Della Somaglia, Giulio Maria

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Cardinal, papal secretary of state; b. Piacenza, Italy, July 28, 1744; d. Rome, March 30, 1830. Of noble birth, he became secretary of the Congregation of Indulgences and Relics (1774) and of the Congregation of Rites (1784). After being created cardinal (1795) he suffered imprisonment during the French occupation of Rome, and later departed from the city. He attended the conclave at Venice (1800), after which he was sent as legate by Pius VII to discuss with the governor of Rome the pope's arrival in the Eternal City. Della Somaglia was one of 13 cardinals, out of 27 invited, who refused to attend the nuptials (April 2, 1810) of napoleon i and Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria, because of the way in which the annulment of the emperor's marriage to Josephine Beauharnais had been maneuvered. As a result he and the other cardinals were deprived of their benefices and exiled, Della Somaglia being sent to Mazières and then to Charleville. Upon Napoleon's downfall, Della Somaglia governed Rome (MarchJune 1815), until the return of PiusVII. He became bishop of Frascati (1814), secretary of the Holy Office (1814) and bishop of Ostia and Velletri (1820). leo xii named him secretary of state (182328), but handled most negotiations himself. Despite the widespread urge for self-determination of peoples, the pope and his secretary of state labored to maintain royalty in its traditional role and made every effort to restrain republican forces throughout Italy and elsewhere.

Bibliography: j. leflon, La Crise révolutionnaire 17891846 (Histoire de l'église depuis les origines jusqu'à nos jours 20; 1949). e. e. y. hales, Revolution and Papacy (New York 1960). w. sandfuchs, Die Aussenminister der Päpste (Munich 1962).

[t. f. casey]