Styles of
Carlo Cardinal Confalonieri
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Palestrina (suburbicarian), Ostia (suburbicarian)

Carlo Confalonieri (July 25, 1893—August 1, 1986) was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops from 1967 to 1973, and Dean of the College of Cardinals from 1977 until his death. Confalonieri was elevated to the cardinalate in 1958.


Carlo Confalonieri was born in Seveso. His father was cabinet-maker.[1] Carlo was baptized by Fr. Ambrogio Sirtori the next day, on July 26. Confirmed on February 13, 1901, Confalonieri received his first Communion on May 5, 1904. He entered the seminary in Seveso in 1904, and then archdiocesan seminary of Monza in 1909. After studying at a Milanese lyceum, he went to Rome to attend the Pontifical Seminary Ss. Ambrogio e Carlo and the Pontifical Gregorian University (from where he obtained his bachelor's degree in theology in 1913). Confalonieri then served in World War I from 1914 to 1916.

He entered the ranks of the clergy upon receiving the tonsure from Andrea Cardinal Ferrari on June 14, 1912. Confalonieri was eventually ordained to the priesthood on March 18, 1916 by Cardinal Ferrari. After working in the Italian Army and Milan, he was named private secretary to Achille Cardinal Ratti in 1921. Confalonieri travelled with Ratti to Rome as his attendant, or conclavist, for the 1922 papal conclave, at which the Cardinal was elected to the papacy. He continued to serve as Ratti's secretary until the Pope's death in 1939, and during that period he was raised to the rank of Monsignor (February 7, 1922), Protonotary Apostolic (December 24, 1935), and canon of St. Peter's Basilica (1935). Confalonieri was intended to be appointed Substitute, or Deputy, Secretary of State in 1937, but the position instead went to Giovanni Battista Montini. Moreover, when Pope Pius invited Confalonieri to become Archbishop of Modena and Abbot of Nonantola on December 16, 1939, he declined.

On March 27, 1941, Confalonieri was appointed Archbishop of L'Aquila by Pope Pius XII. He received his episcopal consecration on the following May 4 from Pius XII himself, with Archbishop Giuseppe Migone and Bishop Alfonso de Romanis, OSA, in the Sistine Chapel. Confalonieri became Secretary of the Sacred Congregation for Seminaries and Universities on January 25, 1950, and later Titular Archbishop of Nicopolis ad Nestum on February 22 of that same year.

Pope John XXIII created him Cardinal Priest of S. Agnese fuori le mura in the consistory of December 15, 1958, and Confalonieri was later appointed Archpriest of the Liberian Basilica on November 16, 1959. In 1961 he was made Secretary of the Sacred Consistorial Congregation and President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. From 1962 to 1965, Confalonieri attended the Second Vatican Council. He was also one of the cardinal electors in the 1963 papal conclave, which selected Pope Paul VI. The Cardinal later ascended to Pro-Prefect (1966) and shortly afterwards Prefect (August 15, 1967) of the Consistorial, which Pope Paul renamed as the Congregation for Bishops on August 1, 1967. He was also President of the Pontifical Commission for the Pastoral of Emigration and Tourism from April 30, 1970 until February 25, 1973, when he resigned all of his posts.

Confalonieri was promoted to Cardinal Bishop of Palestrina on March 15, 1972. He became Vice-Dean of the College of Cardinals on January 7, 1974, and finally its Dean on December 12, 1977. His appointment as Dean of the College of Cardinals entailed the title of the suburbicarian see of Ostia, which he took in addition to his first suburbicarian see. As Dean, he led the funeral Masses for Paul VI as well as Pope John Paul I. Confalonieri was not able to participate in the conclaves of August and October 1978 for he had exceeded the age limit of 80 to be an eligible elector. However, he was the first to suggest the name of Albino Cardinal Luciani, who was elected John Paul I, during the period before the August conclave[2]. He complimented Luciani's speech and writing, also saying "the Church has chosen well" in selecting him for the papacy[3].

He was considered a moderate in his views[4]. At the conclave of 1963, Confalonieri was seen as a possible candidate for a transitional pope, one who is not likely to effect great change during his tenure[5]. Yet his lack of pastoral experience was seen as a hindrance[4].

The Cardinal died in Rome, at age 93. His funeral Mass was held in St. Peter's Basilica three days later, on August 4, and was presided by Pope John Paul II. After his remains were moved to his native Seveso for another funeral Mass on August 5 (presided by Giovanni Cardinal Colombo), Confalonieri was buried next to his parents in their family plot at the Seveso cemetery.


Confalonieri published a moving tribute to Pope Pius XI with numerous valuable anectotes. [6]

Mountain climbing


  1. 1.0 1.1 TIME Magazine. The New Cardinals December 22, 1958
  2. TIME Magazine. A Swift, Stunning Choice September 4, 1978
  3. TIME Magazine. Compassionate Shepherd September 4, 1978
  4. TIME Magazine. Vatican Revolutionary June 7, 1963
  5. Carlo Confalonieri, Pius XI, vista da vicino, Edizioni S.A.I.E., Torino,1956, Würzburg, 1958

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Gaudenzio Manuelli
Archbishop of L'Aquila
Succeeded by
Constantino Stella
Preceded by
Marcello Mimmi
Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops
Succeeded by
Sebastiano Baggio
Preceded by
Samuel Stritch
Cardinal Priest of Sant'Agnese fuori le mura
Succeeded by
Louis-Jean Guyot
Preceded by
Luigi Traglia
Dean of the College of Cardinals
Succeeded by
Agnelo Rossi
no:Carlo Confalonieriru:Конфалоньери, Карло

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