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Maglione, Luigi


Cardinal, papal secretary of state; b. Casoria (Napoli), Italy, March 2, 1877; d. there, Aug. 22, 1944. After ordination (1901) he received doctorates in theology (1902) and Canon Law (1904) and studied at the papal diplomatic academy (190507). From 1907 until 1918 he worked in the section dealing with extraordinary affairs in the papal secretariate of state and taught diplomatic history at the papal diplomatic academy. He was sent as provisory papal representative to Bern, Switzerland (February 28, 1918), and also as representative for ecclesiastical matters at the League of Nations. After the resumption of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Switzerland (August 1, 1920), Maglione occupied the nunciature there and was named titular archbishop of Caesarea. He was appointed nuncio to Paris (May 24, 1926) and remained there during a period of controversy concerning the action franÇaise. His successor Valerio Valeri was appointed June 3, 1936. After becoming cardinal (Dec. 3, 1935), Maglione was named prefect of the Congregation of the Council in 1938. From March 10, 1939, until his death, he was secretary of state. In 1939, in pursuit of Pius XII's attempt to keep peace, he sought to arrange a conference with England, France, Germany, Poland, and Italy in order to compose the differences between Germany and Poland, and between France and Italy. Maglione warned Joachim von Ribbentrop, the German foreign minister, that England and France would not abandon Poland in the event of an attack. When Ribbentrop visited the Vatican (March 1940), the cardinal handed him a memorandum containing seven points listing actions inimical to the Church in Poland and in other areas under German control. As a statesman Maglione was highly esteemed for his realistic judgments in ecclesiastical and political matters. Pius XII valued his assistance in the settlement of problems that beset the Holy See continually from the outset of World War II.

Bibliography: L'Osservatore romano (Aug. 23, 1944), necrology. w. sandfuchs, ed., Die Aussenminister der Pápste (Munich 1962) 124130 by k. wÜstenberg.

[r. leiber]

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