Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Pope Gregory XVI

This individual is not a direct affiliate of the Berkley Center.

Pope Gregory XVI (Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari, or Mauro of the Camaldolese order) sought to reassert papal power but faced continual challenges from reformist and modernizing forces across Europe. Almost immediately after his election in 1831, Gregory XVI faced a revolution in the Papal States, and his temporal authority was restored only with the help of Austrian troops. He subsequently oversaw limited administrative and judicial reform; by the end of his reign revolutionary fervor had again swept through the Papal States. In his encyclicals and other writings, Gregory XVI denounced progressive moral and social doctrines and political developments while asserting the spiritual and temporal independence of the Church; he famously banned railroad construction in the Papal States because such technological innovations enhanced the power of the liberalizing bourgeois class. Not surprisingly, at various times in his long pontificate (1831-1846) he clashed with governments in Portugal, Spain, France, Poland, and Russia.
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