Historian reveals how Pius IX decided to proclaim dogma of Immaculate Conception





In an article published by L’Osservatore Romano, Italian historian Francesco Guglietta, an expert on the life of Pius IX, revealed how the Pontiff decided to consult with the bishops of the world to proclaim the dogma of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, 1854.

Guglietta points out that the revolution that ended with the proclamation of the “Roman Republic” in 1848 and that forced the Pope to take up residence for nine months in Gaeta, south of Rome, had a profound effect on the Pontiff, who like Cardinal Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti, had openly sympathized with the European revolutionary movements.

“During this lapse of time, in fact, Pius IX progressively lost trust in the processes of the ‘revolution’ that were taking place in Europe and distanced himself from the liberal Catholic environment, beginning to see in the insurrection movement, as well as in the ‘modernity’ of that time, a dangerous snare for the life of the Church,” Guglietta writes.

The expert points out that “understanding what happened with the thinking of Pius IX in Gaeta is of significant historic relevance” and is an “area of research not yet explored.” Nevertheless, he said, the Pope’s sojourn in Gaeta was fundamental for his decision of proclaiming the Marian dogma of the Immaculate Conception.


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