Sunday, 20 November 2011

Roman Inquisition, 1843

This is an edict from the Roman Inquisition dated 1843. This is the same year the British were launching metal hulled ships and Verdi was writing opera. All other Inquisition had been abolished, even in Spain.

The Roman Inquisition was active in the Papal States, that part of Italy directly ruled by the Pope. The Pope at that time was the reactionary Gregory XVI (right) who even opposed gas lighting and railways. The edict was an international public relations disaster for the Catholic Church. Its mean-mindedness will have made life harder for Jews in Ancona and Sinigaglia, and no doubt some of them emigrated.

We, Fra Vicenzo Salina, of the Order of Predicatori, Master in Theology, General Inquisitor in Ancona, Sinigaglia, Jesi, Osinio, Cingoli, Macerata, Tolentino, Loreto, Recanati, and other towns and districts, &c.

It being deemed necessary to revive the full observance of the disciplinary laws relative to the Israelites residing within our jurisdiction, and having hitherto without effect employed prayers and exhortations to obtain obedience to those laws in the Ghetti (Jewries) of Ancona and Sinigaglia, authorized by the despatch of the Sacred and Supreme Inquisition of Rome, dated June 10, 1843, expressly enjoining and commanding the observance of the decrees and pontifical constitutions, especially in respect to Christian nurses and domestic servants, or to the sale of property either in towns or country districts, purchased and possessed previously to 1827, as well as subsequently to that period, we decree as follows:—

1. From the interval of two months after the date of this day, all gipsy and Christian domestics, male and female, whether employed by day or by night, must be dismissed from service, in the said two Ghetti; and all Jews residing within our jurisdiction are expressly prohibited from employing any Christian nurse, or availing themselves of the service of any Christian in any domestic occupation whatever, under pain of being immediately punished according to the Pontifical decrees and constitutions.

2. That all Jews who may possess property, either in town or country, permanent or moveable, or rents or interest, or any right involving shares in funded property, or leased landed property, must within the term of three months from this day dispose of it by a positive and real, and not by any pretended and factitious, contract. Should this not be done within the time specified, the Holy Office is to sell the same by public auction, on proof of the annual harvest being got in.

3. That no Hebrew nurses, and still less any Hebrew family, shall inhabit the city, or reside in, or remove their property into, any town or district where there is no Ghetto (place of residence for Jews); and that such as may actually be there in contumacy to the laws must return to their respective Ghetto within the peremptory period of six months, otherwise they will be proceeded against according to the tenour of the law.

4. That, especially in any city where there is a Ghetto, no Hebrew must presume to associate at table with Christians, either in public houses or ordinaries, out of the Ghetto.

5. That, in a city which has a Ghetto, no Hebrew shall sleep out of the Israelite quarter, nor make free to enter into familiar conversation in a Christian house.

6. That no Hebrew shall take the liberty, under any pretext whatever, to induce male Christians, and still less female Christians, to sleep within the boundaries of the Ghetto.

7. That no Hebrew shall hire Christians, even only by the day, to work in their houses in the Ghetto.

8. That no Hebrew, either male or female, shall frequent the houses of Christians, or maintain friendly relations with Christian men or women.

9. That the laws shall remain in force respecting the decorum to be observed by the Hebrews who may absent themselves from their Ghetto, to travel in other parts of the state.

10. That all Hebrews are expressly prohibited from trafficking in sacred ornaments, or books of any kind, and from purchasing, reading, or keeping possession of prohibited hooks of any sort, under the penalty of 100 scudi and seven years' imprisonment; and they who may have such articles in their possession must surrender them to the tribunal of the Holy Inquisition; and in case of failing to do so, they will be subject to the above-mentioned penalty.

11. That the Hebrews, in conveying their dead to the place of burial, shall not observe any pomp or ceremony, and must especially abstain from singing psalms, or carrying torches or lighted tapers through the streets without the boundaries of the Ghetto, under pain of forfeiting the torches and tapers, and suffering other punishments, to which the nearest relative of the deceased will be condemned.

They who violate the above articles will incur some or all of the penalties prescribed in the edicts of the Holy Inquisition. And in order that no one may be ignorant of the dispositions above decreed, they shall be formally communicated to the deputies and representatives of the Israelite community of this Ghetto of Ancona, with the injunction that the same shall be published in the synagogue, the present edict being affixed thereto; and these dispositions are to be enforced in the same manner as if they were made known to all and every one, and notice must he given forthwith to the Hebrews residing out of Ancona, but belonging to this Ghetto.

Given at Ancona, in the Chancellery of the Holy Inquisition, on the 24th of June, 1843.

FRA VICENZO SALINA, General Inquisitor.
Don VITALIANO BURATTINI (for the Chancellor).

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