samedi 7 février 2015

Bienheureux PIE IX, Pape


Bienheureux Pie IX, pape

Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti, évêque d'Imola, né en 1792, élu pape le 16 juin 1846, sous le nom de Pie IX, fut le pape du dogme de l’Immaculée Conception (1854), du Syllabus (1864) et du Concile Vatican I (1869-1870). Il dut souffrir l’exil puis accepter de voir Rome envahie et les Etats pontificaux anéantis. Ayant mené à terme le pontificat le plus long de l’histoire en des temps difficiles, il mourut à Rome le 7 février 1878.




Bienheureux Pie IX  –  Jean Marie MASTAI FERRETTI

Nom: MASTAI FERRETTI
Prénom: Jean Marie (Giovanni Maria)

Pape Pie IX
Pays: Italie
Naissance: 13.05.1792  à Senigallia
Mort: 07.02.1878  à Rome
Etat: Pape
Note: Prêtre en 1819. Evêque de Spolète en 1827, d'Imola en 1832. Cardinal en 1840. Pape le 16 juin 1846. Exilé 17 mois à Gaète (1848-49). Dogme de l'Immaculée Conception en 1854. Syllabus en 1864. Il convoque en 1870 le Concile Vatican I qui proclame le dogme de l'infaillibilité pontificale. 32 ans de pontificat, le plus long de l'histoire de l'Eglise.

Béatification: 03.09.2000  à Rome  par Jean Paul II
Canonisation:
Fête: 7 février

Réf. dans l’Osservatore Romano: 2000 n.36 p.1.6  -  n.37 p.5
Réf. dans la Documentation Catholique: 2000 n.17 p.801-803
Notice brève:

Giovanni Maria Mastaï Ferretti naît en 1792 près de Rimini dans les Etats Pontificaux d'une famille d'origine lombarde. Ordonné prêtre en 1819, il s'occupe avec charité d'un orphelinat puis il accompagne un Nonce apostolique en Amérique Latine, ce qui constitue pour lui une expérience missionnaire. Evêque de Spolète, puis d'Imola, il trouve le moyen d'apaiser un climat politique tendu. Il passe pour libéral quand il est élu Pape en 1846, à l'âge de 54 ans. Sa popularité est immense, mais l'Italie cherche à faire son unité et un mouvement révolutionnaire l'oblige à s'exiler 17 mois à Gaète (1848-49). Contre les erreurs modernes, il publie en 1864 l'Encyclique "Quanta cura" et surtout le "Syllabus" qui dresse l'opinion anticléricale contre lui. En cette époque où l'Eglise est battue en brèche, il sait en revanche assurer son expansion missionnaire. En 1854, il proclame le dogme de l'Immaculée Conception, et en 1870, celui de l'Infaillibilité pontificale, lors du Concile du Vatican. Mais Rome est attaquée en 1870 et Pie IX cède à la violence pour éviter une effusion de sang. Confiné dans la Cité du Vatican, il se considère désormais comme prisonnier, mais la piété catholique entoure d'une affection grandissante ce pontife en butte à l'adversité. Il meurt en 1878, après un pontificat de 32 ans, le plus long de l'histoire de l'Eglise.

Notice développée

Giovanni Maria Mastaï Ferretti naît du comte Jérôme, du même nom, et de Catherine Solazzi, le 13 mai 1792 à Senigallia près de Rimini (Etats pontificaux). Sa famille d'origine lombarde, a la réputation d'être 'libérale'. Lui aussi héritera de cette réputation. Il reçoit une éducation très pieuse et studieuse, traversée par une maladie qu'on dit être l'épilepsie, mal qui le fait renvoyer de la garde noble pontificale où il était entré. En 1816, une mission dans sa ville à laquelle il participe éveille en lui la vocation, mais sa maladie constitue un obstacle canonique. Pourtant saint Vincent Pallotti lui prédit qu'il sera Pape et Pie VII intervient personnellement pour lever l'empêchement au sacerdoce. Guéri à Notre-Dame de Lorette, il est ordonné en 1819.

Il est d'abord recteur de l'Institut Tata Giovanni, pour les orphelins. Il y déploie une grande charité. En 1825, il accompagne le Nonce Apostolique au Chili et il y fait merveille. De même en Argentine. C'est dans ces fonctions qu'il puise son amour des missions. A 35 ans, en 1827, il est archevêque de Spolète en Ombrie. La situation politique est déjà tendue, mais il calme le jeu et déploie un zèle pastoral merveilleux, non sans souffrir personnellement. En 1832 il est nommé au siège d'Imola qui fut occupé jadis par Pie VII (dont il prendra le nom comme Pape). Sa prédication est simple et belle. Il veille au bien surnaturel et matériel de son diocèse. Il est proche du clergé et des séminaristes, s'intéresse aux jeunes mais aussi à la vie contemplative. Lui-même est enflammé de dévotion pour le Sacré-Cœur et la Vierge Marie. Il se montre bienveillant, mais ferme sur les principes.

Cardinal à 48 ans, il est élu Pape à 54 ans, le 16 juin 1846. Il est précédé par sa réputation de 'libéral' et il est accueilli triomphalement avec des 'Hosanna'. Tout est sympathique dans sa personne, même physiquement. Il est affable, il a un sens aigu de l'humour, ce qui lui permet de relativiser les drames, et surtout c'est un père plein de bonté. Il commence par une amnistie pour tous les délits politiques (contre l'avis de ses cardinaux). On ne remarque guère que dans sa première encyclique, il condamne déjà le socialisme. Très populaire, il accorde plus de liberté à la presse et donne un plus grand rôle aux laïcs dans ses Etats. (Rappelons qu'à l'époque le Pape était aussi un souverain temporel; ses Etats, donnés au cours des âges par des princes chrétiens, occupaient toute l'Italie centrale.) Mais, s'il est pour la libération de la tutelle autrichienne en Italie, il n'est pas pour la République, et les ultra-libéraux se retournent contre lui. Son chef de gouvernement, le jeune comte Pellegrino Rossi, qui a eu le courage d'accepter le poste de premier ministre alors que la révolte grondait, est assassiné le 15 novembre 1848 tandis qu'il se rendait à la chambre des députés pour y présenter un train de réformes libérales modérées. Très choqué, le Pape capitule pour arrêter l'effusion de sang et se réfugie à Gaète où il prolongera son exil 17 mois. En 1849 le insurgés proclament la "République romaine". En juillet une expédition française leur reprend Rome où le Pape ne consent à rentrer qu'en avril 1850. Il est acclamé par le peuple mais son pouvoir affaibli ne se maintient que grâce à la présence française. Pourtant Napoléon III, ondoyant, est un allié peu sûr.

Pie IX est attentif à tous les secteurs de la vie de l'Église universelle. Ainsi il rétablit la hiérarchie catholique en Angleterre et en Hollande - et plus tard en Ecosse - malgré le tollé des Anglicans et des protestants. Il rétablit aussi le Patriarcat latin de Jérusalem. En 1853, alors que les Catacombes sont soumises à des déprédations inconsidérées, il crée la Commission d'archéologie chrétienne qui arrête le massacre. Le 8 décembre 1854, il proclame le dogme de l'Immaculée Conception. Il est ouvert à la science et à la technique (création d'une voie ferrée aboutissant à Rome, ce à quoi s'était opposé son prédécesseur). En 1857, malgré l'agitation créée par le 'Risorgimento', il décide de visiter ses États: c'est la liesse, mais les problèmes politiques demeurent. Il envoie des missionnaires en Inde, en Birmanie, en Chine et au Japon. Les oblats de Marie Immaculée vont jusqu'au Grand Nord Canadien.

En 1863, Renan publie "La vie de Jésus" qui obtient un grand succès. Le Pape en est très affecté. L'année suivante, c'est l'encyclique "Quanta cura" accompagnée du Syllabus. Les catholiques libéraux sont embarrassés, les anticléricaux triomphent. En 1869, son Jubilé sacerdotal (50 ans) lui vaut de multiples témoignages d'affection et le 8 décembre s'ouvre le Concile du Vatican (Vatican I). Le 18 juillet 1870 est votée la Constitution "Pastor Æternus" dont le chapitre IV définit l'infaillibilité pontificale. Le lendemain 19 juillet, c'est la déclaration de guerre de la France à la Prusse. Pie IX doit ajourner le Concile. Privés de la protection des troupes françaises, les États pontificaux sont envahis. Rome est attaquée le 20 septembre. Après un petit combat, Pie IX désireux d'éviter l'effusion de sang ordonne de hisser le drapeau blanc. Désormais il se considère comme prisonnier au Vatican, refusant les concessions que lui propose le gouvernement spoliateur de Victor Emmanuel, Roi du nouvel État Italien (Loi des garanties du 13 mai 1871). En 1875, Pie IX consacre l'Église au Sacré-Cœur. Les catholiques italiens peuvent-ils participer à la vie politique? La réponse en 1877 est "Non expedit" (Il ne convient pas).

Le Pape meurt le 7 février 1878. Ainsi s'achève le plus long pontificat de l'histoire de l'Église: presque 32 ans.

Le dimanche 3 septembre de l'Année Sainte 2000, Jean Paul II béatifie Pie IX en même temps que Jean XXIII, le "bon Pape Jean". On a voulu opposer ces deux Papes, mais c'est mal connaître la profonde vénération de Jean XXIII pour son prédécesseur dont il avait continué l'œuvre avec Vatican II. Au cours d'une retraite spirituelle, en 1959, il écrivait dans son "Journal de l'âme": "Je pense toujours à Pie IX de sainte et glorieuse mémoire, et l'imitant dans ses sacrifices, je voudrais être digne d'en célébrer la canonisation".

"Profondément aimé", Pie IX fut également "haï et calomnié". Pourtant lui-même fit toujours preuve d'indulgence envers ses ennemis, mais dans sa politique, il accordait "le primat absolu à Dieu et aux valeurs spirituelles". Il disait: "Ma politique est: Notre Père qui es aux cieux". Il avait aussi le sens relatif des choses de ce monde: IL aimait dire à ceux qui étaient proches de lui: "Dans les choses humaines, il faut se contenter de faire du mieux que l'on peut et pour le reste, s'abandonner à la Providence qui palliera aux défauts et aux insuffisances de l'homme". Il eut à guider la barque de Pierre parmi de violentes tempêtes. Au milieu de ces contradictions, il trouva un réconfort dans l'abandon filial à la Vierge Marie et à la Providence, s'en remettant à Dieu avec une confiance totale. Qui dit mieux?

Note sur le Syllabus

On reproche souvent à Pie IX ce catalogue des erreurs modernes. Il faut cependant remarquer que ce document n'avait pas été prévu pour être divulgué. D'autre part, parmi les erreurs condamnées, on a pu voir quels furent les effets néfastes engendrés dans le siècle suivant par certaines d'entre elles: le libéralisme, le nationalisme, le scientisme et le communisme, par exemple. Enfin, à propos de la liberté de conscience, visée elle aussi, il faut reconnaître le progrès réalisé par Vatican II. Du temps de Pie IX, le thèse était: l'erreur n'a pas de droit. Avec la Déclaration "Dignitatis humanæ" de Vatican II, on rappelle que la foi procède d'un acte libre et qu'on ne peut forcer la conscience, même si elle est dans l'erreur; tous cependant ont le devoir de rechercher la vérité et l'ayant découverte, de s'y soumettre.

Note sur l'affaire Mortara

Ce cas est également reproché à Pie IX. Il s'agit d'un petit bébé juif en danger de mort, baptisé par une servante catholique et qui survit. A l'âge de sept ans, les parents veulent initier l'enfant aux rites israélites. La servante en parle à un prêtre qui avertit le Saint-Office, lequel fait enlever l'enfant pour assurer son éducation chrétienne. Ceci est conforme à la législation des Etats pontificaux et au droit canon de l'époque, mais, en pareil cas, Benoît XIV, au 18e siècle, avait dit qu'il convenait de laisser l'enfant à la famille si celle-ci promettait de n'exercer aucune pression sur lui. Le Saint-Office n'eut pas cette sagesse, d'où une grande émotion chez les juifs et dans le monde, et de la gêne chez les catholiques. Napoléon III demande au Pape de rendre le petit Edgar Mortara à ses parents. Pie IX, tout en déclarant qu'il regrette la mesure prise par le Saint-Office, se refuse à la rapporter. Quant à l'enfant, lorsqu'il arrive à l'âge de choisir lui-même, il décide de rester catholique et devient même prêtre. Reconnaissons toutefois qu'on n'agirait plus de la sorte actuellement: La déclaration "Dignitatis humanae" de Vatican II dit: "Aux parents revient le droit de décider, dans la ligne de leur propre conviction religieuse, la formation religieuse à donner à leurs enfants…. Les droits des parents sont violés lorsque les enfants sont contraints de fréquenter des cours scolaires ne répondant pas à la conviction religieuse des parents" (N.5)

Réponse de Jean Paul II

Faisant une allusion implicite à ces difficultés et aux critiques face à la béatification de Pie IX, Jean Paul II dit dans son homélie de béatification: "La sainteté se vit dans l'histoire et aucun saint n'échappe aux limites et aux conditionnements propres à notre humanité. En béatifiant l'un de ses fils, l'Église ne célèbre pas les choix historiques particuliers qu'il a pris, mais elle le montre plutôt comme devant être imité et vénéré pour ses vertus comme une louange à la grâce divine qui resplendit en celles-ci".

Bienheureux Pie IX


Pape (255 ème) de 1846 à 1878 ( 1878)

Giovanni Maria Mastali Ferretti, évêque d'Imola, né en 1792, élu pape le 16 Juin 1846, décédé le 7 Février 1878.

Le 3 septembre 2000 a été célébrée, à Rome, par le pape Jean-Paul II, la béatification de Pie IX, le Pape du Dogme de l’Immaculée Conception (1854), du Syllabus (1864) et du Concile Vatican I (1869-1870), titulaire en outre du Pontificat le plus long de l’histoire de l’Église de 1846 à 1878.

le Bienheureux Pie IX, a proclamé le Dogme de l'Immaculée-Conception en 1854.



À Rome, près de saint Laurent, en 1878, le bienheureux Pie IX, pape, qui proclama hautement la vérité du Christ, à laquelle il était attaché de tout son cœur, établit de nombreux sièges épiscopaux, promut le culte de la bienheureuse Vierge Marie et convoqua le premier Concile œcuménique du Vatican.


Martyrologe romain



Pope Pius IX
(GIOVANNI MARIA MASTAI-FERRETTI).

Pope from 1846-78; born at Sinigaglia, 13 May, 1792; died in Rome, 7 February, 1878.

Before his papacy

His early years

After receiving his classical education at the Piarist College in Volterra from 1802-09 he went to Rome to study philosophy and theology, but left there in 1810 on account of political disturbances. He returned in 1814 and, in deference to his father's wish, asked to be admitted to the pope's Noble Guard. Being subject to epileptic fits, he was refused admission and, following the desire of his mother and his own inclination, he studied theology at the Roman Seminary, 1814-18. Meanwhile his malady had ceased and he was ordained priest, 10 April, 1819. Pius VII appointed him spiritual director of the orphan asylum popularly known as "Tata Giovanni", in Rome, and in 1823 sent him, as auditor of the Apostolic delegate, Mgr Muzi, to Chile in South America. Upon his return in 1825 he was made canon of Santa Maria in Via Lata and director of the large hospital of San Michele by Leo XII. The same pope created him Archbishop of Spoleto, 21 May, 1827. In 1831 when 4000 Italian revolutionists fled before the Austrian army and threatened to throw themselves upon Spoleto, the archbishop persuaded them to lay down their arms and disband, induced the Austrian commander to pardon them for their treason, and gave them sufficient money to reach their homes. On 17 February, 1832, Gregory XVI transferred him to the more important Diocese of Imola and, 14 December, 1840, created him cardinal priest with the titular church of Santi Pietro e Marcellino, after having reserved him in petto since 23 December, 1839. He retained the Diocese of Imola until his elevation to the papacy. His great charity and amiability had made him beloved by the people, while his friendship with some of the revolutionists had gained for him the name of liberal.

His election

On 14 June, 1846, two weeks after the death of Gregory XVI, fifty cardinals assembled in the Quirinal for the conclave. They were divided into two factions, the conservatives, who favoured a continuance of absolutism in the temporal government of the Church, and the liberals, who were desirous of moderate political reforms. At the fourth scrutiny, 16 June, Cardinal Mastai-Ferretti, the liberal candidate, received three votes beyond the required majority. Cardinal Archbishop Gaysruck of Milan had arrived too late to make use of the right of exclusion against his election, given him by the Austrian Government. The new pope accepted the tiara with reluctance and in memory of Pius VII, his former benefactor, took the name of Pius IX. His coronation took place in the Basilica of St. Peter on 21 June. His election was greeted with joy, for his charity towards the poor, his kindheartedness, and his wit had made him very popular.

Temporal aspect of his papacy

Within the Papal States

Conciliatory policies (1846-1848).-- "Young Italy" was clamouring for greater political freedom. The unyielding attitude of Gregory XVI and his secretary of state, Cardinal Lambruschini, had brought the papal states to the verge of a revolution. The new pope was in favour of a political reform. His first great political act was the granting of a general amnesty to political exiles and prisoners on 16 July, 1846. This act was hailed with enthusiasm by the people, but many prudent men had reasonable fears of the results. Some extreme reactionaries denounced the pope as in league with the Freemasons and the Carbonari. It did not occur to the kindly nature of Pius IX that many of the pardoned political offenders would use their liberty to further their revolutionary ideas. That he was not in accord with the radical ideas of the times he clearly demonstrated by his Encyclical of 9 November, 1846, in which he laments the oppression of Catholic interests, intrigues against the Holy See, machinations of secret societies, sectarian bitterness, the Bible associations, indifferentism, false philosophy, communism, and the licentious press. He was, however, willing to grant such political reforms as he deemed expedient to the welfare of the people and compatible with the papal sovereignty. On 19 April, 1847, he announced his intention to establish an advisory council (Consulta di Stato), composed of laymen from the various provinces of the papal territory. This was followed by the establishment of a civic guard (Guardia Civica), 5 July, and a cabinet council, 29 December.

Failure of appeasement (1848-1850).-- But the more concessions the pope made, the greater and more insistent became the demands. Secret clubs of Rome, especially the "Circolo Romano", under the direction of Ciceruacchio, fanaticized the mob with their radicalism and were the real rulers of Rome. They spurred the people on to be satisfied with nothing but a constitutional government, an entire laicization of the ministry, and a declaration of war against hated and reactionary Austria.

On 8 February, 1848, a street riot extorted the promise of a lay ministry from the pope and on 14 March he saw himself obliged to grant a constitution, but in his allocution of 29 April he solemnly proclaimed that, as the Father of Christendom, he could never declare war against Catholic Austria.

Riot followed riot, the pope was denounced as a traitor to his country, his prime minister Rossi was stabbed to death while ascending the steps of the Cancelleria, whither he had gone to open the parliament, and on the following day the pope himself was besieged in the Quirinal. Palma, a papal prelate, who was standing at a window, was shot, and the pope was forced to promise a democratic ministry. With the assistance of the Bavarian ambassador, Count Spaur, and the French ambassador, Duc d'Harcourt, Pius IX escaped from the Quirinal in disguise, 24 November, and fled to Gaëta where he was joined by many of the cardinals. Meanwhile Rome was ruled by traitors and adventurers who abolished the temporal power of the pope, 9 February, 1849, and under the name of a democratic republic terrorized the people and committed untold outrages. The pope appealed to France, Austria, Spain, and Naples. On 29 June French troops under General Oudinot restored order in his territory. On 12 April, 1850, Pius IX returned to Rome, no longer a political liberalist.

His subsequent rule (1850-1858).-- Cardinal Antonelli, his secretary of state, exerted a paramount political influence until his death on 6 November, 1876. The temporal reign of Pius IX, up to the seizure of the last of his temporal possessions in 1870, was one continuous struggle, on the one hand against the intrigues of the revolutionaries, on the other against the Piedmontese ruler Victor Emmanuel, his crafty premier Cavour, and other antipapal statesmen who aimed at a united Italy, with Rome as its capital, and the Piedmontese ruler as its king. The political difficulties of the pope were still further increased by the double dealing of Napoleon III, and the necessity of relying on French and Austrian troops for the maintenance of order in Rome and the papal legations in the north.
Intrigues against the Papal States (1858-1878).-- When Pius IX visited his provinces in the summer of 1857 he received everywhere a warm and loyal reception. But the doom of his temporal power was sealed, when a year later Cavour and Napoleon III met at Plombières, concerting plans for a combined war against Austria and the subsequent territorial extension of the Sardinian Kingdom. They sent their agents into various cities of the Papal States to propagate the idea of a politically united Italy. The defeat of Austria at Magenta on 4 July, 1859, and the subsequent withdrawal of the Austrian troops from the papal legations, inaugurated the dissolution of the Papal States. The insurrection in some of the cities of the Romagna was put forth as a plea for annexing this province to Piedmont in September, 1859. On 6 February, 1860, Victor Emmanuel demanded the annexation of Umbria and the Marches and, when Pius IX resisted this unjust demand, made ready to annex them by force. After defeating the papal army at Castelfidardo on 18 September, and at Ancona on 30 September, he deprived the pope of all his possessions with the exception of Rome and the immediate vicinity. Finally on 20 September, 1870, he completed the spoliation of the papal possessions by seizing Rome and making it the capital of United Italy. The so-called Law of Guarantees, of 15 May, 1871, which accorded the pope the rights of a sovereign, an annual remuneration of 3¼ million lire ($650,000), and extraterritoriality to a few papal palaces in Rome, was never accepted by Pius IX or his successors. (See STATES OF THE CHURCH; ROME; LAW OF GUARANTEES).

Outside of the Papal States

The loss of his temporal power was only one of the many trials that filled the long pontificate of Pius IX. There was scarcely a country, Catholic or Protestant, where the rights of the Church were not infringed upon. In Piedmont the Concordat of 1841 was set aside, the tithes were abolished, education was laicized, monasteries were suppressed, church property was confiscated, religious orders were expelled, and the bishops who opposed this anti-ecclesiastical legislation were imprisoned or banished. In vain did Pius IX protest against such outrages in his allocutions of 1850, 1852, 1853, and finally in 1855 by publishing to the world the numerous injustices which the Piedmontese government had committed against the Church and her representatives. In Würtemberg he succeeded in concluding a concordat with the Government, but, owing to the opposition of the Protestant estates, it never became a law and was revoked by a royal rescript on 13 June, 1861. The same occurred in the Grand Duchy of Baden where the Concordat of 1859 was abolished on 7 April, 1860. Equally hostile to the Church was the policy of Prussia and other German states, where the anti-ecclesiastical legislations reached their height during the notorious Kulturkampf, inaugurated in 1873. The violent outrages committed in Switzerland against the bishops and the remaining clergy were solemnly denounced by Pius IX in his encyclical letter of 21 November, 1873, and, as a result, the papal internuncio was expelled from Switzerland in January, 1874. The concordat which Pius IX had concluded with Russia in 1847 remained a dead letter, horrible cruelties were committed against the Catholic clergy and laity after the Polish insurrection of 1863, and all relations with Rome were broken in 1866. The anti-ecclesiastical legislation in Colombia was denounced in his allocution of 27 September, 1852, and again, together with that of Mexico, on 30 September, 1861. With Austria, a concordat, very favourable to the Church, was concluded on 18 August, 1855 ("Conventiones de rebus eccl. inter s. sedem et civilem potestatem", Mainz, 1870, 310-318). But the Protestant agitation aginst the concordat was so strong, that in contravention to it the emperor reluctantly ratified marriage and school laws 25 March, 1868. In 1870 the concordat was abolished by the Austrian Government, and in 1874 laws were enacted, which placed all but the inner management of ecclesiastical affairs in the hands of the Government.

With Spain, Pius IX concluded a satisfactory concordat on 16 March, 1851 (Nussi, 281-297; "Acta Pii IX", I, 293-341). It was supplemented by various articles on 25 November, 1859 (Nussi, 341-5). Other satisfactory concordats concluded by Pius IX were those with:
  • Portugal in 1857 (Nussi, 318-21);
  • Costa Rica, and Guatemala, 7 Oct., 1852 (Ib., 297-310);
  • Nicaragua, 2 Nov., 1861 (Ib., 361-7);
  • San Salvador, and Honduras, 22 April, 1862 (Ib., 367-72; 349);
  • Haiti, 28 March, 1860 (Ib., 346-8);
  • Venezuela, 26 July, 1862 (Ib., 356-61);
  • Ecuador, 26 Sept., 1862 (Ib., 349-56).
(See CONCORDAT: Summary of Principal Concordats.)

Religious aspect of his papacy

His greatest achievements are of a purely ecclesiastical and religious character.

Battle against false liberalism

It is astounding how fearlessly he fought, in the midst of many and severe trials, against the false liberalism which threatened to destroy the very essence of faith and religion. In his Encyclical "Quanta Cura" of 8 December, 1864, he condemned sixteen propositions touching on errors of the age. This Encyclical was accompanied by the famous "Syllabus errorum", a table of eighty previously censured propositions bearing on pantheism, naturalism, rationalism, indifferentism, socialism, communism, freemasonry, and the various kinds of religious liberalism. Though misunderstandings and malice combined in representing the Syllabus as a veritable embodiment of religious narrow-mindedness and cringing servility to papal authority, it has done an inestimable service to the Church and to society at large by unmasking the false liberalism which had begun to insinuate its subtle poison into the very marrow of Catholicism.

Previously, on 8 January, 1857, he had condemned the philosophico-theological writings of Günther, and on many occasions advocated a return to the philosophy and theology of St. Thomas.

His promotion of the inner life of the Church

Through his whole life he was very devout to the Blessed Virgin. As early as 1849, when he was an exile at Gaëta, he issued letters to the bishops of the Church, asking their views on the subject of the Immaculate Conception, and on 8 Dec., 1854, in the presence of more than 200 bishops, he proclaimed the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin as a dogma of the Church. He also fostered the devotion to the Sacred Heart, and on 23 Sept., 1856, extended this feast to the whole world with the rite of a double major. At his instance the Catholic world was consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on 16 June, 1875. He also promoted the inner life of the Church by many important liturgical regulations, by various monastic reforms, and especially by an unprecedented number of beatifications and canonizations.

Convocation of the Vatican Council

On 29 June, 1869, he issued the Bull "Æterni Patris", convoking the Vatican Council which he opened in the presence of 700 bishops on 8 Dec., 1869. During its fourth solemn session, on 18 July, 1870, the papal infallibility was made a dogma of the Church. (See VATICAN COUNCIL..)

Appointments and foundations

The healthy and extensive growth of the Church during his pontificate was chiefly due to his unselfishness. He appointed to important ecclesiastical positions only such men as were famous both for piety and learning. Among the great cardinals created by him were: Wiseman and Manning for England; Cullen for Ireland; McCloskey for the United States; Diepenbrock, Geissel, Reisach, and Ledochowski for Germany; Rauscher and Franzelin for Austria; Mathieu, Donnet, Gousset, and Pitra for France. On 29 Sept., 1850, he re-established the Catholic hierarchy in England by erecting the Archdiocese of Westminster with the twelve suffragan Sees of Beverley, Birmingham, Clifton, Hexham, Liverpool, Newport and Menevia, Northampton, Nottingham, Plymouth, Salford, Shrewsbury, and Southwark. The widespread commotion which this act caused among English fanatics, and which was fomented by Prime Minister Russell and the London "Times", temporarily threatened to result in an open persecution of Catholics (see ENGLAND). On 4 March, 1853, he restored the Catholic hierarchy in Holland by erecting the Archdiocese of Utrecht and the four suffragan Sees of Haarlem, Bois-le-Duc, Roermond, and Breda (see HOLLAND).

In the United States of America he erected the Dioceses of: Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, and Galveston in 1847; Monterey, Savannah, St. Paul, Wheeling, Santa Fe, and Nesqually (Seattle) in 1850; Burlington, Covington, Erie, Natchitoches, Brooklyn, Newark, and Quincy (Alton) in 1853; Portland (Maine) in 1855; Fort Wayne, Sault Sainte Marie (Marquette) in 1857; Columbus, Grass Valley (Sacramento) Green Bay, Harrisburg, La Crosse, Rochester, Scranton, St. Joseph, Wilmington in 1868; Springfield and St. Augustine in 1870; Providence and Ogdensburg in 1872; San Antonio in 1874; Peoria in 1875; Leavenworth in 1877; the Vicariates Apostolic of the Indian Territory and Nebraska in 1851; Northern Michigan in 1853; Florida in 1857; North Carolina, Idaho, and Colorado in 1868; Arizona in 1869; Brownsville in Texas and Northern Minnesota in 1874. He encouraged the convening of provincial and diocesan synods in various countries, and established at Rome the Latin American College in 1853, and the College of the United States of America, at his own private expense, in 1859.

Conclusion

His was the longest pontificate in the history of the papacy. In 1871 he celebrated his twenty-fifth, in 1876 his thirtieth, anniversary as pope, and in 1877 his golden episcopal jubilee. His tomb is in the church of San Lorenzo fuori le mura. The so-called diocesan process of his beatification was begun on 11 February, 1907.

[Note: Pope Pius IX was beatified on September 3, 2000.]

Sources

Acta Pii IX (Rome, 1854-78); Acta Sancta Sedis (Rome, 1865 sq.); RIANCEY, Recueil des allocutions consistoriales (Paris, 1853 sq.); Discorsi del Sommo Pont. Pio IX (Rome, 1872-8); MAGUIRE, Pius IX and his Times (Dublin, 1885); TROLLOPE, Life of Pius IX (London, 1877); SHEA, Life and Pontificate of Pius IX (New York, 1877); BRENNAN, A Popular Life of Our Holy Father Pope Pius IX (New York, 1877); O'REILLY, Life of Pius IX (New York, 1878); MCCAFFREY, Hist. of the Cath. Church in the Nineteenth Century, I (Dublin, 1909); LYONS, Dispatches resp. the condition of the Papal States (London, 1860); BALLERINI, Les Premiéres pages du pontificat de Pie IX (Rome, 1909); POUGEOIS, Histoire de Pie IX, son pontificat et son siècle (Paris, 1877-86);VILLEGRANCHE, Pie IX, sa vie, son histoire, son siècle (Paris, 1878); SAGèS, SS. Pie IX, sa vie, ses écrits, sa doctrine (Paris, 1896); ROCFER, Souvenirs d'un prélat romain sur Rome et la cour pontificale au temps de Pie IX d(Paris, 1896); VAN DUERM, Rome et la Franc-Maçconnerie (Brussels, 1896); GILLET, Pie IX, sa vie, et les actes de son pontificat (Paris, 1877); RÜTJES, Leben, wirken und leiden Sr. Heiligkeit Pius IX (Oberhausen, 1870); HÜLSKAMP, Papst Pius IX in seinem Leben und Wirken (Münster, 1875); STEPPISCHNEGG, Papst Pius IX und seine Zeit (Vienna, 1879); WAPPMANNSPERGER, Leben und Wirken des Papst Pius IX (Ratisbon, 1879); NÜRNBERGER, Papsttum und Kirchenstaat, II, III (Mainz, 1898-1900); MAROCCO, Pio IX (Turin, 1861-4); MOROSI, Vita di SS. Pio papa IX (Florence, 1885-6); BONETTI, Pio IX ad Imola e Roma—Memorie inedite di un suo famgiliare segreto (Rome, 1892); CESARE, Roma e lo stato del Papa dal ritorno di Pio IX al 20 Settembre (Rome, 1906).


Ott, Michael. "Pope Pius IX." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 24 Dec. 2015<http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12134b.htm>.