Luigi Maglione

Luigi Maglione

infobox cardinalstyles
cardinal name=Luigi Cardinal Maglione
dipstyle=His Eminence
offstyle=Your Eminence| See=Caesarea (titular see)|

Luigi Cardinal Maglione (Casoria, province of Naples, March 2, 1877 – August 23, 1944) was the Cardinal Secretary of State in the Roman Curia from 1939 until 1944.

On September 1, 1920 he was appointed as titular Archbishop of Caesarea, Palestine and apostolic nuncio to Switzerland. In 1926, he was appointed nuncio to France, and was made a Cardinal Priest in the consistory of 1935.

Maglione was one of the cardinal electors in the 1939 papal conclave, which selected Pope Pius XII. He was appointed by Pope Pius few days after his election as Cardinal Secretary of State.

His tenure as Cardinal Secretary of State included most of World War II and The Holocaust, and much of his work is documented in the 11 volumes of the Vatican's wartime documents, "Actes et Documents du Saint Siège relatifs à la Seconde Guerre Mondiale."

Maglione and Pope Pius XII

Maglione was an outspoken diplomat. Vilna was a Lithuanian city and dioceses, which Poland had annexed after World War One. After the German occupation, Lithuania appealed to the Vatican to reintegrate the dioceses into Lithuania and replace its bishop. Maglione shot back:

*The government of Kaunas should appreciate, that the Holy See cannot run behind armies and change bishops as combatant troops occupy new territories belonging to countries other than their own. [Blet 73]

He vigorously defended Pope Pius XII and his war time diplomacy

* If you ask why the documents sent by the Pontiff to the Polish bishops haven not been made public, know that it seems better in the Vatican to follow the same norms, the polish bishops themselves follow. As it is known, they have not made these documents public, so that the sheep, confided to their care do not become victims of new and still more fierce persecutions. Isn’t this what has to be done? Should the father of Christianity increase the misfortunes of Poles in their own country? [Blet 84]

Maglione died before the end of the World War II on the 23rd August 1944. Pope Pius XII assumed his old office himself. He relied on Domenico Tardini and Giovanni Battista Montini for exterior and interior Church policies within the Vatican Secretariat of State. No Cardinal Secretary of State was appointed until the election, in October 1958, of the new Pope John XXIII.



* ierre Blet, "Pius XII and the Second World War", London, Boston, 1997

* [ biographical details]

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