- April 16, 2021
- Posted by: samdenis
In the days that followed, intense negotiations took place between the priest, who is to represent Cardinal Gerlier and the Church on the one hand, and the Chaplain Rabbi on the other. In early March, when the Pope received a proposed draft agreement, he asked his expert on Jewish affairs, Dell`Acqua, to prepare an analysis. According to dell`Acqua, the Finaly case triggered a violent press campaign against the ecclesiastical authorities in France, so it was crucial to find a way to end it. And yet, he concludes, the proposed agreement does not offer the guarantees that the Church sought. “Most likely,” Dell`Acqua wrote, “the trial will naturally end in favor of the Jewish thesis, and the two boys will end up in the hands of the Jews who, with an ever-unforgiving tenacity, impose on them a “Jewish” education, with the humiliation that ensues (at least in the eyes of a part of the general public) of the Catholic Church.” The article, published on 9 July, explained that any assertion that the agreement between Cardinal Gerlier and the Finaly family would bring the boys to Israel and become Jews was false. “The free will of the two boys, who have declared their desire to remain Catholic, is protected by the agreement. Thus, they have the full right to profess and practice Catholicism without being subjected to direct or indirect pressure… It is clear that the prospect of a “re-education” of the two boys in Judaism would run counter to these premises. The article then took a stab in the Jewish community of France. Although the French ecclesiastical authorities have kept their word, according to the article, the press has been filled in recent weeks with sarcastic comments about how long it takes the Church to find the young people. “Even the chief rabbis borrowed these harmful suspicions with words that, beyond any other consideration, betrayed the most absolute lack of recognition for all that Catholics had done for the Jews during those years, risking the most serious personal dangers and, without asking anything, simply leaving Christian charity.” Defense Minister Giovanni Spadolini, leader of the Anticlerical Republican Party, said after a cabinet meeting on Friday night that definitively approved the new agreement, that he would have preferred to delay the signing until the Ambrosiano case was finally settled. But both Republicans and Communists must be prepared to vote for ratification if the concorda is submitted to Parliament.
In an editorial for the Sunday edition of the newspaper L`Unit a, the Communist Party, Senator Paolo Bufalini stated that “from the communist Party`s point of view, the most important and substantial requirements” were met. What the Pope did next is not known until the Vatican archives open this year. Herzog returned to the Vatican on March 12 with the memorandum requested by the Pope and was referred to the Secretary of State. After the death of his first secretary of state, Cardinal Luigi Maglione, in 1944, Pius XII took the unusual step of not appointing a successor, but dividing the work between his two main deputies, Domenico Tardini and Giovanni Battista Montini. It was Montini – the future Pope Paul VI, to whom the Pope later entrusted the direction of the Finaly affair. In the eyes of Montini and the Pope, there was a man considered an expert of the Secretary of State for all Jewish matters. It was Bishop Angelo Dell`Acqua, and it was Dell`Acqua that the rabbi was to meet. The next day, Montini returned to the Cardinal Secretary of the Holy Office to tell him that the Pope had accepted his advice.