The Spectator

The death of Pope Pius X

The death of Pope Pius X
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From ‘News of the Week’, The Spectator, 22 August 1914: Pope Pius X died at 20 minutes past one on Thursday morning. In a moment of lucidity, just before his death, his Holiness is reported to have said: ‘Now I begin to think the end is approaching. The Almighty in His inexhaustible goodness wishes to spare me the horrors which Europe is undergoing.’ It is stated that since the outbreak of the war the Pope showed very deep feeling, and again and again repeated ‘Poor children!’ — alluding to the soldiers killed in action.

The Pope was a man of great personal charm of character as well as of great goodness of heart, but no one but a flatterer could suggest that he had the intellectual qualities requisite for his great office. His theological ideas were those of an old-fashioned country vicar… It is greatly to be hoped that the Conclave when it meets will choose a successor who will be able to cope with modern conditions.