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April 11 , 2009

The Unknown Pope

Benedict XV (1914-1922) and the Pursuit of Peace


Best known for his efforts to end World War I, Benedict XV was the first contemporary pope to assume the role peacemaker, a role that has persisted in the papacy since. Although Benedict's 1917 Peace Note was rejected by officials, he went on to help establish Save the Children and to lead European efforts at humanitarian aid. His brief pontificate resulted in a positive reassessment of the Church's attitude towards colonialism and colonized peoples. Using previously unpublished correspondence and private papers from the Vatican archives, John Pollard has written the first biography on Benedict XV in almost half a century.

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