Who was
Benedetto
Lorenzelli?
Attempting to give impetus to the famous Scholastic scientific revival of the late 1800’s, several notable scholars were granted prominent positions at the universities of Rome by Leo XIII. One of these scholars was Benedetto Cardinal Lorenzelli. His untiring fight for the restoration of Scholastic Thomism gave birth to one of the clearest, most concise, and rarest summaries of Thomistic thought written during this period, Philosophiae Theoreticae Institutiones.
Born May 11, 1852, Benedetto Lorenzelli was educated at the seminary of Bologna where he studied philosophy and was ordained in 1876. Later he studied at the Athenaeum Apollinare where he received doctorates in philosophy, theology, civil law, and canon law (Doctorate Utroque Iuris). After years of teaching at a number of Pontifical colleges, working as privy chamberlain to the Pontiff, performing as attaché to the nunciature in Austria, and receiving yet another doctorate (honorary) from the university of Laval, he would become a Cardinal president of the Angelicum university in Rome.
Eventually elevated to the See of Lucca, Cardinal Lorenzelli never ceased to actively promote Scholastic Thomism and fight against the errors of modern irrationalism, bequeathing a polemical legacy that remains in the minds of his successors at Lucca to this day. Frequently speaking in the name of the ‘philosophic mind’ of Rome and the Roman schools, Cardinal Lorenzelli was an avid supporter of the Marietti textual projects, an avowed foe of modern scientific dismemberment, and, as prefect of the Congregation for Studies, a signer of the 24 Thomistic Theses on behalf of Pius X. His philosophical writing is far too little known.
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