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Pulp Catholic Notes

Page history last edited by Michael 2 years, 7 months ago

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     The pope is Pius XI, since 1922. Born in 1857, he's a native of Italy, and an accomplished scholar and librarian (he worked for a while at the Ambrosian Library). Languages he knows include Italian, English, French, German, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, and other ancient and modern tongues. He was (prior to becoming pope) a skilled mountaineer, and was the first person to scale several peaks in the Alps. He's quite interested in technology, and established the Vatican radio service.

     There's a pretty good chance that Albert Richter is involved with one of these ...


The Sovereign Military Order of Malta


     The treasurer of the American branch of the Knights of Malta was involved in the plot to organize a fascist coup in the United States in the early Thirties. Characteristics:  well-connected, wealthy, conservative and then some. Functions:  organizing coups, moving money around, making mischief on behalf of corporations.


First Section of the Sacred Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs


     Headed by Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII from 1939 to 1958), Camerlengo of the Catholic Church. Characteristics:  official even when acting covertly; relatively realistic uses of espionage and sub rosa actions. Functions:  obtaining information for the Vatican, applying political pressure through diplomatic channels.


The Holy League


     The Catholic nations of the Mediterranean banded together in 1571 to fight against the Ottoman Empire, at the urging of Pope Pius V. While the League was only active for two years as a multi-national alliance, the intelligence organization formed to support it has (supposedly) survived as The Entity. Characteristics / Functions:  use this group for albino martial-artist assassin monks, secret monasteries possessing the True Cross, effective demon-hunters, and other over-the-top stuff.


     In addition to these well-established (or at least old) groups, there are ephemeral groups and subdivisions attached more or less strongly to the church. Some reformist or conservative Catholic functionary will form a band of censors, or evangelists, recruiters, spies, etc.; for a generation or two these groups may flourish, but eventually disappear, re-absorbed into the church or declared obsolete or out-of-step. They will have a fairly specific goal or opponent; some have access to church funds, other use private sources, or work on the cheap. The Sodalitium Pianum would be an example of these.


  • Cardinal Eugène Tisserant, the Pope's best friend, is a former French intelligence officer (from before the Great War). He became a cardinal in 1936, and currently (late 1930s) is serving as the Secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. He's fluent in even more languages than the Pope, and eventually (in the 1950s) becomes head of the Vatican libraries.

    • For our 1932-33 timeline:  he's Pro-Prefect (an important official, but not in charge) of the Vatican Library, but "only" a priest (albeit a very well-connected one)


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