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The Papacy in the Age of Totalitarianism, 1914-1958 - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Papacy in the Age of Totalitarianism, 1914-1958

John Pollard


This is the history of the papacy under three popes, Benedict XV (1914–58), Pius XI (1922–39), and Pius XII (1939–58), who faced the strains imposed on the worldwide Church by total war—two world wars and the Cold War. The totalitarian challenges of fascism, Nazism, and Communism led to unprecedented persecution in the history of Catholicism. Nevertheless, all three popes contributed significantly to the development of the modern papacy. Benedict XV rescued it from diplomatic isolation by his attempts to end the First World War and his humanitarian aid to the war victims. He also promulgated t ... More

Keywords: papacy 1914–58, total war, totalitarianism, religious persecution, Cold War, Catholicism, Pius XII and fascist genocides, papal absolutism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780199208562
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208562.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John Pollard, author
Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge