The Roman Question eBook

Edmond François Valentin About
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 233 pages of information about The Roman Question.

The Jews of Rome are the most unfortunate in the Papal States.  The vicinity of the Vatican is as fatal to them as to the Christians.  Far from the seat of government, beyond the Apennines, they are less poor, less oppressed, and less despised.  The Israelitish population of Ancona is really a fine race.

It is not to be inferred from this that the agents of the Pope become converts to tolerance by crossing the Apennines.

It is not a year since the Archbishop of Bologna confiscated the boy Mortara for the good of the Convent of the Neophytes.

Only two years ago the Prefect of Ancona revived the old law, which forbids Christians to converse publicly with Jews.

It is not ten years since a merchant of considerable fortune, named P. Cadova, was deprived of his wife and children by means as remarkable as those employed in the case of young Mortara, although the affair created less sensation at the time.

M.P.  Cadova lived at Cento, in the province of Ferrara.  He had a pretty wife, and two children.  His wife was seduced by one of his clerks, who was a Catholic.  The intrigue being discovered, the clerk was driven from the house.  The faithless wife soon joined her lover at Bologna, and took her children with her.

The Jew applied to the courts of law to assist him in taking the children from the adulteress.

The answer he received to his application was, that his wife and children had all three embraced Christianity, and had consequently ceased to be his family.

The Courts further decreed that he should pay an annual income for their support.

On this income the adulterous clerk also subsists.

Some months later Monsignore Oppiszoni, Archbishop of Bologna, himself celebrated the marriage of M.P.  Cadova’s wife and M.P.  Cadova’s ex-clerk.

Of course, you’ll say, P. Cadova was dead.  Not a bit of it.  He was alive, and as well as a broken-hearted man could be.  The Church, then, winked at a case of bigamy?  Not so.  In the States of the Church a woman may be married at the same time to a Jew and a Catholic, without being a bigamist, because in the States of the Church a Jew is not a man.



All the world knows, and says over and over again, that education is less advanced in the Papal States than in any country in Europe.  It is a source of universal regret that the nation which is, perhaps, of all others the most intelligent by God’s grace, should be the most ignorant by the will of priests.  This people has been compared to a thorough-bred horse, reduced from racing to walking blindfolded, round and round, grinding corn.

But people who talk thus take a partial view of the question.  They don’t, or they won’t, see how entirely the development of public ignorance is in conformity with the principles of the Church, and how favourable it is to the maintenance of priestly government.

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The Roman Question from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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