Historical Who is Who
1810 - 1903
Elected by fellow cardinals to become Pope of the Roman Catholic Church in 1878; he served for 25 years. In contrast to the recent history of the papacy he sought to engage more positively with contemporary politicians and scholarship. Drawing on the thinking of Aquinas he affirmed the goodness of rational learning. He re-established positive diplomatic links with Belgium, Germany, the UK and the USA. In his encyclical Rerum Novarum whilst opposing socialism he asserted workers’ rights. Whilst showing ecumenical interests, he declared the ministry of the Church of England to be entirely invalid. Moral education is a special responsibility of parents.