as its ruler – a far cry from the once-extensive Papal States, but better than outright dissolution. Each sounded out the possibility of conciliation, realising how useful they might find each other.
On February 11, 1929, Mussolini and the Pope’s emissary, Cardinal Gasparri, signed the Lateran accords, in which the Church promised to squelch all Catholic opposition to fascist rule in exchange for preferential treatment and a sizeable cash settlement.
“It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance the Pope gave to the accords,” Kertzer maintains.
“Newspapers throughout the country, including the Vatican daily, hammered on the theme . This historic event could never have happened if Italy had still been under democratic rule. Only Mussolini, and fascism, had made it possible.”
Rancour increased on both sides of the Lateran accords almost before the ink was dry, driven entirely by the incompatible personalities of the two men in charge.
“Pius XI’s most salient personality trait,” noted the Belgian ambassador, “was his insistence that he be obeyed,” whereas the motto Mussolini ha sempre ragione (“Mussolini is always right”) was everywhere: “Painted in huge letters on the sides of buildings throughout the country, the phrase was used to teach children to read.”
Not since the days of Antony and Augustus had Italy been big enough for two supreme leaders, and as the years wore on, the Pope and Il Duce clashed more often. “Sooner or later, people end up smashing their idols,” Pius told an emissary to warn Mussolini.
“Tell him that if he doesn’t change what he is doing, it will end badly for him.” And speaking for Mussolini, the Italian ambassador told Cardinal Pacelli, “One of these days … the Pope would go too far. He would not be happy with the result.”
But although each chafed at the other, each got what he wanted: for the Pope, the temporal protection of a state he distrusted, and for Mussolini, the spiritual blessing of a church he despised.
Source: The National
Fascism and Catoholicism is closely related. Without the rise of Mussolini in Italy, the Pope would not be able to regain Rome, and rebuilt his independent religious state. The headquarter of the “Holy see”, a global player.
The Pope has been ousted from Rome during a public uprising against his claimed authority. The Papacy lost a democratic vote in Independent republic of Italy in 1870 A.D, and had to go into internal exile.The Italians simply did not want Roman Catholicism as a state religion.
Mussolini pushed the independent republic aside. Not only did he enforce Catholicism back on the Italians. He also joined the Nazis in their bid for World domination. In this way the Pope and Mussolini brought curses and disasters down on all Europeans.
Mussolini was assassinated by his own people, The Pope escaped persecution, and was granted continued autonomy in the Vatican in 1946 by the Western allies.
This topic is a taboo. Not many Protestant leaders seems to be aware of this fact. And if they are, they kept silent. Because large Protestant Church movements, including Pentecostal denominations accept the seat of the Pope as a seat of Christian leadership.
How is this possible?
Simply because they enjoy the same babylonian authority as the Pope, being smaller Popes. They are enjoying absolute powers, not challengeable single leaders in their own congregations.
The disaster is on. The axe is already lying next to the feets of the Lion of Judah. His return is imminent.
“I will sweep away both man and beast; I will sweep away the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea— and the idols that cause the wicked to stumble.” “When I destroy all mankind on the face of the earth,” declares the Lord
Repent or perish.
Written by Ivar