Italian cardinal; b. Alessandria (Piedmont), March 25, 1826; d. Rome, Jan. 1, 1884. He came from a poor family and entered the barnabites in Genoa. After ordination he taught philosophy for some years in various Barnabite colleges. In 1857 he went to Rome to teach theology in the Barnabite house of studies. He became a consultor of the Holy Office (1864) and of the Congregation of the Index (1865). In 1866 he was named cardinal. He served as bishop of the suburbicarian Diocese of Sabina, as prefect of the Congregations of Rites and of the Index, and as penitenziere maggiore in the Sacred Penitentiary. At the conclave in 1878 he was papabile but declined election. Bilio participated in the definitive drafting of the syllabus of errors, whose composition was accelerated and completed after his appointment as consultor of the Holy Office and as head of the commission that prepared the document. His courteous and conciliating character would indicate that he exercised a moderating influence on the contents of the Syllabus. He was one of the presidents at vatican council i, where his action was always moderate and considerate toward the arguments of the minority group in the discussion concerning papal infallibility and in the preparation of the constitution Pastor aeternus. Bilio's very valuable diary of Vatican Council I has been preserved but not published.
Bibliography: g. boffito, Biblioteca barnabitica, 4 v. (Florence 1933–37) 1:220–227. c. butler, The Vatican Council, 2 v. (New York 1930). g. martina, "Osservazioni sulle varie redazioni del Sillabo, " in Chiesa e stato nell'Ottocento: Miscellanea in onore di P. Pirri, ed. r. aubert et al., 2 v. (Padua 1962) 2:419–523. u. betti, La costituzione dommatica "Pastor aeternus" del Concilio Vaticano (Rome 1961) 554, passim.