Saturday, October 12

They've adapted the story of the kidnapped Edgardo Mortara into dramatic form:

The scenario has all the elements of a 21st-century action movie or a best-selling political thriller, but it is a true story that occurred in 1858 in Bologna, Italy, when the Inquisitor of the Papal States ordered a 6-year-old boy, Edgardo Mortara, to be taken from his Jewish family on the grounds that he had been secretly baptized by a Roman Catholic servant and could no longer be permitted to live among Jews.

The incident and its repercussions were described by David I. Kertzer, a Brown University professor, in his 1997 book "The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara," a finalist for the National Book Award. Now the book has been adapted for the stage by Alfred Uhry, the Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist ("Driving Miss Daisy"). The resulting play, "Edgardo Mine," begins previews at the Hartford Stage Company in Connecticut on Thursday. The cast includes Brian Murray, Randy Graff, Robert LuPone, Spencer Kayden and Michael Countryman.

Mr. Murray portrays Pope Pius IX, who sanctioned Edgardo's abduction and treated him as an adopted son, guiding the child of a Jewish merchant into a life as a Catholic priest. Mortara died in 1940 at the age of 88.

A film version of the story, starring Anthony Hopkins as Pius IX, has been in the works for a while, but this article indicates that the project was questionable by the end of September as its production company teetered on the edge of collapse.

From Sunday's WaPo: A look at priest-defending around the nation.
Law to VOTF: No. Yes. It depends.

Cardinal Bernard Law has barred new chapters of a Catholic reform group from meeting on church propery. The cardinal will allow existing chapters of Voice of the Faithful to meet in parish halls if the pastor approves, however. "Given the present state of the group as a national organization, I decided it would be inappropriate for new chapters to use church property until I had received further information about the Voice of the Faithful," Law wrote in a letter made public Saturday. Law also reversed a decision to ban Voice of the Faithful from meeting at St. Michael Parish, a church about 25 miles north of Boston, a move the reform group welcomed even as an official described Law's policy as "confusing" and "painful."

A look at various religious traditions' views of organ donation
Catholic bookstore manager in the UK fired for being too nice:

Mike Saunders, 60, was dismissed by the Catholic organisation Society of St Paul, which owns the Leeds bookshop he had run for 20 years.He had received warning letters from the Society about making cups of coffee for customers and displaying a collection tin for a local hospice where he is a volunteer worker.

The allegations in the Manchester settlement revealed
And more snapshots from Catholic life: Two kids with Downs' Syndrome serving as altar servers in Utah
From St. Petersburg, a nice column about a young woman who's become a nun
Archbishop Myers of Newark bans VOTF
Jewish student life growing at Boston College

Symbolic of the growth is the donation of a Torah scroll with an interesting history:

Hand-written by Jewish scribes in the Polish countryside in 1919, the parchment was left to burn in a fire when German troops invaded in 1939. But a Catholic priest, whose name is not known, defied the Germans and ran into the burning synagogue to rescue the scroll.Twenty-one years later, Richmond, a Roxbury native working at the United States' Warsaw consulate, received a visitor in his office. It was the now-elderly priest, who had come to pass the Torah he had held in safe-keeping to an American Jew. ''I was flabbergasted, but I accepted it,'' Richmond recalled.

Bishop Gregory arrives in Rome to receive Vatican' response to the Charter

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