Leo XIII,, original name Vincenzo Gioacchino Pecci, (born March 2, 1810, Carpineto Romano, Papal States—died July 20, 1903, Rome), head of the Roman Catholic Church (1878–1903) who brought a new spirit to the papacy, manifested in more conciliatory positions toward civil governments, by care taken that the church not be opposed to scientific progress, and by an awareness of the pastoral and social needs of the times.

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