Cardinal, diplomat; b. Sarzana (La Spezia), Italy, March 12, 1756; d. Rome, Nov. 12, 1838. After studying law at Bologna and Rome and serving as referendary of the papal segnatura, he was ordained (1796) and consecrated titular archbishop of Corinth (September 1798). He accompanied Pius VI into exile and administered to him on his deathbed at Valence (1799). Charged with negotiating a concordat with France, he arrived in Paris (Nov. 15, 1800) and with bernier sought to establish the basis of an agreement. Although Cardinal consalvi, who was called in to prevent a rupture in the proceedings, had the honor of concluding the concordat of 1801, Spina's prudence and skill deserve no less credit for preparing the way. After being created cardinal and archbishop of Genoa (1802), he was conciliatory to such an extent that he joined the "red" cardinals who attended the second marriage of napoleon i with Marie Louise (1810) and the French national council (1811). After the restoration of the states of the church, Spina resigned his archbishopric (1819). He was papal legate to Forli (1816) and then to Bologna (1818–24). As plenipotentiary of the Holy See at the Congresses of Laibach (1821) and Verona (1822) he refused to lend Metternich military help from the Holy See in return for quelling the revolution in Naples and renounced a projected central police commission and postal union for Italy, which favored Austrian hegemony.
Bibliography: j. h. brady, Rome and the Neapolitan Revolution of 1820–21 (New York 1937). Spiegel und das Verhältnis von Kirche und Staat (Münster 1964). h. schrÖrs, Die Kölner Wirren (Bonn 1927).