D'Attems Carlo Michele (1771- 1774)

21/03/2020

Carlo Michele d'Attems was born on 1 (or, according to other sources, on 4) July 1711, from Giovanni Francesco d'Attems and Elisabetta Coronini Cronberg. He was the fifth son, and was directed to the ecclesiastical career, while his brother Sigismondo was given the family title. 

He studied in Graz, then in Modena and Rome where he graduated in ecclesiastical law at the Collegio della Sapienza and was ordained a priest. Cardinal Imperiali, his patron saint, worked to get him an ecclesiastical prebend: the canonry of Bettenbrun in Swabia, and then that of Basel, where he was also appointed treasurer. Although active in the exercise of his ministry, Attems tried to obtain the nomination as bishop of Trieste: the erection of the bishopric of Gorizia gave him in 1750 the opportunity to return to his hometown first as apostolic vicar (1750) and then as first archbishop (1752). The Patriarchate of Aquileia was in fact too large a diocese for a prelate to take care of it (it counted about one million faithful); moreover, political issues between the patriarchal authority and the Hapsburg empire made it opportune to divide it in a way that took into account the current political boundaries. Also the ecclesiastics of Gorizia wanted the creation of an episcopate of Gorizia: the priest Vito Gullin from Gorizia had bequeathed his goods for this purpose, the baron Agostino Codelli joined it with another huge sum and donated a palace to make it the seat of the future bishop. On 17th August 1751 the Patriarchate of Aquileia was abolished and two archdioceses were established in its place: the one of Udine, headed by Daniele Delfino, the last patriarch, and the one of Gorizia, territorially more extended, bishop of which Carlo Michele d'Attems was appointed on 30th August 1752. He was very active in the organization of the new diocese, visiting the territory. He wanted an archiepiscopal printing house, calling in Gorizia the printer Tommasini, he had the Hospital of San Raffaele opened, destined to welcome old and abandoned children and he worked hard for the institution of the Monte di Pietà, to save the people from the need to resort to pawnbrokers, having to pay excessive interest for the loans received: the opening of the Monte took place in 1753 in a room made available by the Archbishop and close to the Archbishopric. He died on February 18, 1774.