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Author: Stephan Lipke
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Candidate of Philological Sciences, Director of St Thomas Institute (Moscow).

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Lipke S. The Image of Pope Pius IX in F.M. Dostoevsky’s Journal Essays (1870-1878). Dostoevsky and World Culture, 2019, No 2(6), pp. 179–190.

Issue: 2019 № 2(6)
Department: DOSTOEVSKY AS A JOURNALIST
Pages: 179-190
DOI: 10.22455/2619-0311-2019-2-179-190
UDK: 821.161.1
BBK: 83.3(2РОС=РУС)1
Keywords: F.M. Dostoevskii, Pius IX, papacy, socialism, Rome

Abstract: This essay is dedicated to the question how Dostoevsky in his journal essays of the 1870-s interprets the personality of Pope Pius IX. Dostoevsky understood how ambivalent the situation of the Catholic Church was towards the end of Pius' pontificate. The papacy reached the peak of its claim for worldwide leadership due to the dogmatization of the Pope's infallibility and, at the same time, its utmost humiliation through the loss of Rome. Being convinced that the papacy is deeply corrupted by its desire for worldly power, he feels that Catholicism will soon have to either refrain from cooperating with the big powers and aim at regaining worldly leadership by becoming an ally to socialist revolutionaries or limit itself, with the approval of the State governments, to the role of a religious leader among others. The idea that the papacy might choose a different way, aiming at deeply spiritual leadership, he somehow feels but does not see clearly. We consider worthwhile stressing that Dostoevsky writes on the papacy not only for the sake of denominational or political polemics but also to warn the Orthodoxy and Russia, which is claiming the role of the “Third Rome”, not to fall into the temptation of the “Roman Idea”, worldly power.

 

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