Luigi Amat di San Filippo e Sorso

Luigi Amat di San Filippo e Sorso

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cardinal name= Luigi Amat di San Filippo e Sorso
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Luigi Cardinal Amat di San Filippo e Sorso (born June 20, 1796, Sinnai, archdiocese of Cagliari, Sardinia; died March 30, 1878, Rome, Italy) was the dean of the College of Cardinals during the last part of the record long reign of Pope Pius IX.

He did his early education wholly in Sardinia, which was unusual for someone who was later to become a major curial official in those days as most curial officials had to come from the Papal States. Between 1815 and 1825, he obtained distinction as a student of both civil and canon law, and became a priest in 1876. From that point on, he rose rapidly, becoming a bishop just one year after his ordination and soon after a nuncio for the Sicilian kingdom (then separate from mainland Italy), and later to Spain. He was expelled when the Papal States broke off diplomatic relations with Spain in 1835, but two years later Pope Gregory XVI elevated him to the rank of cardinal.

After his elevation to cardinal, Cardinal Amat continued his previous work as a papal legate in various parts of Italy until the late 1840s. He participated in the conclave that elected Pius IX and in 1852 opted for the order of cardinal bishops. He was Vice-Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church from later that year until he died. During most of Pius IX' regin Cardinal Amat held control of the police force in the Papal States: it has recently come to light that he sacked many policemen by virtue of their political sympathies early in Pius' reign and was involved in many major political incidents as sympathy within the Papal States for a united Italy increased in the early 1860s. However, Cardinal Amat had considerable success whilst in Bologna in cooling sympathy for socialism in a city that was to become renowned for this in later years.

In 1876 at the age of eighty, Cardinal Amat became the longest-serving cardinal in the Church, and officiated over the conclave of 1878 that elected Pope Leo XIII. He was already in poor health by this time and as it turned out lasted only one month longer than Pope Pius IX.

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