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Catholic University of America Press

Controversial Concordats: The Vatican's Relations with Napoleon, Mussolini, and Hitler

Controversial Concordats: The Vatican's Relations with Napoleon, Mussolini, and Hitler

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Controversial Concordats offers an engaging survey of the relationship of the Roman Catholic Church with three dictatorial figures in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: Napoleon, Mussolini, and Hitler. The essays reveal that the papacy not only played a key role in determining church-state relations in particular countries, but also greatly influenced the general course of international relations and modern history from the era of the French Revolution to the age of dictators and World War II.

This volume examines the concordats signed by Pope Pius VII and his Secretary of State Consalvi with Napoleonic France in 1801; the concordat concluded by Pius XI and Cardinal Gasparri with Fascist Italy in 1929; and that signed by Pius XI and Cardinal Pacelli with the Third Reich in 1933. In addition to tracing the evolution of these crucial agreements, the contributors assess their consequences at home and abroad, their impact on the universal Church and the Catholic faith, and their effect on European and international developments.

A complete bibliography-divided into three parts corresponding to the periods examined-offers a historiographical overview of the sources for each of the agreements. It also provides important references on the broad issue of church-state relations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


Frank J. Coppa is professor of history and director of the doctoral program in modern world history at St. John's University, New York. He is the author or editor of numerous works, including The Origins of the Italian War of Independence, The Dictionary of Modern Italian History, and Modern Italian History: An Annotated Bibliography.


In addition to the editor, the contributors are: Joseph A. Biesinger, William Roberts, Stewart A. Stehlin, and John Zeender.


"A welcome attempt to get the historical record right regarding the Vatican's relationship with the dictators of Europe. It is exceptionally fair, accurate, and comprehensive."--Crisis

" A] valuable compendium of essays on Napoleon's, Mussolini's, and Hitler's concordats with the Vatican."--New York Review of Books

"A refreshingly scholarly account of concordats in general and three concordats in particular. Engagingly written to appeal to both the specialist and the general reader, this book offers insights into the accords that the popular press does not."--America

"The essays in this book will be of particular interest to students and the general reading public, since they are based largely on secondary literature. The book will be an invaluable aid for teaching, since the essays are well presented, can be linked with the included texts of the concordats, and provide a basis for comparative study and discussion. The bibliography is extensive and there is an especially valuable annotated bibliography for the section on the German concordat. . . . A] valuable contribution . . . for those interested in a comparative study of Church-State relations in the modern period."--Catholic Historical Review

"These fine essays have an inner coherence that helps disclose the ongoing church-state tensions that have affected post-1789 European history, and they help illuminate the Vatican's ongoing political and pastoral mission in dealing with the secular world."--Church History

"This book offers much-needed historical perspective on the Papacy's treaties with Napoleon, Mussolini, and Hitler . . . The contributors provide balanced historiographical assessments of each treaty. Readers will appreciate having clear English-language translations of all three concordats brought together within one volume."--Prof. Steven White, Mount St. Mary's College & Seminary

"Although co

Author: Frank J. Coppa
Publisher: Catholic University of America Press
Published: 05/01/1999
Pages: 248
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.80lbs
Size: 8.48h x 5.50w x 0.68d
ISBN: 9780813209203

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