Bishop, writer; b. Nigoline di Franciacorta (Brescia), Italy, Sept. 12, 1831; d. there, Aug. 3, 1914. Bonomelli came of a peasant family. He was ordained in 1855, and continued his theological studies at the Gregorian University in Rome. He taught at the seminary in Brescia until 1866, became pastor in Lovere, and was made bishop of Cremona (1871–1914). He was a very zealous, pious bishop, deeply interested in pastoral needs, the roman question, social problems, and the reconciliation of science and religion. He was impulsive and intransigent, but never a Modernist. When queried by Leo XIII (1882), he suggested that Catholics should participate in political elections; in 1904 he counseled Pius X to withdraw thenon expedit.
Convinced that the states of the church could not be restored and that a miniature papal state should instead be created, he anonymously wrote a periodical article in 1889, "Roma e l'Italia e la realtà delle cose," soon published separately as a booklet, that was placed on the Index on April 13, 1889. Courageously Bonomelli admitted his authorship and submitted publicly and without delay to the judgment of the Holy See. In 1929 the later an pacts reached a solution along the lines proposed by Bonomelli.
He published numerous periodical articles and books on a variety of topics, but mostly on current religious and socio-economic problems. Many of his pastoral letters, sermons, and conferences also appeared in print. He carried on an extensive correspondence with many eminent contemporaries. His concern for the difficulties of Italian emigrants led him to found the Opera di assistenza agli operai italiani emigranti in 1900, better known as the Opera Bonomelli.
Bibliography: p. guerrini, ed., Geremia Bonomelli (Brescia 1939). c. bellÒ, Geremia Bonomelli (Brescia 1963). g. astori, "Mons. Geremia Bonomelli: L'opera sua per la conciliazione," Vita e pensiero 30 (1939) 574–581; "S. Pio X ed il vescovo G. Bonomelli," Rivista di Storia della Chiesa iri Italia (Rome 1947–) 10 (1956) 212–266. s. furlani, Enciclopedia cattolica. 2:1887–90. p. pisani, A. Mercati and A. Pelzer, Dizionario ecclesiastico, 3v. (Turin 1954–58) 1:411–412.
[e. a. carrillo]