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  • San Pio X: Papa riformatore di fronte alle sfide del nuovo secolo. Atti della Giornata di Studi in occasione del centenario della morte di San Pio X (1914-2014), Città del Vaticano, 12 giugno 2014 ed. by Roberto Regoli
  • Giovanni Vian
San Pio X: Papa riformatore di fronte alle sfide del nuovo secolo. Atti della Giornata di Studi in occasione del centenario della morte di San Pio X (1914-2014), Città del Vaticano, 12 giugno 2014. Edited by Roberto Regoli. [Pontificio Comitato di Scienze Storiche: Atti e documenti, Vol. 41.] (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana. 2016. Pp. 385. €28.00. ISBN 978-88-209-9782-3.)

The volume offers some valuable contributions. Gianpaolo Romanato, "Pio X: Bilancio e prospettive," who for decades has been engaged in biographical study of Giovanni Sarto, goes on to explain the fortunes and misfortunes of his fame, conducting extensive research on the historiography of the papacy, although with predominant attention to that in Italian. He also outlines Pius X's reform initiatives.

Carlo Pioppi underlines the spiritual dimension, next to the pastoral dimension ("Principi e orientamenti pastorali di San Pio X," pp. 34–35). Definitely Pius X was [End Page 361] convinced that "restoration in Christ"—the goal of his pontificate—could have been realized with a more fervent spirituality of the clergy and Catholic laity, nourished by references to post-Tridentine piety and Eucharistic-centered religiosity (pp. 32–33). But in Pius X's thought the restoration of faith had a major social significance: the encyclical Iucunda sane (1904), referred to by Pioppi to detect the spiritual dimension, in another passage reaffirmed the absolute necessity of having recourse to the Catholic Church in order to obtain peace and even happiness in life, and restated "the absolute necessity of a perfect harmony between the two powers, ecclesiastical and civil," with the second one that must serves the first.

Mirosław Lenart ("Il cardinale Jan Puzyna. Un discusso protagonista del conclave del 1903 alla luce della documentazione polacca") presents a first survey of the Archbishop of Krakow, Jan Puzyna, in reference to local archives and Polish literature. At the conclave Puzyna presented the Austro-Hungarian emperor's veto for the election of Rampolla, paving the way for Sarto. Lenart, in his important contribution, provides a critical edition of the description of the conclave written by Puzyna, then cleared almost completely in the final version, already published by J. Urban. For Lenart, Puzyna used his veto to prevent a result that would have harmed the Church and that for some time Austria-Hungary and part of the cardinals linked to it intended to avert.

Regoli delineates "La diplomazia di Pio X nel contesto internazionale del primo Novecento" through a comparison of two new curial reports on the political situation presented to Pius X and Benedict XV at the beginning of their respective pontificates. From the documented essay, which focuses on Europe, there emerge the weight of the confessional perspective, the traditional emphasis on the relationship with the royal dynasties in relations with states, the problematic novelty of nationalisms—in the 1914 document—in the context of the Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires, the political interpretations of the events in France and Germany, and the absence of references to Italy.

Claus Arnold investigates "Pio e il modernismo" through the interactions between the pope and the Roman Curia: from the first condemnation of Alfred Loisy in 1903, prompted by Pius X, through the long preparation of the decree of the Holy Office, Lamentabili sane exitu, then the encyclical Pascendi dominici gregis (1907), and finally the anti-modernist oath, motu proprio, Sacrorum antistitum (1910). Arnold shows how the papal initiatives for a severe condemnation of the modernists met, on one hand, the support of cardinals and consultors of ultra-conservative theological positions, and on the other hand, the resistance of other prelates more aware of the consequences of censorship, which would have resulted in a number of new dogmatic propositions.

Philippe-Joseph Jacquin ("Pio X e l'Oriente") is mostly concerned with blurring the judgment on Sarto's attitude toward Eastern Christianity, but it is clear that his pontificate, after the season of Leo XIII's openings, was...