Cienfuegos, Álvaro

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Theologian; b. Anguerina, Spain, Feb. 27, 1657; d. Rome, Aug. 19, 1739. After studying philosophy in Salamanca, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1676 and studied theology in the same city. He taught philosophy at Compostela (168891) and theology at Salamanca.

Charles of Austria named Cienfuegos his envoy to Portugal and retained him as an advisor. At the end of the war of 1714, Charles VI, then emperor, called him to Venice and in 1720 succeeded in having him named cardinal. In 1722 he was consecrated bishop of Catania and in 1724 archbishop of Monreal. Cienfuegos had to renounce his archbishopric when the Bourbons occupied the kingdom of the two Sicilies. He was then given the see of Fünfkirchen by the emperor (1735), although he continued to live in Rome as the emperor's legate and held important posts in Roman congregations until his death.

As a theologian he was considered to have sharp and brilliant ingenuity. His principal theological works are: the Aenigma Theologicum, 2 v. (Vienna 1717), and the Vita abscondita (Rome 1728). The first, on the Trinity, does not give any new solutions, although the author appears to believe it does. Cienfuegos's doctrine on the Eucharist, contained in the second work, had more of a hearing. According to him, the sacramental Christ super-naturally exercises acts of the sensitive life, but immediately after the Consecration this activity is suspended until the mingling of the two species, which is a symbol of the Resurrection. The sacrificial immolation properly consists in this suspension. Communion really unites the faithful to the soul of Christ; even though the species are dissolved, the communicant is, like a motor, an instrument of the Word. Franzelin comments: "Certainly this opinion is so constructed that a cautious theologian would be frightened by its singularity" (De Eucharistia, th. 16).

Cienfuegos also wrote the Heroica vida, virtudes y milagros dal grande San Francisco de Borja (Madrid 1702). Although it is difficult reading, it is better documented than earlier biographies.

Bibliography: c. sommervogel et al., Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus (Brussels-Paris 18901932) 2:118285. h. hurter, Nomenclator literarius theologiae catholicae (3d ed. Innsbruck 190313) 4:102026. h. dutouquet, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a vacant et al. (Paris 190350) 2:251113. a. perez goyena, "Teólogos antifranceses en la Guerra de Sucesión," Razón y Fe 91.2 (1930) 326338.

[j. m. dalmau]