Benedict XV (Giacomo Della Chiesa; 1854–1922), Roman Catholic pope during the outbreak of World War I. Benedict was elected pope in 1914, 3 months after he was made a cardinal. His reign was punctuated by World War I and a conflict with Italy regarding Italian troops that were occupying Rome. Though Benedict tried to maintain and encourage strict neutrality, his papacy was plagued with war problems. The Allies eventually excluded him from peace negotiations. After the war, Benedict encouraged international reconciliation and endorsed the founding of the League of Nations. In 1917, he was credited with the issuance of the Code of Canon Law, a compilation of comprehensive church laws.