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Vincenzo Cardinal Vannutelli
Vincenzo Vannutelli (December 5, 1836 – July 9, 1930) was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church for over forty years.


He was born in Palestrinamarker, Lazio, and was from the beginning of his life destined for a high position in the Catholic Church. He studied from almost the beginning at the most prestigious pontifical universities, the Collegium Capranica and the Pontifical Gregorian Universitymarker. Ordained a priest in 1860, he was never a pastor in his almost seventy years of priesthood: his career began as a faculty member in seminaries and continued in the Roman Curia. Most of his early career was in Roman and foreign postings of the Secretariat of State, aside from two years starting in 1878 when he was an Auditor of the Roman Rota.

In 1880 he became a titular archbishop of Sardes and Apostolic Delegate to the Ottoman Empire and the Patriarch of Constantinople, and after further postings was named a cardinal in pectore in December 1889 and publicly announced in the consistory of 1890, becoming Cardinal-Priest of San Silvestro in Capitemarker. His elevation was a special exception to a rule in effect since 1586 barring the elevation of anyone whose brother was in the College of Cardinals, as Vincenzo's brother Cardinal Serafino Vannutelli (1834-1915) had been elevated in 1887 and was still living. (Pope Leo XIII appointed his older brother Giuseppe Pecci a cardinal in 1879, but that was not a case of appointing the brother of a current cardinal.)

As a cardinal, Vannutelli became prefect of the Economy of Propaganda Fide in 1892 and held that position for ten years, during which he served the first of his many appointments as a papal legate - most notably to the 11th Annual Eucharistic Congress in Brusselsmarker in 1898. He became a Cardinal Bishop in the Holy Year of 1900, and served for the following decade and a half as the major lawyer along with Cardinal Pietro Gasparri in the codification of canon law began by Pope Pius X in 1904 and completed thirteen years later. Vincenzo Vannutelli also served as prefect of the Commission for the Revision of the Provincial Councils from 1902 until 1908 - a commission designed to interpret past councils according to modern papal teaching.

He served a papal legate to four more Eucharistic Congresses between 1907 and 1910, and in 1915 he succeeded his brother Serafino as Dean of the College of Cardinals, and in the 1925 Holy Year he served as Papal legate for the opening and closing of the holy doors at the Patriarchal Liberian Basilica, as he had in 1900.

When he died in 1930, aged 93, he was the oldest member of the College of Cardinals, the last surviving cardinal elevated during the nineteenth century, and the second last surviving cardinal of Pope Leo XIII behind Lev Skrbensky z Hriste.

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