Pallavicino, Pietro Sforza

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Cardinal, historian, and theologian; b. Rome, Nov. 28, 1607; d. Rome, June 5, 1667. Although he was a descendant of the Parma line of the noble Pallavicini family, he renounced his rights as first-born to become a cleric. He studied letters, philosophy, and theology at the Roman College, and law at the Sapienza. He became a doctor of theology (1628), and on June 21, 1637, he entered the Society of Jesus, becoming a professor of philosophy and then of theology at the Roman College. In the spring of 1652 he took up his greatest work, the history of the Council of Trent. His friend Alexander VII proclaimed him a cardinal on Nov. 10, 1659. In his earlier years he was strongly inclined toward purely literary pursuits, publishing works on literary style and a tragedy, Ermenegildo martire. In his later theological writings, Del bene (4 v. Rome 1644), Assertiones theologicae (Rome 164952), and Disputationes in primam secundae D. Thomas (Rome 1653), he was a faithful disciple of Cardinal Juan de Lugo and not an original thinker. Pallavicino proved his loyalty to his order by his Vindicationes Societatis Jesus (Rome 1649) and his last published work Arte della perfezione cristiana (Rome 1665). His greatest fame rests on his historical works. His Vita di Alessandro VII, which remained in manuscript till 1839, is a careful work of high value. Since the appearance of the antipapal Historia del Concilio Tridentino by Paolo sarpi in 1619 there had been need for a refutation based on a thorough study of available documents. Terenzio Alciati, SJ, who had been gathering materials for such a work for 25 years, died in 1651. Pallavicino was given the task and the work appeared during 1656 and 1657 and in further improved editions. For centuries it was a reliable source, though heavy with polemical tone.

Bibliography: i. affÒ, Memorie della vita e degli studi del Cardinale Sforza Pallavicino (Faenza 1792). Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus 6: 120143. j. duhr, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique 11.2:183134. l. koch, Jesuiten-Lexikon 136263. h. jedin, Der Quellenapparat der Konzilsgeschichte Pallavicinos (Rome 1940). h. jedin, History of the Council of Trent, tr. e. graf, v. 12 (St. Louis 195760). i. macchia, Relazioni fra il padre gesuita Sforza Pallavicino e Fabio Chigi (Turin 1907).

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