Printer Friendly

Pope Pius IX and anti-Semitism? (Vatican).

VATICAN CITY--On the eve of the beatification scheduled for September 3, a press campaign has been unleashed against Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti (1792-1878), who took the name Pius IX when elected to the papacy (1846-78).

The criticisms began with the publication of John Cornwell's book Hitler's Pope, in which the author accuses Pius IX, Pius XII, and John Paul II of being the most authoritarian Popes in history. Cornwell attacks Pius IX for proclaiming the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and papal infallibility.

Early in May, the Italian press agency "Adista" published a dossier entitled "The Legend of the Kidnapper Saint," which refers to old debates on the case of Edgardo Mortara, the 2-year old Jewish boy who ran the risk of dying and was secretly baptized by an acquaintance. Thankfully, the child did not die, but a problem emerged for the Church as a result: what to do with a child who was baptized but whose parents refused to raise him as Catholic? The Church decided to take a hand in Edgardo's education against the parents' wishes.

The story of Edgardo Mortara, who in 1873 became a priest, has been sufficient reason for some to accuse Pius IX of anti-Semitism.

The debate on the Mortara case was also highlighted on June 22 by the Washington Post, which condemned Pius IX's work (Editor: No doubt as a result of the book by Gary Wills entitled Papal Sins which devotes a whole chapter to attacking Pius IX on this issue; see elsewhere in this issue).

These same accusations were addressed in Rome on June 27 by the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI) under the title "Pius IX, the Church, and the Jews: Between Religion and Politics at the Time of the Italian Resurgence." At the opening of this congress, UCEI president Amos Luzzatto said: "We do not want to go into the process of Pius IX's beatification: this is the exclusive competence of the Church. But we make it clear that this decision will entail consequences in our relations with the Vatican."

The "We Are Church" movement, which advocates the ordination of women priests, the abolition of priestly celibacy, and the acceptance of divorce, has also criticized the forthcoming beatification of Pius IX. Moreover, 19 theologians, who in the past have challenged the Magisterium of the Church, have called on the Catholic Church not to beatify Pius IX.
COPYRIGHT 2000 Catholic Insight
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2000, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Sep 1, 2000
Previous Article:Conscienctious objections and abortion (Vatican).
Next Article:Vatican Response (Vatican).

Related Articles
Reflections on the Vatican's 'Reflection on the Shoah.'.
Anti-Separationist Pope On The Fast Track For Catholic Sainthood.
Old Song, Great Arrangement.
A Survey of Jewish Reaction to the Vatican Statement on the Holocaust.
Vatican Response (Vatican).
Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust: a reply to Daniel Goldhagen.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters