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Maltese cardinal in past conclaves

It may interest the readers to know that there were three conclaves in the history of the Roman Catholic Church at which a Maltese was among the contenders.

He was of course none other than the singular Maltese Cardinal Fabrizio Sceberras Testaferrata (1757-1843), Apostolic Nuncio and subsequently an important figure in the Roman Curia. Archbishop Testaferrata, who was born in Valletta, was created cardinal reserved in pectore in 1816 and elevated to cardinal-priest two years later.

The first conclave at which Cardinal Sceberras Testaferrrata voted was that of September 2-28, 1823, which elected Pope Leo XII as Supreme Pontiff. This was followed by the conclave of March 24-31, 1829 which elected Pope Pius VIII. The Maltese cardinal's last conclave, which elected Pope Gregory XVI, was also his longest, lasting from December 14, 1830 to February 2, 1831! By this time, Cardinal Sceberras Testaferrata was among the most senior in the College of Cardinals. He was never absent from a conclave.

A final interesting point is that named individual cardinals (not our Maltese brother) were vetoed in the conclaves of 1823 and 1831 by Emperor Franz I of Austria and King Fernando VIII of Spain respectively.

Cardinal Sceberras Testaferrata is buried in the Cathedral of Senigallia, Italy.

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