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Despite the Vatican’s loss of territory (the rump of the Papal States of previous centuries) in 1870 — and due in part to the generosity or timidity of successive Italian governments in allowing the Popes to continue to run the Church and to act like an international sovereign of a kind, from the Vatican buildings – Mussolini (Prime Minister from 1922 – 1945) found the independence of the Pope inconvenient.
Youth groups as well as Church personnel throughout Italy had their loyalty divided.
Mussolini’s anti-clerical instincts were tempered by pragmatism but a long term resolution to the Roman Problem was clearly to be desired.
Paradoxically the answer to a troublesome independence of the papacy was to create an independent papal entity: the Vatican City State.
D has been a member of the research group since 1993, and participated in data collection for the longitudinal study.