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Pope Pius XI
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Pope Pius XI

Pius XI, né Achille Ratti, (May 31, 1857 - February 10, 1939) was Pope from February 6, 1922 until February 10, 1939. issued the encyclical Quas Primas establishing the feast of Christ the King. The main idea here is that the Catholic religion, beliefs, morality, and rule must spread itself to all areas of human living: the home, the city, politics, economics, art, etc.

In 1929, the pope supervised the signing of the Lateran Treaties with Mussolini's Fascist government. According to the terms of the treaty, Vatican City was given sovereignty as an enclave of the city of Rome in return for the Vatican relinquishing its claim to the former territories of the Papal States. Pope Pius thus became head of state, the first pope who could be termed as such since the Papal States fell after the unification of Italy in the 19th century. The relationship to Mussolini's government deteriorated drastically in the following years. As a consequence Pius issued the encyclical Non Abbiamo Bisogno (1931). In 1937 he issued the encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge with condemnation of Nazi ideology of racism.

The concordat also entailed an agreement with Italy that provided for monies being transferred to the Church to aid with the transition and intended as a compensation for the loss of the territories laid claim to by the Church (estimated to be around 700 million Lire). During the reign of Pope Pius XI this money was used for investments in the stock markets and real estate that laid the foundation of the modern wealth of the church. To control these investments, the Pope appointed the lay-person Bernadino Nogara. He accepted the task on the condition that the Pope would not interfere with his investments. This led to later scandals where it turned out that the church owned weapons factories and a company which listed among its biggest sales items the most used contraceptive pill in Italy.

Preceded by:
Pope Benedict XV
- chronological list
Succeeded by:
Pope Pius XII