Thursday, July 4, 2013

ADSS 6.6 Angelo Rotta to Maglione - the proposed anti-Jewish law

Following from the previous post here is the first of several documents from the Nuncio to Hungary, Angelo Rotta, to Rome detailing the process of the formulation and passage of the second raft of anti-Jewish laws in Hungary.  During the debates of the legislation elections for a new parliament were announced, adding a degree of urgency out of fear that more radical elements could be elected and make the laws even worse. 

ADSS 6.6 Angelo Rotta, Hungary to Cardinal Maglione

Reference: Report number 2159/39; AES 1631/39

Location and date: Budapest, 30.03.1939

Summary statement: Concerning the proposed racial law.

Language: Italian

Text:

I draw your Eminence’s attention to the petition in favour of Jewish Christians, sent to me by your Eminence in dispatch number 1064/39 on 22 March 1930.

Numerous petitions of this kind were also sent to his Eminence the Cardinal Primate (2).  In as much as your Eminence asked for my humble opinion in this matter, when all things are considered, it does not seem necessary that the Holy See should be directly involved in this matter.  This is also the opinion of Cardinal Seredi.  The Hungarian Episcopate has already had a long term interest in the matter, the his Eminence the Cardinal Primate wishes to express clearly, as he himself said in the speech that he will make to the Upper House of Parliament (3) – when the project will be under discussion – proposing amendments that must be introduced to ensure that the laws conform to the requirements of justice and Christian morality.

The House of Deputies has already approved the proposal and now it will be the subject of discussion in the Upper House.  The main point that concerns the Church is the first paragraph: who is to be considered a Jew (4).

Given that the project has its base in race, but at the same time we hold a certain understanding of Baptism, not only is it use and articulation confusing and complicated, it is difficult to understand.  Certainly in the Upper House some modification will be introduced, based on common sense, but it will not be possible to obtain the desired one hundred percent.

I take the opportunity to acknowledge receipt of telegram number 25 (5).  It will be my duty to abide by the instructions therein.

Notes:
(1) Not published in ADSS.

(2) Cardinal Primate of Hungary, Justinian Seredi OSB (1884-1945) archbishop of Ezstergom 1927-1945.

(3) The debate in the Upper House was held on 31.03.1939. See ADSS 6.10 – episcopal opposition to the legislation.

(4) This was the second anti-Jewish law proposed in Hungary.  The first, which passed into law on 29.05.1938 restricted the number of Jews in the professions to 20%.

(5) Not published in ADSS.


 Cardinal Primate and bishop of Ezstergom, Justinian Seredi, OSB


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