Cardinal, secretary of state; b. Genzano (Latium), Italy, Jan. 6, 1832; d. Rome, Feb. 28, 1887. He came from a well-to-do family and pursued seminary studies at Albano and Rome. Entering the service of the Roman Curia, he worked in the Congregation of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs. Pius IX named him secretary for Oriental affairs in the Congregation for the propagation of the faith. At vatican council i his post as undersecretary gained him a remarkable knowledge of bishops throughout the world. Consecrated titular archbishop of Thessalonica, he became nuncio to Vienna (March 24, 1874). Relations between Austria-Hungary and the Church were then strained, since the government had in 1870 denounced the concordat and had attempted by three laws voted in 1874 to submit the Church to State tutelage. In this difficult situation the new nuncio displayed outstanding diplomatic qualities. Jacobini also searched for a modus vivendi to end the kulturkampf, meeting with Bismarck in 1879.
Raised to the cardinalate (Sept. 19, 1879), he became secretary of state (Dec. 16, 1880) to leo xiii and retained the post until death. In the secretariate of state his perseverance and sound knowledge of issues impelled him to a definitive settlement of the differences between the Holy See and Germany. One of his most important statements was his note (April 13, 1885) to the nuncio at Madrid, rampolla. In it Jacobini contradicted a journalist, Ramon Nocedal, who attributed to bishops an authority superior to that of nuncios, claimed to be merely diplomats. His note affirmed the right of nuncios, as delegates of the Holy See, to intervene in diocesan affairs.
Bibliography: e. soderini, Il pontificato di Leone XIII, 3 v. (Milan 1932–33); tr. b. b. carter, v.1 The Pontificate of Leo XIII (London 1934), v.2 Leo XIII, Italy and France (1935), v.3 not tr. f. engel-janosi, Österreich und der Vatikan, 1846–1918, 2 v. (Graz 1958–60) v.1.
[j. m. mayeur]
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