In 1858 Edgardo Montara, a six-year-old child of Jewish parents living in Bologna, was legally seized by the papal police acting under orders from the Inquisition. Edgardo was forcibly dragged away from his weeping mother and sitraught father to the Catechumens (house for the conversion of Jews and Muslims) in Rome, and thereafter brought up as a Roman Catholic... his parents never saw him again.Montara had been secretly baptized by his Catholic baby-sitter, ergo he was a Christian. Ergo, the Catholic chuch had to drag him kicking and screaming from his parents. This caused worldwide outrage, to which the Catholic Church responded with this old chestnut:
-Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 311-313
That widespread outrage... was dismissed by the Catholic newspaper Civilta Cattolicaas due to the international power of rich Jews.It was 1858, the "media" barely existed outside of some newspapers, and yet still the Jews controlled everything! How crafty!
But the thing that has had me laughing for 20 minutes since I read it is this:
A Catholic newspaper in the United States defended the Pope's stance on the Montara case, arguing that it was unthinkable that a Christian government 'could leave a Christian child to be brought up a Jew' and invoking the principle of religious liberty, 'the liberty of a child to be a Christian and not forced compulsorily to be a Jew'......
What the hell could that even mean? "Forced compulsorily to be a Jew" by the fact that he was born to Jewish parents, happily raised a Jew, and only made a Christian by an overzealous baby-sitter?
It seems ridiculous, of course, except it isn't. The refusal to accept, for example, what consenting adults do in their own bedrooms as a private matter is motivated by the same impulse -- you don't have the right to a private sin, even if it's not your religion that's judging the sin.
Or, to pick a more relevant example, the refusal to allow gays and lesbians to adopt children in the US: we're preserving the "freedom" of children not to be forced "compulsorily" to have loving parents who happen to have the same sets of plumbing. Brilliant.
I'm sure the Pope approves. No, really, I'm certain.