Congress of Peace in Geneva - Garibaldi


According to Jasper Ridley, at the 1867 Congress of Geneva, Garibaldi referred to "that pestilential institution which is called the Papacy" and proposed giving "the final blow to the monster". This was a reflection of the bitterness that had been generated by the struggle against Pope Pius IX in 1849 and 1860, and it was in sharp contrast to the letter that Garibaldi had written to the pope from Montevideo in 1847, before those events.

The Italian rulers took up residence in the Quirinal Palace, and seized Church property throughout Rome and the rest of Italy, but did not have the political support to seize the Vatican. Even before the fall of Rome, Italian republicans had sought to eliminate the papacy, with Giuseppe Garibaldi seeking international support for that end at an 1867 congress in Geneva, where he proposed: "The papacy, being the most harmful of all secret societies, ought to be abolished."

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