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Controversial Concordats: The Vatican's Relations with Napoleon, Mussolini, and Hitler Paperback – May 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0813209203 ISBN-10: 081320920X

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French, German, Italian, Latin
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: The Catholic University of America Press (May 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081320920X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813209203
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,947,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book brilliantly demonstrates how much is lost in our understanding by taking too narrow a focus, and how much can be gained by taking in more context. This book takes an in-depth examination of the three "controversial concordats" of the title - the 1801 Concordat between Napoleon and Pius VII, the Concordat of 1929 between Fascist Italy and Pius XI, and the Reich Concordat of 1933 between Nazi Germany and Pius XI - and also provides an introductory overview and a conclusion summarizing the lessons of the Concordats in terms of wins and losses. The various chapters are written by different historians, so there is a rewarding mélange of views.

Because of the modern fascination with describing Pius XII as a kind of crypto-Nazi, my focus has been on the Reich Concordat. The idea that Cardinal Pacelli, the future Pius XII, as the Secretary of State for Pius XI, propped up the Nazi regime in order to pursue his Machievellian project of centralizing power in the Vatican is the theme of John Cornwell's noxious Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII. After reading that book, my conclusion was that Cornwell was an ignorant polemicist. After reading this book, I have to say that Cornwell is even more ignorant and more of a dishonest polemicist than I previously thought. The historical continuity of the Vatican with prior Concordats, and the prior experience of the Vatican Concordats, destroy Cornwell's thesis that Pacelli was doing anything novel or exceptional.

The first Concordat that the book addresses is the 1801 Concordat with Napoleon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ann Lackey on January 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Truly an outstanding reference for anyone interested in this time frame and subject matter. The inclusion of the Napoleonic Concordat gives a much needed historical perspective as to why the Church pursued concordats through the twentieth century. The other part can be understood by reading Kertzer's Prisoner of the Vatican.

What intrigued me was the European version of "separation of church and state." While we as Americans employ it for protection of individual rights to freely exercise our beliefs, they employed it for state/totalitarian control over their conquered many. It's a battle of church versus conqueror. Concordats became the Church's way of losing the battle, but surviving the war.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William J. Shepherd on December 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Good overview by several noted scholars of the Vatican's political relationship with powerful dictators of influential European states, ranging from Napoleon and France to Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. The concordat was a Vatican document used from the 12th century until the 20th century, culminating during the interwar years, and now somewhat outmoded since the death of Pius XII in 1958 and the changes of the Vatican II Council thereafter focusing more on the spiritual rather than the temporal aspects of the Vatican's role in the world.
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By Stephen R. Rolandi on October 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent.
SR
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1 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
every word in this book is the truth
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Controversial Concordats: The Vatican's Relations with Napoleon, Mussolini, and Hitler
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