beatification of Pius IX and what the organizers fear may be thernbeginning of a Catholic revival, did not draw more than 50 people.rnA similar demonstration on September 20 drew a largerrncrowd: About 100 people rallied to celebrate the 130th anniversaryrnof the breach of Porta Pia, the hole in the city’s wallsrnthrough which the Piedmontese troops stormed the cit}’, completingrnItaly’s unification in 1870.rnThe attacks on historic Catholic leaders, as Roberto de Mattelrnnotes, are ultimately aimed at the Church Herself As AlfonsrnCardinal Stickler wrote in the preface to another of de Mattel’srnbooks, The Crusader of the 20th Century (a biography of Tradition,rnFamily, and Property founder Plinio Correa de Oliveira),rn”[T]he true object of these accusations and falsehoods is thernChurch and . . . they are made to deny the Church’s role as thern’teacher of trudi,’ recendy affirmed bv the Holy Father JohnrnPaul II in Veritatis Splendor.”rnThe same John Paul II, through his secretar)’ of state, AngelornCardinal Sodano, publiclv commended Professor de Mattel’srnbiography of Pius IX with the following message, which wasrnread during the official presentation of the book in earlyrnSeptember:rnOn the occasion of the presentation of the volume Pio IXrnby Professor Roberto de Mattel, the Holy Father extendsrnhis goodwill greetings with the hope that the historical investigationrnwill be instrumental in promoting a betterrnknowledge of the life and deeds of his illustrious predecessor.rnWishing the cultural event a fruitful outcome, hernimparts the author of the book, the speakers, and the attendeesrnhis apostolic blessing.rnA conference held in conjunction with the official presentationrndebunked other myths surrounding Pius IX. Pio Nono didrnnot reject modernization per se, but modernity as a process ofrnsecularization, antithetical to tradition. The ideological tenetsrnof the Risorgimento, he believed, would destroy traditional society’rnand Christianity. While Pius IX is often described as “anti-rnItalian,” he was not against Italian unification in itself He did,rnhoweer, oppose the Risorgimento once he realized that thernmovement was becoming increasingly anti-Christian.rnMany historians view Pius IX as a saint in his personal life,rnwhile claiming that he was politically naive. But dernMattel, who does not conceal his sympathy and admiration forrnPius IX, argues that the Pope cannot be deconstructed: His religiousrnapproach cannot be separated from his policies; his privaternlife is inextricably bound up with his public life. By splittingrnhis personality, the detractors of Pius IX (as well as some ofrnhis defenders) attempt to revive the tired proposition of liberalismrnthat separates the personal dimensions of human life fromrnthe public dimension, man from societv’, and morals from politics.rnThe most serious political eils, however, have their originrnin the pretense that politics is independent of morals. Pius IXrnheld the opposite view, which is both classical and Christian:rnPolitics is a category of moralit}’, to which it must be strictly subordinatedrnif it is to be ordered to the common good.rnThe proper relationship between society and the individual.rnChurch and state, and politics and morality was the central concernrnof Pio Nono’s pontificate. The roots of this problem daternas far back as Renaissance Italy, when Machiavelli emancipatedrnpolitics from morality, turning it into a mere tool in the pursuitrnof power. From that time on, the “raison d’etat” has beenrnthe supreme yardstick for governmental action. Count Bensornof Ca’our, who believed that any means, however immoral,rnwere justified if they sered the cause of national unification,rnmost fully incarnated this Machiavellian understanding of politics.rnAs such, the Piedmontese counf as Marxist theorist AntoniornGramsci noted in Note sul MachiaveUi, is not only the heirrnof Machiavelli but the real “Italian Jacobin,” the authentic forerunnerrnof those 20th-centur)’ “professional revolutionaries” whornhave subordinated morality to politics, following the wellknownrnformula of Lenin. Since the time of the Risorgimento,rnItalian culture, in the name of personal and national autonomyrnfrom morals, has aggressively pursued secularization, whichrnGramsci described as the “complete de-christianization of allrnlife and customary relationships” and the “absolute mundanizationrnand earthly connotation of thought, an absolute humanismrnof histor)’.”rnTo combat the cultural vision that came to dominate Italy afterrnits unification, Pius IX presented a “religious option,” whichrnconstitutes the interpretative key of his pontificate. He strenuouslyrnopposed the secularization of society, which denied anyrnaction of God in the affairs of mankind. Instead, he aggressive-rn1- championed a political philosophy that—following Aquinas,rnDante, and Vico —regarded polities and morality, as well as therntemporal and spiritual orders, as distinct but not separate realities,rnand he sought a balance between the hvo spheres. MorernD espite his beatification, Pius IXrnremains largely unappreciated.rnthan the loss of the Papal States, Pius wrote to King Pedros V ofrnPortugal on October 22, 1862, “What afflicts my heart is thisrnturnaround of principles, this planned loss of moral sense andrnrightful guidance.” He viewed temporal power as a means orderedrnto the supreme, supernatural ends of the Church, whichrnis the true master of faith and morals in the civil and social, asrnwell as religious, spheres.rnDespite his beatification, Pius IX remains largely unappreciated.rnHis every public act—religious, political, and socialstemmedrnfrom his profound interior life and can only be understoodrnin the context of his Christian anthropology andrntheology of history. Pius IX viewed the divine will as thernsupreme rule of human behavior, and he was adamantly convincedrnthat God guides not only the life of individuals, but thatrnof mankind, as if it were a single entity. “I do not want to movernaway a single inch from divine will,” he used to say. His effortsrnto comply with that will in all his actions were recognized asrnheroic by the Church and supernaturally confirmed by the miraclernrequired for his beatification.rnThe solemn beatification ceremony on September 3 celebratedrnnot only the doctrinal highlights of Pio Nono’s pontificate,rnbut all of his private and public deeds: the political, social,rnand administrative reforms that he instituted;rnhis Syllabus of Modern Errors; the extraordinaryrnmissionary zeal that he infrised into thernChurch; and the cultural and moral revival ofrnC^atholicism in the 19th century. The man,rnthe priest, the bishop, the sovereign, thernPope — Pius IX was beatified in his entireh’.rn24/CHRONlCLESrnrnrn