1939: Pope Pius XI

<i>Tenure: 1922-1939</i>

Pius XI negotiated in 1929 the Lateran Treaty with Italy, which created Vatican City as an independent country. Because of the pact, he was the first pope to emerge from the Vatican in 59 years. (To protest the loss of the Papal States in 1870, the previous four popes had refused to leave the Vatican.) Pius XI denounced communism and fascism as threats to human rights, but he also decried the evils of capitalist greed. He was the first pope to broadcast his blessings, "speak for moving pictures," ride in an automobile and grant an interview to a newspaper reporter.
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( February 15, 2013 )

Tenure: 1922-1939 Pius XI negotiated in 1929 the Lateran Treaty with Italy, which created Vatican City as an independent country. Because of the pact, he was the first pope to emerge from the Vatican in 59 years. (To protest the loss of the Papal States in 1870, the previous four popes had refused to leave the Vatican.) Pius XI denounced communism and fascism as threats to human rights, but he also decried the evils of capitalist greed. He was the first pope to broadcast his blessings, "speak for moving pictures," ride in an automobile and grant an interview to a newspaper reporter.

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