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TheButterflyComposer

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DensleyBlair

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Good lord. I hope Felicetti gets divinely intervened against before he can do any more damage.

After all, "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" so men must endeavor to spend their money in productive endeavors and not rest upon it without effort.

I am once again begging the curia to think for one little moment about what they are actually saying.

The Lord himself tells us in the parable of the barren fig tree that those who do not bear fruit should be cut down and not simply allowed to be a burden on their productive neighbors.

I think I might be familiar with Felicetti's favourite hymn…

 
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El Pip

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the divinely mandated word of God
Biblical literalism. Felicetti is a shining example of how that always ends well for everyone.

There ain't no hatred
Like Catholic self-hatred.
On the evidence so far it's hard to say such self-hatred isn't very well justified.

I am once again begging the curia to think for one little moment about what they are actually saying.
If they were capable of thinking then they wouldn't have made it into the Curia.
 

slothinator

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Oh dear. This sounds super ominous.

It's definitely ominous but the dread will take some time to mount

The capitalist cardinals are on the rise...

The 19th century demands its tribute in coal and blood so we might as well give in to it

Great AAR! I bookmarked this thread for updates. Victoria II sounds like an interesting game to play, need to check out if it is for sale in the Steam store.

Thanks, I'm glad you enjoy it!
I definitely recommend getting Vicky II (all DLC + HFM), it's probably my favorite paradox game.

Cardinal Felicetti seems like a real nasty peice of work. With such a hatred of the poor and such a love of the capitalists I've surprised he hasn't ran away and became a protestant.

I think he didn't switch because the Catholic church has all the best cathedrals and being a cardinal is a great way to keep away from the plebs.

Industrialization in God's own Country? That is surely heresy! :p



Lol! So on point! xD

Nah, I'm sure you can cherry-pick some verse that makes it legitimate. I mean, does Jesus ever say anything against the use of steam-power? I think not

There ain't no hatred
Like Catholic self-hatred.

The self-hatred of choice since that time our founder denied Jesus multiple times™

Good lord. I hope Felicetti gets divinely intervened against before he can do any more damage.



I am once again begging the curia to think for one little moment about what they are actually saying.



I think I might be familiar with Felicetti's favourite hymn…


I think that most people submit to the literary concept of the "death of the author" when reading holy books. Except for our side, of course, we're the only ones that get it right.

Oh no, we can't kill the poor! We need them for all those jobs that the aristocracy doesn't feel like doing. Let's just say "squeeze the poor for all they're worth and then throw away the husks".

Biblical literalism. Felicetti is a shining example of how that always ends well for everyone.


On the evidence so far it's hard to say such self-hatred isn't very well justified.


If they were capable of thinking then they wouldn't have made it into the Curia.

The curia isn't all bad but it is certainly made up mostly of those who have little regard for such things
 

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I apologize for the lack of a chapter this/last week but work has a way of digging its claws into my free time.
You can definitely expect a new chapter in the weekend though and it's going to be something...different.

Also, the voting for The 2020 Yearly AARland Year-end AwAARds has been extended so be sure to cast your ballot for whoever you think is worthy of the honor. Anyone can vote so be sure to make your voice heard. Remember, if you don't vote, they win ;)
 
Chapter XXVII: No Peace for the Wicked

slothinator

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A collection of pamphlets from the Hellenic Independence Front collected by Papal counterespionage

wvivATPl.png

24th of November 1861
Brothers and Sisters of the Peloponnese, we encourage you to maintain your resistance against the foreign invaders. Their military and cultural suppression of our customs have not succeeded in breaking our spirits as they once thought. Though their soldiers can occupy the cities and the fortresses of our beloved country, we hold the power throughout the land and must continue to put pressure upon these tyrants. Through boycott and sabotage, we have managed to destroy the factory that they intended to impose upon us and now their new pope seeks to placate us by allowing for newspapers and giving us citizenship. This retreat is nothing but a sign that they are weak and feel the pressure that we put upon them every day such that we have no choice but to continue in our fight to break them at last.
Though this organization can only publish the truth in opposition to the laws of the colonizers we recognize that it is a great boon to our cause that even civilian publications can speak their mind in support of our independence despite heavy censorship. It is by these means that we will be able to sway the vast majority of our compatriots to realize where their true loyalties lie and join us on the barricade in our efforts to fight for freedom. One such publication has even managed to re-publish poetry by the great Dionysios Solomos and even the dreaded Italians have been unable to stop his testimony from reaching our people. We leave you now with his most proud and enduring work so that it may be a constant reminder of the mission we have embarked upon.

I shall always recognize you
by the dreadful sword you hold,
as the Earth with searching vision
you survey with spirit bold.

From the Greeks of old whose dying
brought to life and spirit free,
Now with ancient valor rising
Let us hail you, oh Liberty!

14th of August 1866
Sons of Greece, why do you still take up arms for the benefit of our oppressors? Is a warm meal truly worth betraying your country and your people? Have you truly been so warped as to believe that these foreigners have our best wishes at heart?
This Callixtus seeks to divide us and bribe us into servitude with a minimum wage but we do not want any of his pity money. After all, this great bounty of wealth was taken from our lands by a ruler and a government we have no say in choosing. We were given citizenship with great pomp but this gesture is absolutely meaningless when we have none of the political rights that our compatriots in Athens do.
We know that there are many Greeks in the Papal army that begin to doubt their indoctrination and search for a way out of their bondage, join us and free your nation! If enough of you recognize the injustice that thrives all around you and rise up in rebellion, we can push the invaders back into the sea and rejoin our motherland.
Remain strong and do not be blinded by false promises, there is nothing to be gained in gilded chains.

24th of September 1872
My fellow workers, for too many years the oppressors have tried to suppress our spirit by dividing us against each other. They made us believe that we were the lone wretched nation in their lands who suffered under a foreign yoke but we now know that they were nothing but lies from cowardly old men who cling to the remains of their own power like rabid dogs to an old bone. Just a few months ago the citizens of Milan were ready to rise up against this unholy pope and their rage was set aside a mere millimeter from revolution when he promised reform and allowed the socialist cause to set up their own unions.
This is the crux of the matter, we are not merely citizens oppressed by foreign invaders but workers oppressed by the capitalists and priests who would see us in chains. It is therefore imperative that we join forces with each of the oppressed masses in these Papal States to once and for all gain freedom from Rome and freedom from slavery. I know that many of you will be shocked to hear that we should fraternize with the Italians that have come into our lands but I urge you to remember that this was not their choice. The terrible rigors of subsistence in Italy forced them to seek a new life but even here they find oppression and abuse. We must sway them to our way of thinking and march together as brothers into a more prosperous future for each of those that have been betrayed.
The pope has attempted to sway us once more by giving us morsels of this great future while he keeps the rest of the feast for himself and his cronies. Do not be fooled by this sneering gift, when the revolution comes we will have infinitely more advantage without the need to grovel for it.
I invite you all, loyal devotees of the revolution, to resist the restrictive laws put in place and flock to the university of Nafplion en masse on the anniversary of the murder of professor Grigorios Kanelotis and give your support to the lectures there which tell the truth about the inhumanity of the system we live in. Fear not the enemies' feeble reprisals, they have not enough soldiers to snuff out the strength of our ideas.

QdAMwRIl.jpg

22nd of October 1872
The enemy have finally shown their true colors and blood runs through the streets of Nafplion as we had long expected. It was a glorious day of sunshine at the university where we had gathered to confront our oppressors and have them face their iniquity. Of course, the governor sent in his lackeys to disperse us but we would not bend to the threats of such a man. We chanted and shouted the righteousness of our cause at the police who had come to stamp us out until one of these animals decided to shoot a man of our own without provocation. More of them then shot into our crowd and we were given no choice but to retaliate in kind and pushed them back to their governor with tails between their legs.
But we cannot revel in such a victory because its bloody cost was, as always, delivered onto us alone. Innumerable bodies littered the premises and all of them were bodies of the proletariat, not one of the masters had risked their lives but they sent underlings to do their dirty work. So it is with capitalists and imperialists everywhere, they may say that create value or spread civilization but the only thing they ever do is sit in their offices and give orders that end people's lives. If any of the nations of the world have a shred of honor and dignity they would see this as the time to give us our freedom but I believe that nobody will come until their own citizens rise up.
I speak to you now, brothers and sisters with which I have spilled my blood. The lives we have lost will not be lost in vain as long as we continue to fight, as long as bosses and invaders cannot sleep soundly in their beds, and as long as their fear our reprisals with every breath. Last night's bombing has rid us of one governor but more will come in his place, we must spread our fight to Italy where the pope and his lackeys think themselves safe so that they may understand what suffering they place us under.
Long live the revolution and death to the pope king!
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Papal soldiers shoot at unarmed peaceful student protest...lovely.
 

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The curia isn't all bad but it is certainly made up mostly of those who have little regard for such things
Quite clearly the Curia is indeed all bad. We are long past the "trying to be a good influence" defence, if you remain on the curia at this point you are complicit in what is happening in Greece and must be judged accordingly.
 

slothinator

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Papal soldiers shoot at unarmed peaceful student protest...lovely.

They were looking at us funny, you can never trust young people.

Another awful few years for these dreadful Papal States.

Alas, that's what happens when you're born in the victorian age as a poor person/minority/colonized people/most everybody.

Quite clearly the Curia is indeed all bad. We are long past the "trying to be a good influence" defence, if you remain on the curia at this point you are complicit in what is happening in Greece and must be judged accordingly.

Fair enough, there are reformists present but the growing revolutionary front agrees that the system can only be destroyed and rebuilt.
 
Chapter XXVIII: Ein Volk, Ein Reich

slothinator

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From the personal diaries of Cardinal Annibale Lisi

Saturday 15th of August 1863
I've allowed myself a summer of rest after my mission in Greece and it turns out to have been the right decision. I enjoyed a brief to return to Pescara for a little while and check in on my parents since they are getting on in years and I want to ensure they are properly taken care of. I was a little worried about the suspicious behavior of the Sicilian authorities during my visit and I had to spend several hours explaining my reasons for being there and that they were not political in the least but merely personal. It seems that Callixtus has begun to foment discord between our two nations in my absence. I really wish he had consulted me for this matter, the Two Sicilies could be a valuable ally but now he's gone and thrown it all away. I offered mother and father to come back to Rome with me in case things turn ugly, but they said that it is too late to leave home at their age. I suppose I understand the feeling, but I can't help but be irritated that I was not consulted in the Pope's decision. I thought that we had reached an understanding after the conclave that it would be better for everyone if we set aside petty politics and worked together. I will have to redouble my efforts when I return to Rome to ensure that our alliance is not broken.

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In other news, things in Germany have started to deteriorate at an alarming rate and Austria has just suffered a crushing humiliation. I don't shed any tears for those absolutists but the North German Confederation, well Prussia really, has achieved complete hegemony over the German-speaking peoples and it is just a matter of time before Europe has to contend with a hungry behemoth at its center. They have not yet expressed any desire for closer political integration, but it is logical to assume that the newly formed nation will aim for centralization. I imagine that Bismarck is in wait for some suitably grand gesture to create his union of German peoples. Who knows, Austria might even be persuaded to abandon its empire and join this new entity. I'm not sure how I would react to that sort of a union because, on the one hand, a Berlin-facing Austria will leave behind a significant power vacuum in the Adriatic and the Balkans at large, something that we could take advantage of but, on the other hand, the German-Austrian union might be a terrifying hegemon under which we could not survive.
I will write to Callixtus in the morning and let him know my thoughts on the matter. Now that I am back, I should give new life to our relationship and keep him focused on his many duties to ensure that our newly sprouted collaboration bears fruit.

Tuesday 13th of October 1868
Most of the preparations for the council at the start of the year are finalized, only the participants and minor administrative tasks are still missing. The Pope can deal with the different cardinals, bishops and eminent theologians that need to be invited while I might take a look at the more menial logistics whenever I will be less burdened by work. It still seems unreal and I'm sure that the realization will hit me solely when I see the Vatican filled with robed figures, but the anxiety has begun its slow build. There is so much that depends on this council and I need to make sure that everything is well organized and the scales are tipped in the right direction before the deliberations even begin.

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A brief...distraction? arrived today in the form of news from Germany. It seems that Ludwig's castles could not save him from the Prussian onslaught. The war that began on some transparent pretext of Bavarian interference in Baden has ended with the destruction of the Bavarian industry and its political humiliation, enough to ensure that they stay out of Bismarck's way for the moment. The news itself is nothing extraordinary with Europe having spent the last years bracing for the inevitable put-down of Prussia's rival, but its combination with the council has brought me to think further with regards to the Italian question. The Savoyards have tried their best by simply devouring Modena Parma and Tuscany which may work well in their limited environment but I believe that this would begin to fail if applied to the whole peninsula, especially if the Papacy is to be involved. If I had to think of a unitary Italy today with the Pope at its center, I would have it be a federation of states with co-equal powers on the loose model of the Swiss Confederation with the Papacy in the role of international representative and mediator. Clearly, this is mere speculation and the practical details would depend on the circumstances of federation but I believe that such a model would smooth over old animosities and allow for a strong external image. Germany has the advantage that, with Austria out of the picture, there is no significant counterweight to the Prussians while in Italy we have three principal realms that are equipotent and each is sure to demand that their rights be respected.
I must discuss this matter with Callixtus especially since I believe that we have not touched the subject on any previous occasion. If we want to spur unification forward, there is no better opportunity than an ecumenical council to make a grand proclamation.

Thursday 23rd of October 1873
Another long day today. The responsibilities keep piling up with each passing week and my back has become sore as if in some poor joke about carrying the weight of the world. The fading light of autumn has also worsened my situation as I am forced to write by the light of a feeble candle rather than a glorious sunset. I suppose I have nobody but myself to blame for wanting to climb to this position, but I think that I would have greater peace of mind if I were the delegator and not the delegate. Who knows, Callixtus has become frail and I am still in good enough health. I cannot be faulted for a little hope, though I fear that reality would be far crueler than the evening desires of a tired man. I will cut this speculation short by committing to paper a summary of the latest issues I have had to deal with.
The Peloponnese continues to fester as a thorn in our side as it has done for the last thirty years. Though most of the would-be revolutionaries have lived as Papal subjects their entire lives, their resolve has not waned an iota from the day of invasion. Urban's folly may have been a good way to garner the attention of Europe, but it has given us an ulcer that will end only with the Greeks and Italians going their separate ways whether by peaceful means or otherwise. I've spent most of the week trying to disentangle the mass of discriminatory laws in place for the Peloponnese that cause most of the Greek anger but it is a pile of contradictions, attacks and counterattacks that has accumulated over so many years as to be almost inscrutable. I have done the best that I can with the resources I have but my heart sinks if I try to think of the sheer volume of work that awaits me. And no end is yet in sight.
Closer to home, the ranks of the army have filled up again drop by drop as the Milanese warm to our stewardship and begin to sign up for service. I was happy to note that Modena has also seen a swell of recruits thanks to their new archbishop without prior prompting from me. I will have to find out more about the fellow and send him a letter of thanks, it's always useful to get to know rising stars that might soon end up in the Curia. Besides this good news, I've stumbled on a roadblock while arranging the purchase of state-of-the-art artillery from France. Apparently, the republic does not like us very much so we will have to make do with what we have until the situation improves. I should really ask Callixtus to send someone there full time to sort out the situation because I cannot deal with the issue as much as I think it deserves.

CVERGmXl.png

Finally, I sent a letter of congratulations to the German Kaiser and the King of Bavaria on their recent union. They have flirted for a long while, but they have managed to finalize their agreement to have a single German nation. Rarely enough for such letters, I am genuinely impressed with their achievements: in a decade Germany has gone from a fractured mishmash of statelets into the dominant power on the continent. I wish something like that could happen for Italy as well. Our recent wars have made a simple diplomatic solution unfeasible at this point, but I must admit that the limited number of Italian powers always meant that each one could consider itself the potential head of a unified state. At this point, if it weren't for the Papacy's moral and religious authority, Piedmont would be considered as the most likely contender for the role of hegemon. They are blessed with a strong military and industry while being considered among the Great Powers of the world; their sole real weakness is their lack of strong allies. The Papal States are less fortunate in material advancement due to Innocent's innovations only arriving halfway through the century, but the Papacy is more well-loved by the other Italians and has a French titan in its corner. I can feel that a great war for the soul of Italy is on the horizon and one way or another I will have to deal with it in some way. And given Prussia's formation of Germany in similarly cataclysmic circumstances, I believe that their model will be a good basis for us. A strong Papal State at the center of Italy and perhaps someday Europe.
But this talk is premature, and I must focus on the tasks at hand. I don't know if it's my imagination, but I sense that Callixtus grows fainter and fainter with each time I meet him. Each task he delegates to me brings further whispers of conclave. We shall have to see.
 

Cromwell

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The time for expansion is now, Germany has just swallowed Bavaria, would the Lord allow the Papacy to be left behind?
 

DensleyBlair

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If these were more pious cardinals we were dealing with, I would be hesitant to suggest that the Curia were looking on enviously at Germany's shiny new ethnostate. But seeing as we are not dealing with overly pious cardinals, what's another deadly sin in the equation?

As Cromwell says, one presumes the Lord is going to have to act pretty sharpish in ordaining that Italy be ruled by the Papacy. The Risorgimento could use an ineffable plan or two to help it on its way…
 

El Pip

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I fear Cardinal Lisi's hopes and ambitions for being Pope will never come to pass. After all he has heretical thoughts like this;
but it has given us an ulcer that will end only with the Greeks and Italians going their separate ways whether by peaceful means or otherwise.
That kind of common sense and acceptance of reality has no place in the Vatican!

Europe is blobbing up most ominously, though the fear of the new Austro-Hungarians looking south into the Italian peninsula might galvanise a few people into supressing their doubts and supporting an Italian state. Though on current evidence many might also decide better a Hapsburg than a Pope, at least the Austro-Hungarians only have secret police and not an inquisition. Given Papal actions in Greece this is not an idle concern.
 

slothinator

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The time for expansion is now, Germany has just swallowed Bavaria, would the Lord allow the Papacy to be left behind?
The pope does maintain a thin lead on the other Italian powers but it is time for great moves to seal the deal.
If these were more pious cardinals we were dealing with, I would be hesitant to suggest that the Curia were looking on enviously at Germany's shiny new ethnostate. But seeing as we are not dealing with overly pious cardinals, what's another deadly sin in the equation?

As Cromwell says, one presumes the Lord is going to have to act pretty sharpish in ordaining that Italy be ruled by the Papacy. The Risorgimento could use an ineffable plan or two to help it on its way…
What are deadly sins to those who can forgive them?

The Risorgimento will have its ineffable moment soon and it works in very mysterious ways.
I fear Cardinal Lisi's hopes and ambitions for being Pope will never come to pass. After all he has heretical thoughts like this;

That kind of common sense and acceptance of reality has no place in the Vatican!

Europe is blobbing up most ominously, though the fear of the new Austro-Hungarians looking south into the Italian peninsula might galvanise a few people into supressing their doubts and supporting an Italian state. Though on current evidence many might also decide better a Hapsburg than a Pope, at least the Austro-Hungarians only have secret police and not an inquisition. Given Papal actions in Greece this is not an idle concern.
Lisi is one of the few true reformers of the Papal States but that makes him a target to most. He has managed to pull some of Callixtus' strings from behind the scenes but a Lisi papacy would take this to a whole other level.

Austria-Hungary has been very busy with the Germans so far but, now that Mitteleuropa is cooling down, they will be looking past the Alps.
 
Chapter XXIX: Peace in Our Time?

slothinator

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From the personal diaries of Cardinal Luca Andreano

Sunday 16th of November 1873
I thought my duties as cardinal would keep me in Rome for longer but any chance to visit London is a good one. It's been a few years since the last time I was here but it seems like all the important parts are the same with Simpson's and Rule's treating me to a serenade of roast and oysters. I even managed to re-connect with a few old friends and spend some time in humorous conversation about the good old days and checking how far everyone has managed to sneak into government. I left it to the last minute but I've managed to find time on Sunday to finally read my briefing on this Congress of London, the Ottoman part was clear enough from the start but I confess that it took me quite a while to find where the hell Mazovia is and then I began to wonder why anyone should care about it. The note from Callixtus said that I'm to befriend the other leaders and show the Papal States as the core of Italy, I suppose that someone will have to believe it though I expect the Savoyard ambassador will be belligerent in that field.
I am unsure of which steps I will have to take next but it's certainly an advantage that France is not present at the table, busy as they are with their new republic, because it will leave me ample space to maneuver without the risk of a faux pas. Courtship of Germany is the obvious choice but I would not mind a closer relationship with the Russians even though it seems that these are mutually exclusive goals. As for the British, I don't expect that Gladstone will have much of a desire to associate with us peasants on the continent.
I'm sure that the situation will be cleared up once the games begin and we can see which way the pendulum swings.

Friday 21st of November 1873
The dinner at Algernon's estate was truly marvelous and blessed with a most exotic roster of guests. It is truly a great nation that allows the nobles to be members of parliament without all of the trouble the rest of us have to go through to enter into government. The feast allowed me to unwind a little after this week of labor which did at least provide a few interesting results.
Things are not looking too good for the Ottomans as it seems that every man in Europe wants them off the continent and back into Asia. The British and Russians stare at maps of the Eastern Mediterranean like hungry wolves as they continue to add moves to their great game while Bismarck seems intent on leaving nothing in the Balkans to chance as the Turks melt away into history. The Austro-Hungarian Andrássy mostly seemed interested in Bosnia and hopped onto the bandwagon as soon as the tide of conversation made itself clear.
As for us Italians, Visconti Venosta tried to talk the Russians into taking the Papal Peloponnese for Greece to allow for greater stability in the region, forgetting entirely that this is not a congress about the Balkans but about the Ottoman Empire. The scoundrel attempted to stroke Prince Gorchakov's ego with words of "such a pious man as the Tsar would surely be overjoyed with the person who provides him with a united Orthodox Greece". I was forced to counterattack and stop the Prince from dreaming, by pointing out that a large proportion of the population of the Peloponnese is made up of Italian Catholics and the Greeks of the region had not called for a resolution in their name. I then appealed to the British with implications that the Papal States could be a useful ally in the Mediterranean and a buffer against an over-eager Russia.
In the end, the motion was dropped and we continued the work of carving up the Ottoman lands. Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, and Greece have managed to extend their domains over the Slavs that each of them claimed and have thus solidly fallen into the Russian orbit. The Turkish breakdown also included the creation of a Bulgarian Kingdom with a certain degree of international autonomy since the new nation will greet a German prince on the throne but also maintain its cultural and religious ties to the Tsar in Moscow. At that point the Sultan was left with only a small exclave on the Adriatic that provided an awkward dilemma for the rest of us: the land was of no interest to any major power but allowing it to remain in the Empire would have negated the whole pretext of protecting the Balkans from the Ottoman decay. The customary German prince was suggested but it seems that that option had overstayed its welcome with Bulgaria being a large enough prize and so, as no other monarch had expendable relatives, it was decided that the Beylik of Albania would be made into an autonomous princedom under a local ruler to be chosen by the Albanians themselves.

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With the responsibility firmly handed over to someone else, our merry band of plotters melted away into separate parties where more pleasant negotiation can be taken into account. I personally took advantage of my friendly peers and floated around among several British ministers and managed to gain a bit of useful information for the next days. The common idea is that though Gladstone has no intention of forging any long-term alliances, the cabinet will be damned if Russia does not let the Poles go now that it has managed to spread into the Balkans. Extreme options were threatened but I trust that there will be no need for arms given our diligent work on the Ottomans.
Now I find myself forced by the drink to return speedily to bed and we shall see on Monday how dearly the Poles wish to gain their independence.

Sunday 13th of September 1874
The pleasant reunions of the last year have vanished like snow in spring as the participants became certain that war was inevitable. It's quite a shame as well because for the longest time it looked as if everything would work out and a small independent Poland would be created under British protection. We worked for months on which little town should be on which side of the border, I was even called to speak with regards to provisions relative to Poland's position as a Catholic country and its relation with its Orthodox minorities. But in the end, it was Skierniewice that broke us, the Russians claimed that it was an essential city for their control over their border with Germany but the opposition claimed that it would be too great a threat to have a Russian base only a few kilometers outside of Warsaw. The talks then stalled and the Austro-Hungarians jumped at the chance to wash their hands of the whole thing and leave the conference. As the words became more and more heated I did my best to calm everyone's spirits but, given that the only Catholics present were the Piedmontese and the Poles, I was not able to gain much success. Visconti Venosta even unilaterally placed his nation in support of the German provision in a clear bid for recognition. Fortunately for Italy, Bismarck barely acknowledged this empty gesture and verbally besieged Gladstone with the specter of Russia's dominion over Central Asia and Constantinople if they were not stopped in their ambitions at this juncture. Prince Gorchakov shouted back that Russia would not be dictated to by German upstarts and that the British should be very careful to not become their puppets.
The audacity of that statement grated with the Briton and he sided with the Iron Chancellor to teach the Tsar a lesson in respect. Not only that, but the original goal of a Polish Mazovia was transformed into an ultimatum of full independence for Poland by Monday upon threat of war. The Russian then stormed out of the room shouting that they were bluffing and would not dare do such a thing because they would be scattered like every past foreign invader of Russia.

iWAoTRRl.png

In the end, I was the last left in the room with a handful of miscellaneous clerks to whom I asked to put on the record that the Papal States were opposed to such a conflict and would endeavor for peace. I have no illusions that this was nothing more than a gesture but, after all, I was only here as an observer and the real players lie far from Rome. Germany especially is a cause of both concern and aspiration for Europe since a great power of that magnitude in the heart of the continent can be a great boon or terrible danger to each of us. And to think that this came out of a ragtag group of minor nations that no one could ever remember. Of course, I have been thinking on the matter of Italy and its place in this new world of colossal Empires and I feel that Gioberti and the neoguelphs had made a fair point, the Pope should preside over a united peninsula with the existing kings firm in their role in local government. This would allow us to punch above our weight in international politics and preserve our Catholic roots against the onslaught of communists and atheists that are so popular in certain circles. Speaking of which, I even briefly met that Marx fellow at a social gathering a few months ago and I'm sure he did not recognize me as a man of God because he leapt into such a tirade against religion that I myself felt dirty for having witnessed it. A positive is that he scoffed at the Peloponnesian peasant's claims to follow communism as, in his mind, they were deceived by nationalist reactionaries aiming to take advantage of them and the lack of an urban proletariat precluded revolution from that land. This whole matter will be something that has to be addressed sooner or later, I don't know if it warrants a letter to Callixtus himself but Cardinal Felicetti's thoughts seemed to be along the same lines so I should certainly start with him.
Now it has become late and I would do best to sleep a little before I begin my trip back to Rome.
Oh, will you look at the time, it's already Monday and the war has begun.
 

DensleyBlair

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Peace is not long for Europe, then. Will a big war over Poland provide the Holy See with the cover it needs to gobble up the rest of Italy?

As for the British, I don't expect that Gladstone will have much of a desire to associate with us peasants on the continent.
If there is one person a temporally-powerful Papal States would not want directing the show in Britain, it would be Gladstone.
 

El Pip

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Cardinal Andreano seems a remarkably relaxed sort of chap and certainly has the diplomats ability to lie through his teeth.

the Greeks of the region had not called for a resolution in their name.
I suppose this is technically not a lie. But only because the Pope had all the Greeks who attempted to raise such a resolution arrested and tortured to death by the Inquisition.

A positive is that he scoffed at the Peloponnesian peasant's claims to follow communism as, in his mind, they were deceived by nationalist reactionaries aiming to take advantage of them and the lack of an urban proletariat precluded revolution from that land.
I am delighted that Marx has started the left wing tradition of splits, schisms and in-fighting this early. If he keeps this up he may yet manage to declare parts of himself as "not a proper communist", not in a multiple-personality disorder way but full on shouting at his left knee for being a right wing devaitionalist and accusing his spleen of forming an anti-party faction.
 

DensleyBlair

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I am delighted that Marx has started the left wing tradition of splits, schisms and in-fighting this early. If he keeps this up he may yet manage to declare parts of himself as "not a proper communist", not in a multiple-personality disorder way but full on shouting at his left knee for being a right wing devaitionalist and accusing his spleen of forming an anti-party faction.
I am sure you’d never be able to stomach doing the reading yourself, but there is a rich pre-Marxian tradition of splits and schisms among the European left. Mostly among the anarchists, being then the only group with anything like a real theory, who would go on to receive most of Marx’s own ire in the high 19th century. The proportion of Marx’s oeuvre consisting of lengthy letters to people whom he disagreed with is prodigious indeed.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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I suppose this is technically not a lie. But only because the Pope had all the Greeks who attempted to raise such a resolution arrested and tortured to death by the Inquisition.
I think we really need to focus on the most pertinent matter in your retort, which is of course, that it is not a lie.

Clearly the honesty and integrity of the papal states knows no bounds, and the Italian peninsula would be lucky to find itself wholly under our benevolent and holy care.