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Fogazzaro: We Want a Reform Carried Out by
the Legitimate Authority

During the pontificate of St. Pius X, a lay politician and author Antonio Fogazzaro, described the road to reform the Church and Papacy in his novel Il Santo, published in 1907. Fogazzaro was a known Modernist whose works were banned by the Church and placed on the Index of Forbidden Books.

The longings of Fogazzaro and the Modernist current were effectively realized some 50 years later. In 1958, the election of John XXIII provided the needed authority who would call for the reform of the Church and the Papacy. Vatican II, which was announced on January 25, 1959, would carry out this reform.

At right, the cover of The Saint, below right, a photocopy of the original text in Italian published in Milan in 1907; below left, our translation of the underlined text.

We [modernists] constitute a good number of Catolics both inside and outside of Italy, clergy and laymen, who desire a reform in the Church. We want a reform without rebellion, carried out by the legitimate authority. We want reforms in religious instruction, reforms in the liturgy ... and reforms also in the supreme government of the Church. In order to achieve that, we need to create a public opinion that will induce the authorities to act following our opinions, even if this takes 20, 30 or 50 years.
(Antonio Fogazzaro, Il Santo, Milan: 1907, p. 38)

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Posted on April 4, 2009

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