Across a wide ocean : Salvatore Maria Brandi, S.J., and the Civiltà Cattolica, from Americanism to Modernism 1891-1914

Ciani, John Louis, Religious Studies, University of Virginia
Childress, James F., Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia
Cross, Robert D., Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia

Salvatore Maria Brandi of the Society of Jesus, born in Naples in the midst of political turmoils on the Italian peninsula, became a Jesuit in 1870 and was sent to the United States to study theology at Woodstock College, Maryland. Brandi's mentor there was Camilla Mazzella, SJ., a Woodstock professor and celebrated scholastic theologian who eventually returned to Rome and became a cardinal with responsibilities m the Roman Curia. Brandi remained at Woodstock to teach theology and returned to Rome in 1891 as a writer for and eventually editor of the Civilta Cattolica, a Jesuit journal which was closely tied to the papacy.
Between 1891 and 1899, the Civilta continued to address political and religious situations in Italy at the same time that it looked across the Atlantic Ocean to the Church in the United States where similar and related issues were being debated. The benevolent separation of Church and State in the United States gave American debates a quality and tone which was lost on the Italian observers who failed to see beyond the antagonistic separation of Church and State which anticlerical Italian nationalists had championed in the wake of the seizure of the Pope's property at the unification of Italy. The Roman Question, thus, shaped the American Question in the minds of those churchmen who made decisions regarding the Church in the United States.
Brandi, who never lost the biases of his scholastic theological training and his Italian upbringing in an era of religious persecution, functioned as an unofficial Roman agent of conservative American prelates and played a part in the events leading up to Longinqua Oceani (1895) and Testem Benevolentiae (1899), two important letters addressed by Leo XIII to American Catholics.
What the editors of the Civilta Cattolica saw when they looked across the ocean was profoundly conditioned by Italian political-ecclesiastical conflicts in which democracy was suspect and the Catholic's participation in government was highly controversial, if not forbidden. An in-depth look at the Italian situation of this era, reveals that tensions between the Italian State and the Church eased considerably m the decades from 1891-1914, due in part to the work of Brandi and his colleagues at the Civilta who were prodded by Pius X.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Brandi, Salvatore Maria, Civiltà cattolica
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