Bernetti Tommaso

Bernetti Tommaso an Italian ecclesiastic and statesman, was born at Fermo, Dec. 29, 1779. After having pursued his studies with. success in his native city, he became secretary of the tribunal of the Rota. In 1808 he accompanied cardinal Brancadoro to France, and was one of the three who refused, April 2, 1810, to appear at the marriage of Napoleon with Marie Louise, and who were called les cardinaux noirs because the emperor had prohibited the purple and the insignia of the cardinalship. He was banished to Rheims with Consalvi, and remained there five years. In July, 1813, he had the wisdom to send on to Houthem St. Gerlac, to his friend Van der Vrecken, the autograph letters of Pius VII to the emperor of Austria and the nuncio Severoli at Vienna. These letters were delivered, and the pope received replies which were favorable. Pius VII made his entrance into Rome May 24, 1814. Bernetti followed the pontiff. He made a treaty with marshal Bianchi, and vanquished the Neapolitan army, in order to re-establish order and peace in the pontifical states. Returning to Rome, he was appointed assessor of the committee of the war. In 1826 he was chosen by Leo XII to represent the court of Rome at St. Petersburg. On his return to the capital of the Christian world, he was sent as legate to Ravenna. On Jan. 29, 1827, he received at the hands of Leo X the insignia of the cardinalship. On June 17, 1828, he was called to succeed cardinal Della Somaglia as secretary of state, and was employed in important negotiations between Rome and the other courts of Europe. He cooperated the conclusion of the Concordat with the Netherlands, June 18, 1827, at the accession of Pius VIII, and went as legate to Bologna. He continued these functions until Gregory XVI succeeded Pius VIII, when he was appointed pro-secretary of state. He had charge of directing the demarcation of the Roman states on the side of the Two Sicilies, and was made vice-chancellor of the Roman Church, which position he filled zealously and well. The storms which assailed the pontificate of Pius IX did not spare Bernetti. Being threatened by the revolutionists, he left Rome and retired to Naples, and finally joined Pius IX at Gaeta. He did not return to Rome, but went to Fermo, and died soon after, Dec. 29, 1779. He was considered one of the more remarkable and brilliant among the statesmen of the epoch. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.

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