A story is always better if you have someone to share it with. The Meyersville Church Book Club meets on a regular basis to discuss different books chosen by different members of the group. Church members, friends and members of the community are always welcome and encouraged to join in the discussions. Check back frequently to check out what the next exciting story will be!
Current Book Club Read:
The Meyersville Church Book Club will meet next on
Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 7:30 p.m. to talk about:
The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara by David L. Kertzer.
From Kirkus Reviews, April 1st, 1997:
“A dramatic and heart-wrenching tale that reveals a great deal about the battle between conservative and progressive forces in mid-19th-century Europe. In 1858, authorities of the Papal States in Bologna abducted the Jewish child Edgardo Mortara from his family. Reports had reached the Inquisition in Rome that when Edgardo was an infant he had been secretly baptized by the Mortaras’ Catholic servant girl. The law of the Papal States was very clear: A Christian child was forbidden to be brought up in a Jewish household. Liberal circles in Europe were outraged and mobilized.
Kertzer skillfully weaves the larger historical, social, religious, and cultural forces at work into the story, without allowing these elements to overwhelm his protagonists. Although cases of children being abducted by the Church and forced to convert were not unusual, the timing of the Mortara case could not have been worse for the pope. Pius IX was—upon his election to the Chair of St. Peter—considered a liberal who might lend his temporal and spiritual power to the movement for Italian national unification. He was soon caught between the implacable forces of modernism and the Church’s obstinate refusal to enter the modern world.
Kertzer’s challenging thesis is that the Mortara case became the catalyst for the end of papal power in Italy. Anticlerics in Italy, Protestants and Jews in Britain and America, even Napoleon III (staunch defender of papal power) joined in criticizing the abduction. Arrayed against these groups was the dark power of the Inquisition and the pope’s obsessive desire to maintain his temporal power at the expense of a united Italy. A moving, dramatic study of the clash between the sacred and the secular.”
Previous Book Club Reads: