This chapter begins with a summary of the aims and objectives of the volume and a historiographical review of the existing literature. It then examines the features, positive and negative, of the legacy of the pontificate of Pius X (1903–14). In particular, it focuses on the longer-term effects of Pius X’s innovations in the liturgical field, his inauguration of the process of codifying Canon Law and his reform of the Roman curia, and his attempts to improve training for the priesthood. It also analyses the longer-term effects of the ‘modernist’ crisis that dominated his reign and the consequences for the papacy during the July crisis of 1914 of Pius X’s and Cardinal Merry Del Val’s mishandling of the Vatican’s diplomatic relations with states.
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