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Introduction - Contingency, Continuity, Development, and Change in Modern Catholic Social Teaching

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 July 2019

Gerard V. Bradley
Affiliation:
University of Notre Dame, Indiana
E. Christian Brugger
Affiliation:
St Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, Florida
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Summary

The impulse (cupido) for radical social and political change to which Leo XIII refers in the opening lines of his greatest encyclical had stirred widespread unrest during the pontificate of his predecessor, Pope Pius IX (1846–1878). The abolition of monasteries and convents in France and Spain; Kulturkampfs in Germany and Austria, stripping the Church of its remnants of cultural hegemony; and a half-century of acrimonious conflicts with Italian nationalists, including the assassination of the papal minister in 1848 and the pope’s daring escape from the Roman mob and subsequent two-year exile in central Italy; a pontificate culminating in 1870 with the military occupation of Rome by King Victor Emmanuel, the historical mega-theft of Church property by the newly formed Kingdom of Italy, and the precipitous end to more than a thousand years of papal temporal rule.

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Chapter
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Catholic Social Teaching
A Volume of Scholarly Essays
, pp. 1 - 8
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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