Jewish-Born Theodore Kohn Made Archbishop in Czech Republic

Jewish-Born Theodore Kohn Made Archbishop in Czech Republic

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Theodore Kohn is appointed archbishop of Olomouc, a province in the Czech Republic. As his name indicates, Kohn is born Jewish and later converted to Catholicism. When people learn about his Jewish heritage, they are outraged.

At a Catholic congress in Salzburg in 1896, he is unable to speak because of the jeering of the crowd. The Vatican will force him to resign in 1904, informing him that his name and heritage simply cause too much trouble.

None of this would have happened had the Catholic faithful not believed that Archbishop Kohn was unqualified for his post because of his Jewish background; this, in turn, is because of the belief that being Jewish is a question of race rather than simply religion.

Traditional Catholic anti-Semitism is supposed to be entirely religious in nature, not racial. Catholic apologists, trying to defend Catholic Christianity against charges that it helped paved the way for the Holocaust, typically argue that their traditional anti-Semitism is completely different from the racial anti-Semitism of the Nazis.

Although there is a technical distinction between religious and racial anti-Semitism, this is not a distinction which is typically maintained in the real world.

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