Prosecretary of state under pius xii, secretary of state under John XXIII; b. Rome, Feb. 29, 1888; d. Rome, July 30, 1961. After ordination (Sept. 20, 1912) Tardini became professor of sacramental theology and liturgy at the Roman Seminary and at the Propaganda College, minutante in the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs (1921), and ecclesiastical assistant in the Italian Catholic Youth organization (November 1925). He became undersecretary in the above congregation (June 8, 1929), member of the Papal Congregation for Russia (1933), consultor of the Congregation for the Oriental Church (1934), substitute secretary of state and secretary of ciphering (1935), secretary for the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs (1937), prosecretary of state (1952), and cardinal (Dec. 15, 1958).
Tardini was an upright and loyal character, somewhat rough externally, thorough and exact in comprehending and solving problems, and an outstanding statesman. Both his mind and glance were penetrating. In some instances, as in the Jewish question, he lacked dispassionate judgment. He was much interested in social problems and cooperated in an important fashion in John XXIII's encyclical mater et magistra. In other respects he was more conservative than John XXIII, but he acted as the Pope's right hand in the preparation of vatican council ii, a labor that exhausted his strength. Tardini founded the Casa Nazareth, a home in which he supplied board, lodging, and education for 60 orphan children until they were able to choose their calling. There he found recreation from his official duties.
Bibliography: w. sandfuchs, Die Aussenminister der Päpste (Munich 1962). c. f. casula, Domenico Tardini, 1888–1961: l'azione della Santa Sede nella crisi fra le due guerre (Rome 1988).