This Day in the Yesteryear: EDGARDO MORTARA KIDNAPPED FROM JEWISH FAMILY AFTER SECRET BAPTISM (1858)

Edgardo Mortara Kidnapped from Jewish Family after Secret Baptism (1858)

Mortara, the son of a Jewish couple living in the Papal States, was secretly baptized Catholic as an infant by a panicked servant during an infantile illness. The baptism was deemed valid by the Catholic Church and, because canon law forbade non-Christians from raising Christian children, Pope Pius IX ordered the six-year-old Mortara to be taken to Rome as his ward. Several countries objected to the pope’s decision and called for the boy to be returned to his parents. What became of Mortara? More… Discuss

 

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