This Week in History

Pio Nono Takes Flight from Rome:

November 24, 1848

This text comes from our book, Light to the Nations II: The Making of the Modern World  (now available in hard cover). See sample chapters, here.  For ordering information on Light to the Nations II and our other texts, please click here.

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Pope Pius IX in 1846

Pope Pius IX’s refusal to declare war on Austria had turned the Liberals of Rome utterly against him. They now sought his downfall. Secret societies in the city stirred up the common people to demand nothing less than a secular, constitutional government for the Papal States. And the more the pope tried to appease the Liberals, the more they demanded of him. Even the pope’s chief ministers, led by a layman, Count Mamiani, demanded that the pope not only declare war on Austria but also abandon his temporal power altogether.

As the months passed, street violence, stirred up by secret societies, increased in Rome. The civil guard was in the hands of the Liberals, while Count Mamiani only wasted government money and did nothing about the violence. When Mamiani at last resigned, the pope appointed Count Pellegrino Rossi as chief minister. Rossi took over the leadership of the mostly lay ministry on September 16, 1848.

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A Report on the Holy See’s World Congress on Education

By invitation of the Holy See, CTP’s president, Michael Van Hecke, is attending the Holy See’s World Congress on Education. Here is a report from the second day. Please check back for future reports.

“This is a very important work!”

These were the kind and encouraging words we received from the Prefect of the Holy See’s Congregation for Catholic Education, His Eminence Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi. I met him earlier in the afternoon, then happened upon him in an empty lecture hall, paging through our All Ye Lands book. That was when he told me, “This is a very important work!” He will now take the textbook and our other Catholic Textbook Project materials back to the Vatican offices and review them some more

Castel Gandolfo

This was a nice ending to another long day that featured a great variety of speakers on a wide range of topics. The morning sessions were particularly germane to us in our work at the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education, and for me personally as a headmaster. They even were relevant to the Catholic Textbook Project, as our books and their teacher materials help in the formation of teachers. Much of the morning was devoted to outlining the process and importance of forming those who form teachers – college teacher formation programs and headmasters’ building the learning communities in their own schools. What was heartening was the clear and passionate appeal to make a theological and spiritual formation the centerpiece of any formation, be it of educational leaders, teachers, or students.

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 A Report on the Holy See’s World

Congress on Education

By invitation o f the Holy See, CTP’s president, Michael Van Hecke, is attending the Holy See’s World Congress on Education. Here is a report from the second day. Plesae check back for future reports.

During the first full day of the congress, I was very much occupied – with my list. As I met people, and passed them or had lunch next to them, I added them to a list of countries from which they hailed. I counted 62 nations – 62 nations of Catholic educators – and those are only the ones I personally encountered. I do not know the total number of nations represented, but what a grand exhibition of the universality of our Church! How beautiful the commitment and love for the Church and children this showing represented. Second on my list of memorable moments today was meeting a most gracious son of the Church, one of the archbishops from Nigeria and dozens of other holders of the torch of the Gospel mission from the African continent: Cameroon, Zimbabwe, the Ivory Coast, Congo, Gabon, etc. It was inspiring to be among them.

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A Report on the Holy See’s World Congress on Education

By invitation of the Holy See, CTP’s president Michael Van Hecke is attending the Holy See’s World Congress on Education. Here is his report from the first day. Please check back for future reports.



This Week in History

Kentucky Adopts Jefferson’s “Resolves”: November 16, 1798

This text comes from our book, Lands of Hope and Promise: A History of North America (now available in hard cover)For ordering information on Lands of Hope and Promise and our other texts, please click here.

President John Adams

Though a little cowed by the XYZ Affair, the Republicans did not let up in their attacks on Adams and the Federalists. Using a network of newspapers, Republicans harshly attacked the president and the Federalist members of Congress. Since many of the editors of these papers were foreign immigrants, the Federalists counterattacked by accusing the Republicans of wanting to give the country over to foreign powers.

The Federalist Congress and President Adams responded to fears of foreign infiltration by passing three acts in 1798. The first, the Naturalization Act, extended from five to 14 years the time a foreigner must reside in the United States before he could become a citizen. The Alien Act gave the president power for two years to expel any foreigners he wished. The more controversial Sedition Act made it a crime to say or write anything critical of the president or government of the United States “with the intent to defame” or “to bring into contempt or disrepute.” The crime was punishable by fine or imprisonment.

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