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Book Review

2007-03-17

Owen Chadwick - “GRAN BRETAGNA E VATICANO DURANTE LA SECONDA GUERRA MONDIALE” Ed. San Paolo - (original title Britain and the Vatican during the Second World War, 1986 Cambridge University Press)

Rome (Fides Service) - The book, in Italian, reconstructs the relations between Britain and the Holy See between 1935 and 1945 with the help of the diary of Godolphin D'Arcy Osborne, appointed British minister to the Holy See in 1936. The most dramatic decade of the 20th century witnessed the unfurling of intricate political and diplomatic relations between the Anglo-Saxon leaders and the Vatican; first, in the hope of using the Pope’s influence on Mussolini in order to distance the latter from Hitler then with an unsuccessful attempt, on the part of Pope Pius XII, to bring the five powers to the negotiating table, then growing fear and repulsion towards Nazism on the one hand and Bolshevic Russia on the other in the catastrophic five years which were to change the face of the world for ever. The author, William Owen Chadwick, born in 1916, is a famous British historian specialised in history of the Church, who has published several books on papacy and its development, the secularisation of thought and culture, the Reformation, the Church of England. This volume has 13 chapters and follows the evolution of relations between Britain and the Holy See 1935 to 1945, describing the European dictatorships in World War II and daily life in the Vatican during the conflict. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 17/3/2007 - righe 12, parole 188)

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