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Celestino Endrici. History of the last "Prince Bishop"
Scientific head: Marco Bellabarba
ph. D. Student: Camilla Tenaglia
Celestino Endrici, born in Don (TN) in 1866, became Bishop of Trento in March 1904 succeeding mons. Eugenio Valussi. During his long episcopacy, that lasted until his death in 1940, Endrici dealt with a troubled period in the history of Trentino and also of Europe: from the social and political problems of the turn of the century, to the First World War, to the come to power of Fascism.
During the Great War Endrici was arrested by Austrian authorities and since May 1916 detained in the Abbey of Heiligenkreuz near Wien. After his triumphal return to Trento November 13th 1919 he was elevated to champion of Italian identity, as proved by the biography written by don Vigilio Zanolini already in 1919. As for many other important personalities from Trentino of the period, Endrici’s actions have been almost exclusively read through the lens of national identity. Certainly the study of a public figure of his stature and of the accusations he faced in Wien and his responses to them can help deepen the considerations on the identity question in Trentino at the time.
However other issues have been just as crucial in the Bishop’s conduct and they will be recounted in this research: the separation of church and state, Popularism and Fascism. Endrici himself often addressed the problem of the relation between state and the Catholic Church: during his detention he wrote an essay on Josephinism, attributing to it the reasons of his situation. Moreover through this lens, the life of mons. Endrici and the history of the diocese of Trento during his episcopacy could enhance the understanding of the international standing of the Holy See.
University of Trento