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Pietro Tacchi Venturi file photo [21684]

Pietro Tacchi Venturi

SurnameTacchi Venturi
Given NamePietro
Died18 Mar 1956
CountryVatican City


ww2dbasePietro Tacchi Venturi was born in San Severino Marche in central Italy in 1861. He became a member of the Society of Jesus of the Catholic Church in 1878 and was later admitted into the Pontifical Academy of Archaeology and other scientific bodies of the church. He published the first volume of Historical Works of Father Matteo Ricci, S. J. in 1911 and the second volume in 1913, but he most known work was a history of the Jesuits. Between 1914 and 1921, he was the historian of the Italian branch of the Jesuit order and the Secretary of the Society of Jesus. Starting in 1922, he became Benito Mussolini's most trusted confessor, thus positioning him to become the unofficial liaison between Mussolini and Pope Pius XI. Shortly after, he became the official go-between when Mussolini donated the library of the Palazzo Chigi to the Catholic Church. Tacchi Venturi also persuaded Mussolini to donate an ancient state collection of religious books to the Catholic Church. These successful persuasions were said to have sparked the process of reconciliation between the Italy and the Catholic Church, whose relationship had been poor since the Papal States were seized by Italy during the Italian unification. In 1928, he survived an assassination attempt. In the late 1920s, he was one of the negotiators between Italy and the Catholic Church in the attempt to resolve the dispute on the political status of the Catholic Church. The negotiations successfully produced the Lateran Treaty of 1929, in which Italy recognized the sovereign status of Vatican City with Pope Pius XI as its head of state; it also established Catholicism as the official state religion of Italy. For his efforts toward the Lateran Treaty, he was awarded the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus of Italy in 1932. Although Francesco Borgongini Duca was named the nuncio (ie. ambassador) to Italy, Tacchi Venturi would continue to remain in a person of significant influence; some had concluded that he wielded more power in the politics between the two countries than the ambassadors each country sent to the other. In 1931, he participated in the negotiation in which Mussolini allowed the Catholic Church to operate the Catholic Action youth organization group in Italy, but the 15,000 youth members were to have ties with the Fascist party youth organization. Mussolini kept Vatican City informed of the drafting of anti-Semitic laws through Tacchi Venturi; during this process, Tacchi Venturi, who had anti-Semitic views, asserted some personal influence in the policies. After Pope Pius XI passed away in 1939, he was replaced by Dom Francesco Tomasetti as the unofficial liaison between the two countries, but would remain the Vatican representative in several Italian government agencies. In Aug 1943, when Mussolini was overthrown and Pietro Badoglio took power, Tacchi Venturi attempted to convince Badoglio not to repeal the anti-Semitic laws. He also recommended Vatican officials to only conduct a cursory inquiry into the deportation of Jews from Rome, Italy which began in 1943. He held little influence after Mussolini's death in 1945. Tacchi Venturi passed away in 1956.

David Kertzer, The Pope and Mussolini

Last Major Revision: Oct 2014

Pietro Tacchi Venturi Timeline

18 Mar 1956 Pietro Tacchi Venturi passed away.

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