Pope Pius XII (Latin: Pius PP. XII), born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (March 2, 1876 October 9, 1958), reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City from March 2, 1939 to 1958. He is one of few popes in recent history to exercise his Papal Infallibility by issuing a dogmatic definition. He worked to promote peace and protect the Church during a turbulent time of war, and he decisively eliminated the Italian majority in the College of Cardinals. He had influence outside the Church during World War II and postwar reconstruction. His leadership of the Church during the period of World War II is the subject of continued controversy, especially in light of his tenure as Papal Nuncio to Germany and later as Vatican Secretary of State.