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Sabetti, Luigi


Jesuit moral theologian; b. Roseto Valfortore, Two Sicilies, Jan. 3, 1839; d. Baltimore, Maryland, Nov. 26, 1898. Sabetti was the 15th child of Luigi Sabetti, who died three months before his birth, and of Maria Rosa Lapicola. He entered the Jesuit novitiate at La Conocchia in 1855 and was studying philosophy at Naples when the 1860 Garibaldian revolution drove him to France. He continued his studies there at Vals and later taught at the College of Sarlat. Assigned in 1865 to the Roman College, he soon returned to Vals and was ordained there on June 6, 1868.

He came to the U.S. in 1871 for work in the New Mexico missions, but was sent instead to teach at Wood-stock College, Maryland. His students found him to be a clear, concise, and sympathetic professor of moral theology who adapted his subject to American conditions. In content and method he was a representative in the U.S. of the school of Hermann busenbaum, Jean Pierre gury, and Antonio ballerini. Cardinal James Gibbons of Baltimore consulted him frequently and followed his opinions in the matters of proposed condemnation of the Knights of Labor (1886) and of the Odd Fellows (1892)[J. T. Ellis, The Life of James Cardinal Gibbons 2 v. (Milwaukee 1952) 1:462, 497498].

In 1884 Sabetti was a theologian of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore, and in the same year brought out the first edition of Compendium Theologiae Moralis, for many years a standard and influential textbook in American seminaries. Thirteen editions were published in the author's lifetime. He also contributed regular articles on moral theology to the American Ecclesiastical Review. He is buried at Woodstock, where he had been a professor for 27 years.

Bibliography: r. brouillard, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique. ed. a. vacant et al., (Paris 190350) 14.1:438. h. hurter, Nomenclator literarius theologiae catholicae (Innsbruck 190313) 5.2:205556. "Father Aloysius Sabetti: An Autobiography with Reminiscences," Woodstock Letters 29 (1900) 208233.

[j. hennesey]

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