Antonio Rosmini

1797-1855. Also “Rosmini-Serbati.” Italian philosopher and founder of the order later known as the Suore della Provvidenza (“Sisters of Providence”). Born in Rovereto Trentino, he was ordained priest in 1821. Despite early conservative views, he became the author of many significant progressive works dealing with various aspects of philosophy, politics, law, economics, and natural science. His treatise Delle cinque piaghe della Santa Chiesa, which he wrote after the election of Pius IX in 1846, denounces the insufficient education of the clergy, the divisions among bishops, and the riches of the church, and advocates its return to apostolic poverty and freedom. He laments, moreover, the division between clergy and lay people who are the vital part of the church, and proposes a far greater participation in worship and other church matters. With Gioberti* he hoped for a confederation of Italian states under the leadership of the pope, whose temporal power he considered essential to guarantee his freedom.