Today in Catholic History – The founding of La Civiltà Cattolica

On 6 April 1850, the Society of Jesus began to publish its very influential journal La Civiltà Cattolica or The Catholic Civilization in Naples, Italy but would later move to Rome.

Founded by Fr. Carlo Maria Curci, SJ. at the request of Pope Pius IX and with the purpose of defending Catholicism in modern society, the journal was initially directed against the attacks of liberalism and freemasonry.

In the second half of the 19th century, the journal will defend papal documents such as the Syllabus of Errors and the teachings of the First Vatican Council. It will also encourage the teaching of the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas.

In the early to mid 20th century, La Civiltà Cattolica will focus on defending the Catholic Church against the threats of communism and support the growth of Catholic political parties in Italy. After Vatican II, the journal will move from a more confrontational attitude to one seeking more cooperation with contemporary society in line with the views of Pope John XXIII and the post-Vatican II papacy.

It continues to be seen as the unofficial voice of the Vatican as its articles are supposed to receive approval by the Vatican Secretary of State before publication.

For more on La Civiltà Cattolica.

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