Benedict XV, 1854–1922, pope (1914–22), an Italian (b. Genoa) named Giacomo della Chiesa; successor of Pius X. He was made archbishop of Bologna in 1907 and cardinal in 1914, two months before his election as pope. His policy in World War I was one of the strictest neutrality, and he had the respect of all belligerents. He originated several proposals for peace. Benedict was charitable toward war victims, and he founded the Vatican service for prisoners of war. During his pontificate France and England resumed diplomatic relations with the Holy See and he promulgated (1917) the Code of Canon Law ( Codex iuris canonici ). He was succeeded by Pius XI.
See biography by W. H. Peters (1959).
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