For all of the criticism that Pope Gregory XVI (1831–1846) has attracted in the historiography for his severe, backward-thinking papal policies, such as condemning freedoms of speech and the press (Mirari vos; 1832) or his refusal to grant the construction of railroads, his reputation as a gifted theologian has remained untainted. Owen Chadwick called him “the best educated pope for nearly three-quarters of a century.” At the bottom of this assessment lies Gregory's only monograph, Il trionfo della Santa Sede (The triumph of the Holy See; 1799). Many have attempted to use this work to provide continuity or an appropriate backdrop to Gregory's later (papal) career. His order's own biographer has suggested that Il trionfo was responsible for his becoming cardinal. Alan Reinerman has claimed that the work's “fervor and erudition won him the esteem of the Curia” since it was written “at one of the darkest moments in Papal history.” Il trionfo acquired for Mauro Cappellari (later Gregory XVI) “an honored name among apologists,” claimed lifelong doting barber-turned-assistant Gaetano Moroni. Regarding its more immediate impact, Jean Leflon believed that Il trionfo caused Cappellari to be expelled from Rome.
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