Pastor, Ludwig, Freiherr von (lōtˈvĭkh frĪˈhĕr fən päsˈtôr) [key], 1854–1928, German historian. The author of the monumental and authoritative History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages (40 vol., tr. 1891–1953), he combined a Roman Catholic bias with the most painstaking scholarship and erudition. He was privileged with access to the secret archives of the Vatican, and his history, largely based on hitherto unused documents, supersedes all previous histories of the popes. Pastor's theme is that the shortcomings of the papacy have reflected flaws of the age. Although not an unqualified defender of Catholicism, he has been criticized for lack of objectivity. He was Austrian minister to the Vatican from 1921.
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