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Giuseppe (Andrea) Albani (September 13, 1750 – December 3, 1834) was an Italian Roman Catholic Cardinal. Although never a candidate for the Papacy, his role in the election of Leo XII, Pius VIII and Gregory XVI is well-known to Papal historians.
Although little is known about his early education, it is known his priestly studies were done in Siena but in his early twenties Albani returned to Rome to be a domestic prelate for Pope Clement XIV. In his time in Rome Albani gained immense experience in canon law and he was to use this knowledge to great effect in later years. He held major offices in the Roman Curia from quite a young age and by the time he was made a cardinal by Pius VII he was already a critical figure in the Church. During the French occupation of Rome he took refuge in Vienna and it was during this time that he became firmly allied with the Holy Roman Empire, which gave him free rein to control later Papal conclaves so that no candidate to their distaste would be elected.
He became prefect of the Congregation for Bishops in 1817 and in all the following three conclaves Albani played a vital role in influencing whom the majority of cardinals would vote for, even though his own candidate in the 1830 conclave, Vincenzo Macchi, could only gain a maximum of twelve votes. His connection with Emperor Francis I was decisive in the 1823 conclave and important in the 1830 one for excluding Giacomo Giustiniani, and in the 1829 conclave - though he was absent from the early ballots - his support undoubtedly helped Pius VIII become Pope.
He announced the papal elections of Pope Pius VIII in 1829 and Pope Gregory XVI in 1831. Albani's role in these conclaves can also be seen in that it was him who crowned both Pius VIII and Gregory XVI after they accepted their election as Pope.
|Catholic Church titles|
|Cardinal Secretary of State|
| Succeeded by|