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Benedetto Aloisi Masella (June 29, 1879—September 30, 1970) was an Italianmarker Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Prefect of the Discipline of the Sacraments from 1954 to 1968, and as Chamberlain of the Roman Church (or Camerlengo) from 1958 until his death. Aloisi Masella was elevated to the cardinalate in 1946 by Pope Pius XII.


Born in Pontecorvomarker, Benedetto Aloisi Masella attended the seminary in Ferentinomarker before going to Romemarker, where he studied at the Pontifical Gregorian Universitymarker, Pontifical Roman Athenaeum S. Apollinare, and the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 1, 1902, and then served as private secretary to his uncle, Cardinal Gaetano Aloisi Masella, the pro-datary of the Pope.

Entering the Roman Curia, in the Secretariat of State, in 1906, Aloisi Masella then began work for the Nunciature to Portugalmarker (Secretary, 1908-1910; chargé d'affaires, 1910-1919). He was raised to the rank of Privy Chamberlain of His Holiness on December 25, 1914, Domestic Prelate of His Holiness on September 29, 1917, and Nuncio to Chilemarker on November 20, 1919.

On December 15, 1919, he was appointed Titular Archbishop of Caesarea in Palaestina by Pope Benedict XV. Aloisi Masella received his episcopal consecration on the following December 21 from Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, with Archbishop Sebastião Leite de Vasconcellos and Bishop Antonio Maria Iannotta serving as co-consecrators. He was later named Nuncio to Brazilmarker on April 26, 1927.

Aloisi Masella was created Cardinal Priest of Santa Maria in Vallicellamarker by Pope Pius XII in the consistory of February 18, 1946. He was promoted to Cardinal Bishop of Palestrina on June 21, 1948. On October 27, 1954, Pius XII appointed him Archpriest of the Basilica of St. John Lateranmarker and Prefect of Sacred Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments. He was chosen Chamberlain of the Roman Church (or Camerlengo) on October 9, 1958 by the Curial cardinals, as the late Pius XII had yet to appoint anyone to that post, for the conclave of that same year.

From 1962 to 1965, he attended the Second Vatican Council, and during its course, voted in the 1963 conclave that selected Pope Paul VI. Aloisi Masella resigned as Prefect of the Discipline of the Sacraments on January 11, 1968.

He died from kidney disease in Rome at age 91, as the oldest member of the College of Cardinals.. He was buried in the cathedral of his native Pontecorvo.


  1. Time Magazine. The Succession October 20, 1958
  2. Time Magazine. Recent Events October 12, 1970

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