In Bologna, Italy, in 1858,
kidnapping a child
was not a crime! How could that
Because the Roman Catholic Church
ruled the Papal
States for centuries as political
and religious dictator.
What were the Papal States?
It was the country of Italy. for centuries, the Pope had been the absolute political dictator over all of Italy.
The Religious police, called the
Inquisition, enforced allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church and the pope with an iron fist.
This was one of those laws: If a Jewish child is near death any Catholic can baptize
the child EVEN IF the child's parents do not approve.
If a Jewish child has been baptized, the child is
a Catholic and cannot be raised in a Jewish home EVEN IF the home belongs to his parents. Catholic Canon Law required that
every child baptised Catholic must be raised in a Catholic home.
For centuries, the
church got away with using the police authorities to forcibly remove Jewish children from their Jewish homes, kidnap them
from their families, and raise them Catholic.
In 1858, they did it once to often. It
caused a war that toppled the pope from power and changed history:
A police squad, acting on the orders of
the Inquisitor,, invaded the home of a Jewish merchant, Momolo Mortara.
The Inquisition Police tore his crying six-year-old
son from his arms, and rushed him off in a carriage bound for Rome.
His mother's hysterical weeping could
be heard across the city.
Edgardo's parents desperately searched for a
way to get their son back. They learned why he--out of all their eight children--was taken.
Years earlier, the family's Catholic servant
girl, fearful that the infant might die of an illness, had secretly baptized him (or so she claimed).
Edgardo recovered, but when the story reached
the Bologna Inquisitor, the result was his order for Edgardo to be seized and sent to a special monastery where Jews were
converted into good Catholics.
The Inquisitor's justification for taking
the child was based in Church teachings: No Catholic child could be raised by Jewish parents. The case of Edgardo Mortara
became an international cause célèbre. Such kidnappings were not uncommon in Jewish communities across Europe.
But, this time the political climate had
changed. As news of the family's plight spread to Britain. The Rothschilds got involved. In France,
Napoleon III got angry.
In America, public opinion turned against
Pope Pius IX began to regard the boy as
his own child.
The fate of this one boy came to symbolize the
entire revolutionary campaign of Mazzini and Garibaldi to end the dominance of the Catholic Church and establish a modern,
secular Italian state.
The resulting war destroyed the pope's dictatorship
over the Papal States, and Vatican City became an independent country all by itself.
The full history of thie outrage can be read
in the book by David I. Kertzer, "The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara".
This important story has been
ignored by modern historians.
It is politically incorrect to accuse the pope
of kidnapping children.
The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara has been made
into a play by Pulitzer and Oscar winning playwright, Alfred Uhry. It opened at Hartford Stage in 2002.
You would think that such barbaric practices would be a part of centuries past.
But at this very moment, the same thing has happened again.
Under the pretense of trying to "protect abused children"
the Roman Catholic Church is again kidnapping children.
The children are good Christian children
being raised in good Christian families.
But they made one "mistake". They believe and
teach that the pope has no authority from Christ, and that the Roman Catholic claim to be the church founded by Christ
is a historical fraud.
The pope can not bear to let people get away with that.
So the Inquisition has come to America.
And our politicians are allowing it.
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