Caprara, Giovanni Battista

Caprara, Giovanni Battista, an Italian prelate and statesman, born at Bologna. May 29, 1733, was son of Francesco, count of Montecucculo, but always bore the name of Cuprara, from one of the most celebrated houses of Italy, of which his mother was a descendant. While young he entered the Church. Pope Benedict XIV appointed him vice-legate of Ravenna, although only about twenty-five years of age. Under Pope Clement XIII, Caprara was, in 1767, sent to Cologne as nuncio. In 1775 Pius VI sent him to Lucerne in the same capacity. In 1785 he received the nunciature of Vienna, where he made himself beloved for his beneficence. He was appointed cardinal in 1792, returned to Rome the following year, and in 1800 became bishop of Iesi. In 1801 he was appointed legate to the French republic, to secure the adoption of the concordat and the re-establishment of Catholic worship in France; he solemnly declared this accomplished by celebrating mass on Easter day in the church of Notre Dame: at Paris, in the presence of the principal authorities, in 1802. He consecrated Napoleon king of Italy, at Milan, in 1805. For nine years he was intimately associated with the French government, and died at Paris, June 21, 1810, blind and infirm, but held in high esteem. He was interred in the church of St. Genevieve, by virtue of an imperial decree.: He wrote, Concordat et Recueil des Bulles et Brefs de le Pape Pie VII sur les Afiires de l'Eylise de France (Paris, 1802). See Hoefer,, Nouv. Biog. Generate, s.v.; Lichtenberger, Encyclopedie des Sciences Religieuses, s.v.; Winer, Handbuch der theol. Lit. i, 819.

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