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After this meeting, my curiosity led me to talk a while with a few of the locals on their religious beliefs and, though my expectations were low to begin with, I found ample hostility toward the Catholic faith. When I questioned my companions with which difference between Orthodoxy and Catholicism caused this frustration, I was generally met with embarrassed mumbles and at best a complaint in relation to a bland eucharist.
The Cardinal would have asked a Greek Orthodox priest or bishop about this, but they had all been arrested by the Inquisition shortly after the invasion and were never seen again.

This might lead to encouraging German immigration, which will make everything worse when the locals rub up against them and the kaiser starts getting invovled...
A war in the name of Liberating the Volksdeutch in so-called Papal Greece and incorporating them into the Reich would be a bold strategy, but I've seen things much stranger in Vicki2.
 

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The Cardinal would have asked a Greek Orthodox priest or bishop about this, but they had all been arrested by the Inquisition shortly after the invasion and were never seen again.

That might be the most darkly hilarious joke I hear today. Well done.

A war in the name of Liberating the Volksdeutch in so-called Papal Greece and incorporating them into the Reich would be a bold strategy, but I've seen things much stranger in Vicki2

Ah, it would be very funny. Just imagine the inevitable British lampoons.
 

slothinator

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It seems things aren't as bad as Ferretti feared. Those Germans will be very useful in establishing an orderly stable occupation government.

They are definitely useful for the time being but since they are only a few hundred it won't really be a permanent solution

The situation between the newly arrived Italians and the extant German population seems rather cordial, which surprises me a little. How is Otto faring considering half of Greece has just been absorbed into the Papal domain?

The Bavarian Catholics are happier with a more familiar "foreign" government than having to deal with an empowered Greek populace, at least for now. Otto is predictably livid but there's not much he can do at the moment so he's licking his wounds

This might lead to encouraging German immigration, which will make everything worse when the locals rub up against them and the kaiser starts getting invovled...

The locals are going to be very...interested in the new immigrants but they will mostly be Italian for the time being.

A very curious evolution of opinion
Well that was very positive, almost optimistic! Unless Cardinal Ferretti is being gently elastic with the truth for posterity's sake (unlikely as this is his personal diary).

I think Ferretti is being honest here though he is certainly not being objective. He thinks he did a good job and doesn't think enough of the Greeks to expect any serious resistance.

The Cardinal would have asked a Greek Orthodox priest or bishop about this, but they had all been arrested by the Inquisition shortly after the invasion and were never seen again.

In the proud tradition of colonialism you never ask competent people about their culture! You just point and laugh at the backwards simpletons.

A war in the name of Liberating the Volksdeutch in so-called Papal Greece and incorporating them into the Reich would be a bold strategy, but I've seen things much stranger in Vicki2.

That might be possible at some point. Especially since conflict with the Austrians is soon to come.
 
Chapter XII: The Conclave of 1851

slothinator

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ZCawYoZl.png
Urban IX Exit

It goes without saying that the Papacy of Urban IX represents a pivotal point in Italian history for the first Papal invasion in centuries which garnered the attention of the European powers. At the time of the Greek War, the foreign offices of all the major powers were abuzz with questions about the appropriate response to a Pope with foreign ambitions. As we have seen, both the Russian and British Empires provided a declaration of war that, in the end, amounted to little more than a few skirmishes and strongly worded letters between ambassadors. The timing of the conflict was also fortuitous as it coincided with the springtime of the peoples in whose absence, many argue, Urban’s ambitions would have been squashed by the forces of the Congress System. It is possible that such a reaction would have presented itself in any case if Urban had decided to push his luck any further but the briefness of his papacy halted most thoughts of a late retaliation to the acquisition of the Peloponnese.
A bellicose pope, his first attempts at industrialization were weak and stunted thus opening the door for the economic crisis that would dominate most of the 1850s as the absence of a strong industry restricted revenue and jeopardized the livelihoods of small artisans.
This factor together with the recent tensions in the Peloponnese, which have their roots in this historical period, have tarnished the Pope’s reputation as of late and have overturned the long-held views that were established by early-1900 scholarship. Urban X’s election caused fears of some sort of revival of this behavior but these worries were soon set aside as the Holy Father explained his name as an atonement for his predecessor’s actions and a hope for peace in Greece.
The next Pope that will be discussed is not so contentious in the modern day but is nonetheless a pivotal figure of the Italian Risorgimento enough that his name will be echoed in the most influential of the Popes in the last few centuries.

pJyUASQl.jpg

From the personal diaries of Cardinal Amato Aloisi

Wednesday 15th of January 1851

I still grieve for Urban's passing as he gave me so much despite my doubts and failings. And now we are settled here in an attempt to choose a worthy successor. My first vote was little more than a wild stab in the dark since I know so few of the cardinals here, if not from a distant reputation. I struggled to stifle a gasp when I realized that my name came up among the favored in the first rounds and I'm placed within sight of the limit of two thirds.
I find myself questioning the judgment of those who took this decision. While I believe I could be a worthy pontiff, I feel that my age should disqualify me from such an important position in this pivotal moment in history. I do not know when I will be called to the Lord but it is not outrageous to assume that my pontificate would be a short one just as Urban's was.
This still sheds no light on who I must vote for. They say that the Holy Spirit inspires this election but no name has been whispered into my ear. I only feel that Mastai Ferretti leans into the flow of the times far beyond what is right for the leader of the Holy Church.
And what if I am elected? Who comes after Urban? I would have to follow the legacy of some recent pope. I could be Gregory but seventeen is a number with such ill omens tied to it, Urban would be pretentious of me and Pius would not be particularly true in my case.
But this speculation is premature, I suppose I will keep waiting for God to inspire me towards a suitable name or a suitable candidate at the opportune moment.


From the personal diaries of Cardinal Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti

Thursday 16th of January 1851

It looks like I traveled all the way from Greece to witness a one-sided victory. Cardinal Aloisi, draped in his military success and heralding the hope of further lands for the Papacy, is one step from the throne of Saint Peter. I don't really fault his points but I disagree with his wish to continue Urban's policies. He doesn't really have a voice for himself but melds with whatever his last benefactor told him.
I also find that his faith is shallow with few signs of real devotion. At most, I heard he used to inspire, and I use the term lightly, the soldiers he led with the promise that the Lord is with them. He should understand God is more a gentle guiding hand than a battering ram with which to smite one's enemies. Aloisi also displays his legal training and lack of imagination in the sermons I saw him give where the Bible lies naked with none of the beautiful ornaments that the Church fathers have dressed it with.
I might be guilty of the sin of pride but I believe that I would be a better choice to serve God. After all, would he have cured me and taken me so far for no real purpose? I don't think so.
I've seen Cappellini wince the few times he was mentioned and I am sure I would do him a favor by taking supporters from him. Aloisi's crowd does not know me due to my time away from Rome but I will find some way to win them over, their current candidate certainly does not exude charisma.
I will try and extend the Conclave for enough time to sway an adequate number of cardinals to my cause. The Church needs a pious pope and I am the sole candidate who can deliver this, may the Lord guide my brothers to this choice.


From the personal diaries of Cardinal Libero Cappellini

Friday 17th of January 1851

There may yet be hope for the Church.
My heart sank in my chest after Wednesday's session when Cardinal Aloisi stopped a hair away from the required votes. Not only that but whoever voted for me in the last conclave has clearly been proselytizing and handed me five preferences that he should have put to much better use. I said so to anyone who would listen and encouraged them to vote for Cardinal Mastai Ferretti. He is a man who can clear the cobwebs from this Country and this Church and show them that the old world has died. I see that we are not close friends but he is certainly an individual that I admire and respect while being confident that he at least thinks about my suggestions.
It might have been something I said or rather the fact that Aloisi has a clear contender, but today he and Mastai Ferretti are separated by no more than a couple of ballots. If this tide can continue to swell, we could finally be freed from our reactionary past.
I am still unnerved by those votes I received, even now I cannot fathom who it is. I can but pray that the Holy Spirit guide our hands in the next days.
Ab errore suffragiorum libera nos domine.
 

Cromwell

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Vote Ferretti! You know it makes sense! The Papal States needs to expand, economically and physically. There are souls out there that need to be saved!
 

stnylan

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Sounds like a rather divided rudderless conclave
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Yeah, there's not much chance of anything but expansion at this point. The papacy is either going to have to double down on being a land power or face abandoning everything for the Vatican Hill.

Which in practice means, I suspect, the next pope is going to have to affirm or dismiss the calls of Italian unification.
 

DensleyBlair

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Sounds to me likes there’s really only one man for the job. Here’s hoping the Capellini backers see sense before it’s too late.
 

El Pip

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Cardinal Ferretti may think he is a pious man (though frankly if you have sat through the invasion of Greece without complaint then I think you have sacrificed any right to ever use that word about yourself) but he is clearly not humble. His arrogance could be an unfortunate complication in dealing with the strong personalities of Risorgimento, so naturally I'm rooting for him as I think that increases the chance of the Papal States crashing and burning. (I fear I will be disappointed and this outcome will not occur).

In any event it is good to see Cardinal Aloisi still being reassuringly dense. Of course the Holy Spirit isn't talking to him about who to pick, he doesn't often talk to the unrepentant damned, which Aloisi most definitely is. Or perhaps the Holy Spirit is doing his best to whisper advice (starting with telling him to confess and repent), but is being drowned out by the screams of the Orthodox bishops and priests that Aloisi 'disappeared' while in Greece?
 

Le Jones

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I do enjoy your portrayal of the conclaves. This one seems, as has been covered by other commentatAARs, to be a bit of a mess.
 

slothinator

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Vote Ferretti! You know it makes sense! The Papal States needs to expand, economically and physically. There are souls out there that need to be saved!
Yeah, there's not much chance of anything but expansion at this point. The papacy is either going to have to double down on being a land power or face abandoning everything for the Vatican Hill.

Which in practice means, I suspect, the next pope is going to have to affirm or dismiss the calls of Italian unification.

The Papal States will indeed expand and even in Italy this time though the politicians will tiptoe around the ideology of unification for a while. Whether any souls will be saved is a different question entirely

Sounds like a rather divided rudderless conclave

There rarely is an appointed successor and this case so soon after the last conclave is especially daunting.

Sounds to me likes there’s really only one man for the job. Here’s hoping the Capellini backers see sense before it’s too late.

I think all of the candidates would agree with you there

Cardinal Ferretti may think he is a pious man (though frankly if you have sat through the invasion of Greece without complaint then I think you have sacrificed any right to ever use that word about yourself) but he is clearly not humble. His arrogance could be an unfortunate complication in dealing with the strong personalities of Risorgimento, so naturally I'm rooting for him as I think that increases the chance of the Papal States crashing and burning. (I fear I will be disappointed and this outcome will not occur).

In any event it is good to see Cardinal Aloisi still being reassuringly dense. Of course the Holy Spirit isn't talking to him about who to pick, he doesn't often talk to the unrepentant damned, which Aloisi most definitely is. Or perhaps the Holy Spirit is doing his best to whisper advice (starting with telling him to confess and repent), but is being drowned out by the screams of the Orthodox bishops and priests that Aloisi 'disappeared' while in Greece?

Ferretti believes that the papacy is his destiny but he will get his chance to meet key figures of Risorgimento even if just for a little while. Don't despair about the Papal States crashing and burning, we have an exciting century ahead.

Aloisi's density could seriously jeopardize the buoyancy of even the best ship. Under the new pope, he will get the chance to hear the Orthodox screams from up close once again.

I do enjoy your portrayal of the conclaves. This one seems, as has been covered by other commentatAARs, to be a bit of a mess.

Thanks a lot! Be sure that as the Papacy expands it will take a whole lot of mess along for the ride.
 
Innocent XIV

slothinator

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Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: habemus Papam! Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum Ioannem Mariam Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem Mastai Ferretti, qui sibi nomen imposuit Innocentem Quartum Decimum
 

DensleyBlair

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Innocent XIV, eh? Wiki calls Innocent XIII’s papacy “prosperous but uneventful”, so I’m banking on maybe seeing the new pontiff revive at least one of those traits.
 
Chapter XIII: L’Italia s’è Desta

slothinator

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From the personal diaries of Pope Innocent XIV

EQs6r9ll.jpg

Sunday 28th of January 1855

We are at war. It took quite a while for me to take this decision but I've sent the Austrian ambassador back to Vienna and ordered the mobilization of the army reserves.

All those letters that I'd sent to Napoleon have finally born fruit as he agreed to extend the goals of the war from the transfer of Lombardy to the Piedmontese to the assignment of Veneto to the Papal States. He wasn't too easy to convince but I knew which strings to pull to make sure he saw things my way.

He started quite partial to the idea of providing a stable counterweight to Piedmont-Sardinia in Italy but was tipped over after my long exhausting letter where I reminded him of that time back in '31 when I used my position as archbishop of Spoleto to hide him from the Austrian authorities who were looking for a young revolutionary. The mistakes of our youth often come and bite us in the end and, now that Bonaparte pursues Austria yet again, it has come time for him to return the favor to old Innocent.

If there is something that I have learned in my time in Greece, it's that all Italians are more alike than we are different, and, if we cling to our petty differences, we will simply make ourselves into prey for stronger powers. Mazzini may be a dangerous extremist but I have to agree that a united Italy is the way forward and an Italy under the Papacy is the only way to prevent the resentment that would come with one petty kingdom overpowering the others. The Church has many flaws but, in the end, it has a universality and unity that cannot be found in other ideals.

Of course, this lofty project will take some time but I feel that this "Second Italian War of Independence" might be a step in the right direction by expelling the foreigners and leaving a contest purely among Italians. My one reservation on the endeavor is that the Papal armies were perfectly suitable to humble Greece but they definitely are not up to the task of defeating Austria. This means that I will mostly have to rely on French support while we hold the line in Romagna. The Lord only knows whether our efforts will be enough but I believe I have been given this opportunity for a clear reason and now I will find out if my choice will be worth the cost.



Saturday 3rd of March 1855

This war has not started well. Mobilizing the army reserves did provide a good amount of men but it has plunged the state into an even deeper recession than it was in previously and I could sense Cardinal Cappellini's peace of mind splinter into a thousand little shards. Unfortunately, the cost of fighting does not limit itself to mere money but lives as well. Last week, a newly mobilized group of three thousand men in Bologna was surprised by Austrian forces during their transfer to the main army. The forty thousand Austrians made short work of these poor farmers and artisans and I have not received reports of any survivors. This, combined with the imminent occupation of Ferrara has forced us to form a defensive line in Ravenna, once ravaged by plague and soon to experience bloodshed and even famine.

This individual tragedy was compounded by yet another when, two days later, while I was deep in prayer for the souls of those killed, an aide brought me the news of a naval disaster in the Gulf of Taranto. Our fleet was returning from its position in Corinth to blockade the Venetian coast but was surprised by an Austrian contingent that appeared smaller in number. Admiral Lunardi chose to attack them first but soon found himself terribly outmatched when he realized that the enemy was equipped with modern heavy warships and his fleet was mainly composed of transports. The transports later proved useful when they had to take on the survivors of eleven sunken ships and limp home with a mere five. All in all, I am given another one-thousand six-hundred and fifty souls to pray for.

The Piedmontese seem to have a foothold in Lombardy and Louis Napoleon has assured me that French soldiers are coming. I can only hope that this painful beginning was a necessary evil to ensure success. For now, I will keep praying.

hGHmSfUl.jpg

Saturday 5th of May 1855

Finally a victory! I have just gotten news that forty thousand Papal soldiers together with fifty-six thousand Piedmontese have pushed the dreaded Austrians out of Ferrara and have proceeded to chase them back into Veneto. The losses have been severe but, if things continue along with this pace, they will soon be repaid with the common good. I'm told that our general Matteo di Borbone-Due Sicilie took control of the allied forces and surprised an Austrian detachment out looting the countryside and made them prisoners after a brief resistance. The other twenty-thousand Austrians were ambushed during their attempt to break into the besieged city but they put up fierce resistance taking many of our allies with them. In any case, as painful as it is to have caused such hardship, Ferrara is free once more and we can move on to the liberation of Veneto.

Lombardy has been mostly occupied by the Piedmontese although he Austrians have begun a counteroffensive which seemed dangerous until a few days ago but will soon be met with a combined French and Belgian force twice the size of our own army. This war for Italy would have turned out quite differently had it not been for old (or, more accurately, young) Louis Napoleon. In the meantime, I've ordered General Borbone-Due Sicilie to aim for Venice and plant the Papal flag in Piazza San Marco. After that, he is to take Udine while the Piedmontese guard the Alps near Belluno.

And so it begins, I feel uncomfortable saying this but there is a certain elation in seeing one's forces victorious and advancing. I must remember not to get carried away with meaningless conflicts for the sake of this thrill. Many wounded are being brought to Ravenna to recover and I think it is only right and proper that I travel there to give them comfort and remind myself that those battle reports I receive speak of thousands of fathers, husbands, and sons. The war continues and so must our humanity.



Wednesday 18th of July 1855

The eagle's feathers have been clipped. No Austrian soldiers remain within the confines of Italy and we have begun a full advance into German lands. They attempted one last move on Udine but General Borbone-Due Sicilie managed to hold off the attackers. It was a hard-fought battle where the core of our forces had to take the brunt of the remaining Austrian army. The General took up defensive positions around a town called Caporetto and blocked access to the Italian road with hastily constructed fortifications while artillery was positioned in the surrounding mountains to bombard the enemy force. Though we had the advantage in position, the Austrians had brought along more than three times our own artillery and caused significant casualties for the infantry at the center of the valley. The encounter lasted for about a week from start to finish but the attack was repelled and a final cavalry charge sent the Austrians running back towards Vienna. Speaking of which, while our forces are marching along the Adriatic coast, a combined French and Belgian army lays siege to the enemy capital. Our war is over, we just need to wait for the Austrians to realize it.

h0dkfjXl.jpg

Thursday 3rd of January 1856

Campoformio, of course, that's where Louis Napoleon wanted us to meet. At least the voyage gave me a chance to tour the Venetian countryside and learn several dozen creative ways to shout the Lord's name in vain. At first, I blushed as the shepherds' cursed at their flocks to make way for my carriage but after a few days of travel, I'm just impressed by the sheer volume of available sentences.

The treaty itself was drafted by me, Louis Napoleon, Victor Emmanuel, and the Austrian foreign minister von Buol-Schauenstein. I'd never noticed until now how prominently mustaches figure in modern politicians until I saw how unadorned Buol-Schauenstein appeared among all of the other participants, although I'm sure I was the subject of the same consideration. Louis Napoleon has aged since the last time we met but maintains all of the ambition and rebellious spirit that almost got him arrested so many years ago, I should be careful that his ambition does not end up consuming Italy as well. Victor Emmanuel was an interesting fellow, spoke only Piedmontese to his aides and ministers, and made no mystery of his extramarital relationship even so shortly after the death of his wife. He is a picturesque character who appears to be bored by politics but I must remember to keep a close eye on Cavour, the bespectacled advisor who seems to be the true mind behind the king's actions.

The negotiations proceeded without much opposition voiced by the thoroughly defeated Austrians and primarily consisted in Napoleon trying to gain favors from me and Victor Emmanuel by tweaking what exactly the borders between Lombardy and Veneto are. The back and forth resulted in the border being drawn down from Lake Garda through the Mincio river until it merges into the Po with Mantua handed to the Piedmontese.

And thus, Italy is a little freer but, alas, not much more united. It will take considerable work for Piedmontese, Lombards, Venetians, and Romans to surrender their millenary divisions and become one. We can start by the restoration of Veneto to Italian control and the Lord only knows what the future holds. I just hope that He doesn't listen too closely to the Venetians lest a new flood make them swallow their words.
SRpeBwdl.png
 
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DensleyBlair

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Hmm. If Napoleon is planning on securing the Catholic bloc’s support at home by positioning himself as the papacy’s temporal guardian, I feel he’s going to have to double down quite hard on uniting Italy now. Which is going to draw the ire of the Austrians in more ways than one. Next decade will be crucial.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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All those letters that I'd sent to Napoleon have finally born fruit as he agreed to extend the goals of the war from the transfer of Lombardy to the Piedmontese to the assignment of Veneto to the Papal States. He wasn't too easy to convince but I knew which strings to pull to make sure he saw things my way.

Does he not want to be crowned emperor by the pope? That comes with strings attached for both sides.

Ok, so the papacy has now publically and very strongly nailed itself to Italian unification, which means explicitly anti-austrian (at least for a generation or so). Risky stuff, especially as aside from the iberians, the descendants of the Catholic bit of the HRE were the best would-be supporters of the Vatican.

Now you got to hope the french empire holds up, and stays on your side. That means no German alliance for austria either, or you're both screwed.
 

DensleyBlair

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I’d say the nub of the matter is that Austria has to be both isolated and neutralised. Too bullish a stance from the French–Italian bloc (let’s call it what it is) might be enough to facilitate Austrian rapprochement with Berlin. Too softly-softly an approach towards Austria from the Pope and Napoleon will begin to wonder what it was all for. It’s basically France or bust, and pray that the Germans can’t reconcile before the end of the 1860s.
 

stnylan

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France at some point will have to make a choice - she cannot support both the ambitions of the Sardinian monarch and the Bishop of Rome forever.

That is a choice the Holy Father and his successors must make easy for France to make, if they wish to continue this project of peace through temporal dominion they have engaged upon.
 
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An excellent result. Shame about loosing all those ships though... France will make a fine protector for the Papacy, I can't wait to see where the next blow falls.
 

slothinator

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Hmm. If Napoleon is planning on securing the Catholic bloc’s support at home by positioning himself as the papacy’s temporal guardian, I feel he’s going to have to double down quite hard on uniting Italy now. Which is going to draw the ire of the Austrians in more ways than one. Next decade will be crucial.

Napoleon must walk a fine line to avoid a rival power in Italy while maintaining support for the Pope. Austria will not be happy about this development for...oh about 100 years.

Does he not want to be crowned emperor by the pope? That comes with strings attached for both sides.

Ok, so the papacy has now publically and very strongly nailed itself to Italian unification, which means explicitly anti-austrian (at least for a generation or so). Risky stuff, especially as aside from the iberians, the descendants of the Catholic bit of the HRE were the best would-be supporters of the Vatican.

Now you got to hope the french empire holds up, and stays on your side. That means no German alliance for austria either, or you're both screwed.
I’d say the nub of the matter is that Austria has to be both isolated and neutralised. Too bullish a stance from the French–Italian bloc (let’s call it what it is) might be enough to facilitate Austrian rapprochement with Berlin. Too softly-softly an approach towards Austria from the Pope and Napoleon will begin to wonder what it was all for. It’s basically France or bust, and pray that the Germans can’t reconcile before the end of the 1860s.

I think papal coronation reminds Europe of the other Bonaparte so Louis Napoleon might be a bit reluctant to jump in that direction as he was in OTL.

Austria is a very dangerous enemy to have in this time but it doesn't look like there is much love coming their way from Berlin, a brothers' war has still not happened but its inevitability is becoming manifest.

France is the only thing keeping the Papacy safe from reprisals so Innocent will have to do everything in his power to not rock the boat too much on the diplomatic front.

France at some point will have to make a choice - she cannot support both the ambitions of the Sardinian monarch and the Bishop of Rome forever.

That is a choice the Holy Father and his successors must make easy for France to make, if they wish to continue this project of peace through temporal dominion they have engaged upon.

I imagine that Napoleon wants to balance Sardinian and Papal ambitions for as long as is feasibly possible and concede to a real union only when a clear victor appears so he can maintain some leverage on the new Italy

An excellent result. Shame about loosing all those ships though... France will make a fine protector for the Papacy, I can't wait to see where the next blow falls.

Yeah, the Papal fleet isn't the most advanced in the world so they will need to be more careful in the future, especially to ensure a proper transfer of troops to and from the Peloponnese.