Pope Gregory XVI; Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari Colomba
Born Belluno, Italy, 1765; died Rome, Italy.
He entered the Camaldolese Order and later was sent to Rome, where he wrote a treatise on the infallibility and temporal sovereignty of the papacy.
As cardinal, and prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, he arranged concordats between William of Holland and the Belgian Catholics, and the Ottoman Empire and the Armenian Catholics.
As soon as he was consecrated a revolution, which was subdued only with the aid of Austria, broke out in the Papal States.
At the suggestion of the five great powers, Gregory introduced important judicial and administrative reforms in his domain, but he believed in the older autocratic ideas and his subjects rebelled again before his death.
He censured De Lamennais and his fellow-editors of "L'Avenir" in their dispute with the French episcopate.
In Germany he condemned Hermesianism; in Portugal, Spain, Poland, and France, he combated anti-clerical legislation; and attacked two Protestant societies for promoting anti-clerical free thought in Italy.
He founded the Egyptian and Etruscan museums in the Vatican, the Christian Museum in the Lateran; tunneled Monte Catillo to avert the floods of the River Anio; established steamboats at Ostia, and a bureau of statistics at Rome; introduced a decimal currency; sent missionaries to China, North America, India, Abyssinia, and Polynesia; and erected numerous hospitals, orphanages, and public baths.
New Catholic Dictionary