The Roman Catholic Church has had difficulties with modernity for a long time. In 1861 Pope Pius IX (famous for his Syllabus of Errors, an exhaustive compendium of modern heresies) made matters very clear in a famous “allocution”, which rejected the notion that “the Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with, progress, liberalism and modern civilization.” Two distinctly modern institutions intended by the term “liberalism” are democracy and capitalism. As far back as the French Revolution the Church aligned itself, throughout the 19th century and beyond, with one anti-democratic cause after another. And it suffered defeat after defeat. In 1870 the troops of the new Italy marched into Rome and liquidated the Papal States (that was in the last years of the pontificate of Pius IX, who defiantly convoked the First Vatican Council, which defiantly proclaimed the doctrine of papal infallibility). In 1905 the long struggle between the French Republic and Catholic conservatism ended with the decisive victory of the former, solemnized by the law separating the state and religion. And this kind of conservatism was fundamentally discredited by the victory of democracy in World War II (though there was a final gasp in the project of the Franco regime to remake Spain as an “integrally Catholic” nation). But it was only in the 1960s that the Second Vatican Council solemnly endorsed democracy and the democratic catalog of human rights. Since then the Catholic Church has been a reliable advocate of democracy wherever it has influence, with remarkable effects in Eastern Europe, in Latin America and elsewhere.