Deceased Academicians

Carlo Enrico di Rovasenda, O.P.

rovasenda

Turin, Italy, 17 June 1906 - Genoa, Italy, 15 Dec. 2007
Nomination 13 Nov. 1986
Field Philosophy and Theology
Title Domenican priest and Director of the Chancellery of the PAS from 1972 to 1986

Commemoration – Carlo Baldovino di Rovasenda was born in Turin on 17 June 1906. After graduating from high school, he began attending the Politecnico di Torino (Regia Scuola d’Ingegneria) in 1923. In 1923-24 he became a member of Azione Cattolica. He joined FUCI's "Cesare Balbo" club, of which he became president in 1925. In this framework he was very active in Piedmont and at the national level. There he met FUCI's ecclesiastical assistant, the future Paul VI, Giovanni Battista Montini. He concluded this activity in 1928-29. On 23 November 1928 he graduated from the Politecnico in Industrial Mechanical Engineering. In 1929 he entered the Dominican Order, where he focused on philosophy and theology. He was consecrated a priest in 1933. In 1936 he graduated in philosophy at the Catholic Institute in Paris and was placed in charge of a ministry of preaching and teaching within his Order. He also occupied many different positions of responsibility, first in Turin and then in Genova. In November 1972 the Secretariat of State appointed him Adjunct Director of the Chancellery of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, where he collaborated with President Carlos Chagas. In 1972 Pope Paul VI appointed him Director and confirmed him again in 1978. In 1975 he was in charge of presenting concrete proposals to define the situation of the Academy vis-à-vis the Holy See. The approval of the project enabled the President to take initiatives. He then represented the Holy See in various organizations and international conferences. On 3-7 October 1981 the Academy published a Statement on the Consequences of the Use of Nuclear Weapons. The document was entrusted to five delegations of scientists that sent it to the governments of the five main nuclear powers. The participation of Father di Rovasenda in this initiative was decisive. Father di Rovasenda left his post in 1986. In 1987 he was appointed Honorary Academician. On 23 November 1992 the University of Genoa gave him a degree honoris causa in architecture as the promoter of the first restoration of an important monument of the historic centre, which had been devastated during World War II. On 17 June 2006 he had celebrated his 100th birthday with his Dominican brothers and many friends in the Convent of Santa Maria di Castello in Genoa.

+ Georges Card. Cottier, OP


Summary of scientific research
Diplômé Ingénieur Civil à l’École Polytechnique de Turin en 1928, il entra dans l’Ordre de Saint Dominique le 19 mars 1929. Lecteur en Théologie en 1936, licencié en Philosophie à l’Institut Catholique de Paris en 1937; les titres de Prédicateur Général et Maître en Sacrée Théologie lui furent ensuite decernés dans l’Ordre des Frères Prêcheurs. Il enseigna Philosophie Morale et Théologie Morale au Studium Général des Dominicains de Turin, ainsi que l’Éthique Économique et Politique à l’Université Libre d’Études Sociales (Rome) et l’Histoire des Doctrines Politiques à l’Université Saint Thomas d’Aquin (Rome). Au cours de cette période d’enseignement, le Père di Rovasenda a publié les cours polycopiés relatifs à la matière, sans oublier de nombreux livres en collaboration et beaucoup d’articles sur des revues et des journaux. Il était Assistant Ecclésiastique National du ‘Movimento Ecclesiale di Impegno Culturale’, qui réunit les intellectuels adhérents à l’Action Catholique Italienne. Le 16 novembre 1972, il fut nommé par le Saint-Père Paul VI Directeur adjoint et successivement le 3 avril 1974 Directeur de la Chancellerie. Le Pape Paul VI le confirma dans cette charge pour quatre ans et Jean-Paul II, une fois encore, pour quatre ans. Le Père di Rovasenda, dans l’exercice de ses fonctions, a su entretenir des rapports réguliers avec le Siège Apostolique; il développait son action en lien très étroit avec le Président, le Professeur Carlos Chagas, entretenait des rapports périodiques avec les Académiciens et organisait, s’assurant de la collaboration intelligente et assidue des membres de la Chancellerie, la réalisation des programmes de travail préparés d’avance par le Président et le Conseil académique. En outre, il participait à diverses réunions internationales, en tant que représentant du Saint Siège et de l’Académie. Il a su, au travers de publications variées et grâce aux moyens de communications, tels que la radio et la télévision, diffuser l’histoire de l’Académie, ses fonctions et son activité. Le Père di Rovasenda a quitté sa charge le 31 décembre 1986, ayant atteint la limite d’âge. En reconnaissance pour l’activité déployée à l’Académie pendant ces quatorze années, le Saint-Père a voulu le nommer Académicien honoraire.

Main publications
He worked for the journal Coscienza of the MEIC ‘Movimento Ecclesiale di Impegno Culturale’, since 1980, and through works of a theological, cultural, philosophical, social and spiritual (meditations) nature on questions of contemporary relevance. As an assistant of UCI-Tecnici he published articles in specialised journals on subjects of a scientific nature. He has also contributed to various publications of Azione Cattolica, including the following: di Rovasenda, E., Una cultura orientata nella fede, a cura di Salvatore Accardo, ed. AVE (Roma, 1987); di Rovasenda, E., ‘La Pontificia Accademia delle Scienze (1972-1986)’, Stampa e cultura religiosa tra otto e novecento, Quaderni del Centro studi “C. Trabucco”, 16, pp. 71-96 (1991); di Rovasenda, E., Il mistero cristiano nella vita del credente, ed. AVE, Collana Proposte, 45 (Roma, 1991); di Rovasenda, E., Le virtù di contemplazione e azione in Maria SS., Meditazioni, Tipografia Grassi (Mantova, 1992); di Rovasenda, E., Fortezza e temperanza dello Spirito, Meditazioni, Tipografia Grassi (Mantova, 1993); AA.VV., Un Padre del nostro tempo. Scritti in onore di P. Enrico di Rovasenda, ed. AVE (Roma, 1994).

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