Vincenzo Vannutelli
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Vincenzo Vannutelli

Vincenzo Vannutelli
Dean of the College of Cardinals
Vincenzo Vannutelli 1913.jpg
The cardinal pictured in 1913.
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
Appointed6 December 1915
Term ended9 July 1930
PredecessorSerafino Vannutelli
SuccessorGennaro Granito Pignatelli di Belmonte
Other post(s)
Ordination23 December 1860
Consecration2 February 1880
by Giovanni Simeoni
Created cardinal30 December 1889 (in pectore)
23 June 1890 (revealed)
by Pope Leo XIII
RankCardinal-Priest (1891-1900)
Cardinal-Bishop (1900-30)
Personal details
Birth nameVincenzo Vannutelli
Born5 December 1836
Genazzano, Palestrina, Papal States
Died9 July 1930(1930-07-09) (aged 93)
Rome, Kingdom of Italy
Previous post(s)
Coat of armsVincenzo Vannutelli's coat of arms
Styles of
Vincenzo Vannutelli
Coat of arms of Vincenzo Vannutelli.svg
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal

Vincenzo Vannutelli (5 December 1836 – 9 July 1930) was an Italian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He spent his career in the foreign service of the Holy See and was made a cardinal in 1890.

At his death he was the oldest member of the College of Cardinals, the last surviving cardinal elevated to that rank during the 19th century, and the next to last surviving cardinal named by Pope Leo XIII.[a]

His older brother Serafino (1834-1915) was also a cardinal.


Vincenzo Vannutelli was born in Genazzano, Diocese of Palestrina, Lazio. He studied at the Collegium Capranica and the Pontifical Gregorian University. He was ordained a priest on 23 December 1860 and spent several years as a seminary faculty member.

Most of his early career was in Roman and at foreign postings of the Secretariat of State, aside from two years starting in 1878 when he was an Auditor of the Roman Rota.

On 23 January 1880 he was named Titular Archbishop of Sardes and Apostolic Delegate to the Ottoman Empire. He was consecrated a bishop on 2 February 1880 by Cardinal Giovanni Simeoni.

In December 1889 Pope Leo XIII named him a cardinal in pectore, i.e., secretly. His appointment was publicly announced at a consistory in 1890, where he was named Cardinal-Priest of San Silvestro in Capite.[1] His elevation to the rank of cardinal was an exception to a rule established in 1586 that barred the pope from naming a cardinal's brother a cardinal. Vincenzo's brother Serafino (1834-1915) had been made a cardinal in 1887 and was still living.[b]

Vannutelli became prefect of the economy of the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith in 1892 and held that position for ten years. On 16 December 1896 he was named Archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.

He became Cardinal-Bishop of Palestrina in 1900. With Cardinal Pietro Gasparri he was one of the principals responsible for the codification of canon law begun by Pope Pius X in 1904 and completed thirteen years later. Vannutelli also served as prefect of the Commission for the Revision of the Provincial Councils from 1902 until 1908, which was charged with interpreting the documents of past councils according to recent papal rulings.

He participated in three conclaves, that of 1903 which elected Pope Pius X, that of 1914 which elected Pope Benedict XV, and that of 1922 which elected Pope Pius XI.

In 1906, he reported receiving a blackmail letter threatening to publish compromising letters he had written if the sender was not paid 200 lira. He notified the police.[2]

He succeeded his brother Serafino as Dean of the College of Cardinals in 1915.

He died in Rome on 9 July 1930.



  1. ^ The last surviving cardinal appointed by Leo XIII was Lev Skrbensky z Hriste.
  2. ^ Pope Leo XIII appointed his own older brother Giuseppe Pecci a cardinal in 1879, but that was not a case of appointing the brother of a current cardinal.


  1. ^ Acta Sanctae Sedis (PDF). XXIII. 1890-91. pp. 7-8. Retrieved 2021.
  2. ^ "A Cardinal Blackmailed" (PDF). New York Times. 4 January 1906. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ Handelsblad (Het) 28 August 1878

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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