[Daily article] June 21: Mortara case

The Mortara case was a controversy precipitated by the Papal States’
seizure of Edgardo Mortara, a six-year-old Jewish child, from his family
in Bologna, Italy, in 1858. The city’s inquisitor, Father Pier Feletti,
heard from a servant that she had administered emergency baptism to the
boy when he fell sick as an infant, and the Supreme Sacred Congregation
of the Roman and Universal Inquisition held that this made the child
irrevocably a Catholic. Because the Papal States had forbidden the
raising of Christians by members of other faiths, it was ordered that he
be taken from his family and brought up by the Church. After visits from
the child’s father, international protests mounted, but Pope Pius IX
would not be moved. The boy grew up as a Catholic with the Pope as a
substitute father, trained for the priesthood in Rome until 1870, and
was ordained in France three years later. In 1870 the Kingdom of Italy
captured Rome during the unification of Italy, ending the pontifical
state; opposition across Italy, Europe and the United States over
Mortara’s treatment may have contributed to its downfall.

Read more:

Today’s selected anniversaries:


War of the League of Cognac: The French army under Francis de
Bourbon was destroyed in Lombardy, present-day Italy, by the Spanish


In the Wallachian Revolution, Ion Heliade Rădulescu and
Christian Tell proclaimed a new republican government.


During the Winnipeg general strike in Winnipeg, Manitoba,
Canada, members of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police charged into the
crowd of strikers on horseback, beating them with clubs and firing


Italian cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini was elected as Pope
Paul VI.


SpaceShipOne completed the first privately funded human

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

(chiefly Christianity and law) Disobedience, resistance to authority.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  Human existence is obviously distinguished from animal life by its
qualified participation in creation. Within limits it breaks the forms
of nature and creates new configurations of vitality. Its transcendence
over natural process offers it the opportunity of interfering with the
established forms and unities of vitality as nature knows them.  
–Reinhold Niebuhr

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