Angelo Carletti di Chivasso

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Blessed Angelo Carletti di Chivasso
Born 1411
Chivasso in Piedmont
Died 1495
Coni in Piedmont
Honored in Roman Catholic Church
Major shrine Chivasso and Coni (mod. Cuneo)
Feast April 12

Blessed Angelo Carletti di Chivasso was a noted moral theologian of the Order of Friars Minor; born at Chivasso in Piedmont, in 1411; and died at Coni, in Piedmont, in 1495.

His name in Latin is usually given as Angelus de Clavasio (Clavasium being the Latin name of his birthplace). This form is preserved in bibliographic usage.

As noted in Catholic hagiography, Angelo as Blessed Angelo was "known from an early age for the holiness and purity of his life". He attended the University of Bologna, where he received the degree of Doctor of Civil and Canon Law. It was probably at the age of thirty that he entered the Order of Friars Minor.

His virtues and learning soon gained the confidence of his brethren in religion, and he was four times chosen to fill the office of Vicar-General of that branch of the Order then known as the Cismontane Observance.

Apostolic Nuncio[edit]

In 1480 the Ottoman Empire under Mehmed II took possession of Otranto, and threatened to overrun and lay waste the 'beautiful country'. Angelo was appointed Apostolic Nuncio by Pope Sixtus IV, and commissioned to preach a crusade against those invaders. However, that proved unneeded as soon after this Mehmed II died and the Turkish forces retired from the Italian peninsula.

Again, in 1491, he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio and Commissary by Innocent VIII, conjointly with the Bishop of Mauriana, the purpose of their mission being to take active steps to prevent the spread of the doctrines of the Waldenses, considered heretical by the Church.

Writings[edit]

But it was perhaps by his writings that Blessed Angelo rendered the greatest service to the Catholic Church. In theology he is considered a major adherent of Scotism. His works are given by Wadding in the latter's "Scriptores Ordinis Minorum". The most noted of these is the "Summa de Casibus Conscientiae", called after him the "Summa Angelica". The basis of this work was a "Summa Confessorum" by John Rumsik, O. P., Lector of Freiburg (d. 1314), which was then arranged alphabetically by Bartholomew of San Concordio who also added material on canon law.[1] The first edition of di Chivasso's "Summa Angelica" appeared in the year 1486,[2] and from that year to the year 1520 it went through 31 editions, 25 of which are preserved in the Royal Library at Munich.

The "Summa" is divided into 659 articles arranged in alphabetical order and forming what would now be called a dictionary of moral theology. The most important of these articles is the one entitled "Interrogationes in Confessione". It serves, in a way, as an index to the whole work. Judging the character of the work of Bl. Angelo as a theologian from this, his most important contribution to moral theology, one is impressed with the gravity and fairness that characterized his opinions throughout.

Besides, the "Summa", being written "pro utilitate confessariorum et eorum qui cupiunt laudabiliter vivere", is a valuable guide in matters of conscience and approaches closely, in the treatment of the various articles, to casuistic theology as this science is now understood, hence the title of the work, "Summa de Casibus Conscientiae".

  • Summa de angelica. - Nürnberg : Anton Koberger, 10.02.1492. digital

Reputation[edit]

In the 17th Century Pope Benedict XIII beatified Angelo Carletti, giving official approval to the cult that had for long been paid to Angelo, especially by the people of Chivasso and Coni. The latter chose him as their special patron, while his feast is kept on 12 April throughout the order of Friars Minor.

On the other side of the religious divide, Angelus's work on Scotist theology so infuriated Martin Luther that the Protestant founder had it publicly burned.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ian N. Wood, G. A. Loud, Church and Chronicle in the Middle Ages: Essays Presented to John Taylor (1991), p. 74.
  2. ^ "Incunabula Short Title Catalogue". British Library. Retrieved 9 May 2014.