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date: 09 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Catholic Church faced a number of issues during the development of modern society from the French Revolution to the beginning of the First World War. After examining the Catholic response to secularization of society, the chapter analyses three currents which played an active role in the first half of the century: supporters of the ancien régime, intransigents, and liberal Catholics. As a consequence of the European revolutions the papacy condemned the modern world and promoted hierocratic medievalism. Pope Leo XIII encouraged a distinction between thesis and hypothesis as entryway to modernity: Catholics could enter the modern world, almost in order to use all it possessed to combat its results. But his successor, Pius X, thought that the modernization of the Church had degenerated into the illegitimate inclusion in it of the pernicious principle of modernity. Modernism became for more than half a century the main enemy of Roman Catholicism.

Keywords: Americanism, human rights, intransigent Catholicism, liberal Catholicism, medievalism, modernism, religious freedom, secularization, theocracy, thesis and hypothesis distinction

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