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Carlo Passaglia



Born at Lucca, 9 May, 1812; died at Turin, 12 March, 1887. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1827; when scarcely thirty years old, he was teaching at the Sapienza and was prefect of studies at the German College. In 1845 he took the solemn vows and became professor of dogmatic theology at the Gregorian University. In 1850 he took a leading part in preparing the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, on which he wrote three large volumes. He showed in his works a rare knowledge of the theological literature of all times. His historico-linguistic method met with criticism. It was said that "he substituted grammar for dogma". His chief works are: an edition of the "Enchiridion" of St. Augustine, with copious notes (Naples, 1847); "De prærogativis b. Petri" (Rome, 1850); "Conferences" given at the Gésu and published in "Civiltà Cattolica" (1851); "Commentariorum theologicorum partes 3 (1 vol. Rome, 1850-51); "De ecclesia Christi" (3 vols., Ratisbon, 1853 - incomplete); "De æternitate poenarum" (Ratisbon, 1854).

The trouble between Passaglia and his superiors grew steadily more serious; he finally left the Society in 1859. Pius IX gave him a chair at the Sapienza. then he came in contact with the physician Pantaleoni, Cavour's agent; Cavour summoned him to Turin for a personal interview (February, 1861). Afterwards, at Rome, he held several conferences with Cardinal Santucci, and persuaded that the ground was ready, he wrote "Pro causa italica" (1861), which was placed on the Index. Passaglia fled to Turin, where he held the chair of moral philosophy until his death. Ignorant of the world and men, he believed the opponents of temporal power were guided by the best of intentions. He founded the weekly "Il Medicatore" (1862-66), in which he wrote long articles full of undigested erudition, and to which he welcomed the contribution of any priest with a grievance. From 1863 to 1864 he edited the daily, "La Pace", and in 1867, "Il Gerdil", a weekly theological review. He could not say Mass at Turin, and put off the clerical dress. But as regards dogma, he never swerved from the true Faith; nevertheless he criticized the Syllabus. We have still to mention his book "Sul divozio" (1861) and his refutation of Renan (1864). In 1867 the Bishops of Mondovi and Clifton tried to reconcile him with the Church, but he did not retract until a few months before his death.

BIGINELLI, Biografia del sacerdote C. Passaglia (Turin, 1887); D'ERCOLE, C. Passaglia in Annunzio del Università di Torino (1887-88).

U. BENIGNI








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