Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Pope Benedict XV (Giacomo Paolo Giovanni Battista Della Chiesa). Papacy From 1914-1922. (Part Five.)

Text and Illustrations from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.

English: Pope Benedict XV, circa 1915.
Français: Photo de Benoît XV prise vers 1915.
Photo: Circa 1915.
Source: Library of Congress.
Author: Unknown.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Ratti, a scholar, intended to work for Poland and build bridges to the Soviet Union, hoping even to shed his blood for Russia. Pope Benedict XV needed him as a diplomat, and not as a Martyr, and forbade any trip into the USSR, even though he was the official Papal Delegate to Russia. However, he continued his contacts with Russia. This did not generate much sympathy for him within Poland at the time. He was asked to leave. “While he tried honestly to show himself as a friend of Poland, Warsaw forced his departure after his neutrality in Silesian voting was questioned” by Germans and Poles.

Nationalistic Germans objected to a Polish Nuncio supervising elections, and Poles were upset because he curtailed agitating Clergy. On 20 November, when German Cardinal Adolf Bertram announced a Papal ban on all political activities of Clergymen, calls for Ratti's expulsion climaxed in Warsaw. Two years later, Achille Ratti became Pope Pius XI, shaping Vatican policies towards Poland with Pietro Gasparri and Eugenio Pacelli for the following 36 years (1922–1958).

Pope Benedict XV''s friend,
Cardinal Rampolla, at age 70,
shortly before his death in 1913.
Date: June 1913.
Source: 1914 Book von Waal.
Author: Hofrat Hilsdorf Darmstadt.

In internal Church affairs, Pope Benedict XV reiterated Pope Saint Pius X's condemnation of "Modernist" scholars, and the errors in modern philosophical systems, in his first Encyclical, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum. He declined to re-admit, to Full Communion, scholars who had been Excommunicated during the previous Pontificate. However, he calmed what he saw as the excesses of the anti-Modernist campaign within the Church. On 25 July 1920, he wrote the motu proprio "Bonum sane", on Saint Joseph, and against Naturalism.

In 1917, Pope Benedict XV promulgated the Church's first Code of Canon Law, the preparation of which had been commissioned by Pope Saint Pius X, and which is thus known as the Pio-Benedictine Code. This Code, which entered into force in 1918, was the first consolidation of the Church's Canon Law into a modern Code made up of Simple Articles. Previously, Canon Law was dispersed in a variety of sources and partial compilations. The new Canon Law is credited with reviving Religious Life and providing Judicial clarity throughout the Church. In addition, continuing the concerns of Pope Leo XIII, he furthered Eastern Catholic Culture, Theology and Liturgy, by founding an Oriental Institute for them in Rome.

On 30 November 1919, Pope Benedict XV appealed to all Catholics, worldwide, to sacrifice for Catholic Missions, stating at the same time, in Maximum Illud, that these Missions should foster local culture and not import European cultures. The damage of such cultural imports were particularly grave in Africa and Asia, where many Missionaries were deported and incarcerated, if they happened to originate from a hostile nation.

Copyright-expired-photo of handwriting of Giacomo Della Chiesa.
Date: 1914. (7 September 2008 (original upload date)).
Source: Transferred from en.wikipedia (Original Text: Antol de Waal).
Author: Anton de Waal. Original uploader was Ambrosius007 at en.wikipedia
(Wikimedia Commons)

Pope Benedict was an ardent Mariologist, devoted to Marian Veneration and open to new Theological perspectives. He personally addressed, in numerous Letters, the Pilgrims at Marian Sanctuaries. He named Mary "The Patron of Bavaria", and permitted, in Mexico, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Guadalupe. To underline his support for Mediatrix Theology, he authorised the Feast of "Mary, Mediator of all Graces". He condemned the misuse of Marian statues and pictures, dressed in Priestly robes, which he outlawed 4 April 1916.

Español: Monasterio de Ettal, Baviera, Alemania.
English: Ettal Abbey, Bavaria, Germany,
was raised to the Status of a Minor Basilica
by Pope Benedict XV.
Photo: 22 March 2014.
Source: Own work.
Author: Diego Delso.
(Wikimedia Commons)

During World War I, Benedict placed the world under the protection of The Blessed Virgin Mary, and added the invocation "Mary, Queen of Peace", to the Litany of Loreto. He promoted Marian Veneration, throughout the world, by elevating twenty well-known Marian Shrines, such as Ettal Abbey, in Bavaria, into Basilica Minors (Minor Basilicas). He also promoted Marian Devotions in May, in the spirit of Grignon de Montfort. The Dogmatic Constitution of the Church, issued by the Second Vatican Council, quotes the Marian Theology of Benedict XV.

Photo of Joan of Arc's Canonisation Ceremony
The Vatican, 1920.

In his Encyclical on Ephraim the Syrian, Pope Benedict XV depicts Ephraim as a model of Marian Devotion to Our Mother, who, uniquely, was pre-destined by God. Pope Benedict XV did not issue a Marian Encyclical, but addressed the issue of Co-Redemptrix in his Apostolic Letter, Inter Soldalica, issued on 22 March 1918.

As The Blessed Virgin Mary does not seem to participate in the Public Life of Jesus Christ, and then, suddenly, appears at the Stations of his Cross, she is not there without Divine Intention. She suffers with her suffering and dying Son, almost as if she would have died herself. For the Salvation of Mankind, she gave up her rights as the Mother of her Son and sacrificed Him for the reconciliation of Divine Justice, as far as she was permitted to do. Therefore, one can say, she redeemed, with Christ, the Human Race.

During his seven-year Pontificate, Pope Benedict XV wrote a total of twelve Encyclicals. They were:

"Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum", an Appeal for Peace (1 November 1914);
"Humani Generis Redemptionem", on Preaching the Word of God (15 June 1917);
"Quod Iam Diu", on the future Peace Conference (1 December 1918);
"In Hac Tanta", on Saint Boniface (14 May 1919);
"Paterno Iam Diu", on the Children of Central Europe (24 November 1919);
"Pacem, Dei Munus Pulcherrimum", on Peace and Christian Reconciliation (23 May 1920);
"Spiritus Paraclitus", on Saint Jerome (September 1920);
"Principi Apostolorum Petro", on Saint Ephram the Syrian (5 October 1920);
"Annus Iam Plenus", also on Children in Central Europe (1 December 1920);
"Sacra Propediem", on the Third Order of Saint Francis (6 January 1921);
"In Praeclara Summorum", on Dante (30 April 1921);
"Fausto Appetente Die", on Saint Dominic (29 June 1921).

Pope Benedict XV.
Source: Originally from hu.wikipedia.
Author: Original uploader was User:Czinitz
at hu.wikipedia.
(Wikimedia Commons)

His Apostolic Exhortations include;

"Ubi Primum" (8 September 1914);
"Allorché fummo chiamati" (28 July 1915);
"Dès le début" (1 August 1917).
"Maximum Illud", on Activities carried out by Missionaries (November 30, 1919).

The Papal Bulls of Benedict XV include:

"Incruentum Altaris" (10 August 1915);
"Providentissima Mater" (27 May 1917);
"Sedis huius" (14 May 1919);
"Divina disponente" (16 May 1920).

Benedict XV issued nine Breves during his Pontificate:

"Divinum Praeceptum" (December 1915);
"Romanorum Pontificum" (February 1916);
"Cum Catholicae Ecclesiae" (April 1916);
"Cum Biblia Sacra" (August 1916);
"Cum Centesimus" (October 1916);
"Centesimo Hodie" (October 1916);
"Quod Ioannes" (April 1917);
"In Africam quisnam" (June 1920);
"Quod nobis in condendo" (September 1920).

Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum is an Encyclical of Pope Benedict XV, given at Saint Peter's, Rome, on the Feast of All Saints, 1 November 1914, in the first year of his Pontificate. This, his first Encyclical, coincided with the beginning of World War I, which he labelled "The Suicide of Civilised Europe." Pope Benedict XV described the combatants as the greatest and wealthiest nations of the Earth, stating that "they are well-provided with the most awful weapons modern military science has devised, and they strive to destroy one another with refinements of horror. There is no limit to the measure of ruin and of slaughter; day by day, the Earth is drenched with newly-shed blood and is covered with the bodies of the wounded and of the slain."

In light of the senseless slaughter, the Pope pleaded for "Peace on Earth to men of good will," (Luke 2:14), insisting that there are other ways and means whereby violated rights can be rectified.

Tomb of Pope Benedict XV
in the grottoes of St. Peter's Basilica,
Date: 26 May 2013.
Source: Own work.
Author: CanonLawJunkie.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The origin of the Evil is a neglect of the precepts and practices of Christian Wisdom, particularly a lack of Love and Compassion. Jesus Christ came down from Heaven for the very purpose of restoring among men the Kingdom of Peace, as He stated: "A new Commandment I give unto you: That you love one another." This message is repeated in John 15:12, in which Jesus says: "This is my Commandment, that you Love one another." Materialism, Nationalism, Racism and Class Warfare are the characteristics of the age, instead, so Pope Benedict XV described:

"Race hatred has reached its climax; peoples are more divided by jealousies than by frontiers; within one and the same Nation, within the same City, there rages the burning envy of Class against Class; and, amongst individuals, it is self-love which is the supreme law, over-ruling everything."


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