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Michele di Pietro J.U.D. (18 January 1747 - 2 July 1821) was a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Prefect of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide. He was an uncle of Cardinal Camillo di Pietro.

Michele di Pietro was born in Albano, outside Rome. He was educated at the Seminary of Albano, and the La Sapienza Universitymarker in Romemarker where he received a doctorate in utroque iure (in both canon and civil law) on 4 June 1768.

Priesthood

He was ordained on 28 October 1771. He served as a Professor of civil and canon law at the University of Romemarker and as a lecturer of theology at the Pontifical Gregorian Universitymarker. He also served as a consultor of the Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition and of the Congregation of the Index. It was around this time he was created Privy chamberlain of His Holiness.

Episcopate

He was appointed as titular bishop of Isauriopoli on 21 February 1794 by Pope Pius VI. He was consecrated three days later in Frascatimarker, by Cardinal Henry Benedict Stuart. He served as Apostolic delegate of Rome while there was no Vicar-General for 1798. He was promoted to the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem on 22 December 1800.

Cardinalate

He was created and proclaimed Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria in Viamarker, but only in pectore, in the consistory of 23 February 1801. This was published in the consistory of 9 August 1802. He was appointed Prefect of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide on 24 May 1805, in addition to his duties in Jerusalemmarker. He held the post until 20 May 1814. He was taken to Francemarker together with Cardinal Ercole Consalvi in December 1809 and banished to Semur for not attending Napoleon's wedding with Maria Louise. He was imprisoned in the fortress of Vincennes at the end of 1810 for sending the papal order to the clergy of Parismarker not to recognise Jean-Siffrein Maury as Archbishop of Paris. He was appointed Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary ad interim in 1811, holding the post until 1814. He was freed in January 1813, and arrested again in April. He was considered responsible, together with Bartolomeo Pacca, for Pope Pius VII's retraction of his agreement with Napoleon. One of the most distinguished "black cardinals" (prohibited by Napoleon to wear red cardinalitial habit). He was made full Major Penitentiary in 1814. He opted for the order of bishops and the suburbicarian see of Albano in 1816. He was appointed Prefect of the Congregation of the Index in 1818. He opted for the suburbicarian see of Porto e Santa Rufina in 1820. He died in July 1821. His funeral took place on 5 July 1821 and he is buried in the cathedral of Albano.

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