AND ROSMINI 357
also entered the debate as something more than just a physical object of Italian policy. During the great discussions which had raged from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries, the Papacy had been attacked in the interests of religion and the Church; now it saw march- ing forth to battle those who hoped that in destroying the Papacy they would also destroy those very forces of religion and Church. The dream of the revolutionary leaders was what is customarily termed a humanism adjudged to be a law unto itself and needing no exterior authority (let alone a supernatural authority) such as the throne or the altar. Mazzini's secret society, La Giouanc Italia, swore by free- dom, virtue and resolve to take up arms against all tyranny. In Pied- mont during 1833 the Pope was condemned to death by hanging. It was decreed that after the Rome of the Cxsars and the Popes there was to arise a third "Rome of the people" liberated from all superstition and despotism.
On the other side there were the Nco-Guelphs Gioberti, Balbo, Rosmini and others. Now bold and enthusiastic, now temperate and reasonable, they agreed in demanding a reformed and reforming Papacy which was to be the heart and the guiding hand of a free Italy and therewith also a source of blessing for the rest of Europe, Others again defined themselves as friends of the modern state who were not hostile to the Papacy. Like the liberal Catholics of France, like the political theorists Victor de Broglie and Alexis de Tocqueville, they sought to find a middle ground between despotism and anarchy. Cavour, a Picdmontese like Giobcrti, Balbo and d'Azeglio, believed that gaining for Italy the treasure of freedom would bring profit to religious insight and action. He was an advocate of the idea of a frtc Church in a free state, possessed a deep insight into government and modern feeling and was sufficiently emancipated from scruples to be- come the leader of a great political movement. Then a Pope whom the prophet had termed "Cross of the Cross" ascended the throne in 1846.
Count Mastai-Ferretti, Bishop of Imola and six years a Cardinal, was the victorious candidate of those Cardinals who viewed the revolu- tionary ferment with grave concern. As Pius IX he began in June, 1836, a reign that was to prove the longest in the history of the Popes.