Severoli, Antonio Gabriele

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Cardinal, diplomat; b. Faenza, Italy, Feb. 28, 1757;d. Rome, Sept. 8, 1824. The count of Severoli was bishop of Fano (17871801), titular archbishop of Petra (1801), and nuncio to Vienna (180116), where relations with the Holy See were strained because of persistant josephin ism at the imperial court. After Severoli made known the papal brief deploring the secularization of ecclesiastical states in Germany and disapproved the monarchy's exercise of jurisdiction in Church affairs, the minister Count Cobenzl, who was particularly opposed to him, sought his removal. Rome refused. His position improved after the fall of Cobenzl and the accession of Metternich as foreign minister (1809). Severoli was one of two nuncios who remained at their posts during the captivity of pius vii. He was active in the reorganization of the Church in Germany and strove to prevent excessive Austrian influence in the States of the Church, but a coldness eventually developed between him and Cardinal consalvi, secretary of state. Created cardinal in 1816, he directed zealously the see of Viterbo (181724), to which he had been appointed in 1808. At the conclave in 1823 Austria vetoed his candidacy when he was only six votes short of being elected pope.

Bibliography: g. moroni, Dizionario de erudizone storicoecclesiastica, 103 v. in 53 (Venice 184061); index, 6 v. (187879) 65:4854. m. petrocchi, La restaurazione: Il cardinale Consalvi e la riforma del 1816 (Florence 1941).

[a. randall]