Growing in Faith

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Growing in Faith

A brilliant and learned mystic who taught by example

Because of the sheer volume of information and perspectives on the global and historical impact of the last pope, whittling down the salient points for a column of this length

Growing in Faith

The pope who captured the world with his smile

In 1978 the Italian Christian Democrat Aldo Moro was kidnapped by the fanatical communist Red Brigade and held for 54 days before being assassinated; his corpse ceremoniously, if irreverently, dumped

Growing in Faith

A papacy conceived not as power, but as service

After John XXIII’s death, the transition from the Johannine council to the Pauline one was relatively smooth. The former Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli had been close to Giovanni Battista Montini for

Growing in Faith

The pope who threw open the windows of the Vatican

Angelo Roncalli was the firstborn son in a family of 14 children in late 19th century Italy. Pegged as an intellectual at an early age, he went to work as

Growing in Faith

A pope who deserves credit, veneration on multiple fronts

John Cornwell’s 1999 book “Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII” unleashed a storm of controversy surrounding Eugenio Pacelli, elected as Pius XII in 1939, and his (implicit) connection

Growing in Faith

A prophetic pope unafraid to condemn ‘stupid racialism’

The interwar years of the 1920s and 1930s coincided almost exactly with the reign of a former librarian-turned-cardinal, Achille Ratti. For the second consecutive pontificate, the electors turned to a

Growing in Faith

A ‘courageous prophet of peace’ in turbulent times

Giacoma della Chiesa had been a cardinal for less than three months when his peers elected him to the papacy in 1914. The skirmish that would come to be called

Growing in Faith

The ‘Pope of the Eucharist’ and enemy of ‘Modernism’

In 1903, the Patriarch of Venice was an emotional and pious former peasant pastor, Giuseppe Sarto. This Patriarchate has often served as a stepping stone on a prelate’s way to

Growing in Faith

The pope, biblical scholarship and social teaching

Upon the death of Pius IX, the Cardinal electors took only three ballots to select Gioacchino Pecci as pope. Pecci, a relatively little-known Perugian bishop had been named Camerlengo of

Growing in Faith

The complex, influential ‘Prisoner of the Vatican’

Pius IX has been rather vilified in many secular, Jewish, and Christian circles as reactionary for his famous statement in the Syllabus of Errors that it is inconceivable that “the