Freethought Almanac

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March 2: Leo XIII (1810)

It was on this date, March 2, 1810, that the man who would become Pope Leo XIII was born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci. Ordained in 1837, and created cardinal in 1853, he was an aggressive exponent of the religious philosophy of Thomas Aquinas. This perhaps explains why, becoming pope in 1878, chiefly because he was not expected to live long (he was just shy of age 68), Leo had great difficulty reconciling the Church to the modern world. Leo especially objected to things we take for granted today: free elections, secular public education, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of the press, separation of church and state, legal divorce and equality before the law…

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Originally published March 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.

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Ronald Bruce Meyer




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