Mazzella, Camillo

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Jesuit theologian, cardinal, noted for his contribution to the scholastic revival in the late 19th century; b. Vitulano, Italy, Feb. 10, 1833; d. Rome, March 26, 1900. He studied in the seminary of Benevento, which was directed by the Jesuits, and after his ordination in 1855 he entered the Society of Jesus (1857). At Lyons from 1860 to 1867, he completed his studies and was assigned to lecture in dogmatic theology for three years and in moral theology for two. He was in the U.S. from 1867 to 1878, lecturing on the same subjects at Georgetown University and Woodstock College. Leo XIII raised him to the chair of theology in the Gregorian University in 1878. He held this position for seven years, contributing significantly to the scholastic revival there. He was made a cardinal deacon in 1886, and the cardinal bishop of Palestrina in 1897. His later life was taken up with labors in the Roman Congregations of Studies and Rites, of both of which he was appointed prefect. He was known as an extremely creative theologian and an eminent representative of the neo-Thomistic movement. His period of publication dates from 1880 to his death; his works deal mainly with dogmatic theology, various questions concerning the reunion of the Greek Churches with Rome, and certain contemporary controversies involving Rosmini.

Bibliography: La civiltà cattolica 17.10 (1900) 9195, obituary. l. koch, Jesuiten-Lexikon: Die Gesellschaft Jesu einst und jetzt (Paderborn 1934); photoduplicated with rev. and suppl., 2 v. (Louvain-Heverlee 1962) 2:1187.

[j. flynn]