by Hans Peter Flückiger - My great-great-grandmother wrote on September 10, 1874

Sep 05, 2021Heike Felber

The diary of my great-great-grandmother Elise

Sunday, November 29, 1874

Actually, I'd like to lie down for a moment right now. That's only possible on Sundays if you can do the most important work in the house within six or seven hours. Cook the Habermus for breakfast, potatoes and vegetables for lunch and because Sunday is still a piece of meat, warm up the leftovers for dinner ... not to forget collecting eggs in the chicken coop, fetching wood, boiling water. In addition to the unexpected, which always surprises you. For example, when the neighbors come to my husband to discuss politics. You have to apply it again. On a Sunday, you can't go without attending a church service. Including a half-hour walk to the church and back. This is not work, of course, but a Christian duty. But still, it takes time. And what I heard again today there. Even the strenuous climb up the hill home wasn't enough to let off all the steam.

 That's why I'm sitting here in the better, heated room at the table and not lying with my legs raised on the récamiere next to the tiled stove. Outside the window, the wind causes a snowflake dance. Frau Holle shakes out the covers, as the saying goes. Accordingly, it is already twilight in the middle of the afternoon. In addition to the anger in your stomach, another reason to get hold of the pen now to get rid of the frustration in your diary. When the work is done and the children are in bed by the light of the oil lamp to write something else, forget it... Just like the day before yesterday. At that time I didn't finish putting my thoughts down on paper either. But what the heck, I have to go back ten or twelve weeks now. September 10, 1874. That's what the church was about today.

 Addendum to Thursday September 10, 1874

It takes time for news from abroad to get here. That is why Father Brändli only announced today at the end of the service what happened on September 10, 1874 in the Vatican. And I still can't believe what Brändli read. Pope Pius IX issued the bull "Non expedit" on that day, which means "(it is) not appropriate" in German. The Pope thus prohibits Italian Catholics from taking part actively or passively in the elections of the still young national state of Italy. This is the culmination of an escalation that began years ago.

 In 1870, soldiers of Italy, which had been united into a kingdom, occupied Rome in the previously independent Papal States and annexed them against the Pope's resistance. Pius IX lamented that he was a prisoner in his own country and repeatedly expressed his displeasure. For example, in May 1871 with an encyclical in which he dubbed the Italian state a usurper, one who usurped power unlawfully.

Should someone get hold of my notes sooner or later – probably sooner if I was born in 1841 – they might be surprised at my annoyance. But nonetheless, dear (possible) reader, dear (possible) reader. I'll be happy to explain that to you. If we women are still excluded from public life, it is not forbidden to think about world events near and far. And if this Pope now comes up with the absurd idea of ​​forbidding Italian Catholics from voting and being elected, I don't understand it. For almost 100 years - the French Revolution - a welcome change of attitude has taken place. Corporate society and the right of God are history, freedom, equality and fraternity, at least as a confession of fact. And then this Pope comes along and whines because now he too seems to be getting down to business.


In 1847, Cardinal Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti was unexpectedly elected Pope and called himself Pius IX. He is said to have been a pious pastor, but was completely overwhelmed by politics. I have remembered since I was a child that his administration in this country caused a shake of the head. Even with my father, a devout Catholic. A conservative by nature, he was not closed to social innovations and developments. So he had absolutely no sympathy for it and got very upset when the new pope began to act almost reactionarily after the first liberal reforms. The news that he was having the Jewish ghetto rebuilt in Rome and that the Talmud was back on the list of banned books caused more than red heads for him and others. And especially when it was during the pontificate of Pius IX. executions for the last time in the history of the Papal States.

 One shouldn't forget the intra-ecclesiastical filming to keep the clergy in power. At the first Vatican Council, Pius IX squabbled. the primacy of Peter, thereby claiming to be the spiritual leader of all Christians. He also decreed on the occasion the infallibility of the pope in decisions on faith and morals.

 So finished rumbled. But honestly, I wonder what the world would be like if we women had more say. But in this respect, too, people are inventive when interpreting the Bible in order to prevent this.


I have to come back to Father Brändli, who recently made a "magnificent" example in this matter. He preached about Mary of Magdala and took the opportunity to really give us the tariff once again. This Maria was a bad sinner. Jesus had to drive out seven demons. And according to the Gospel of Thomas, Simon Peter even wanted to send them away from among the disciples. Women are not worthy of it. To which Jesus is said to have replied that he would make her male, for every woman, if she makes herself male, goes into the kingdom of heaven.

 One can only say rubbish there. And in doing so, he embezzled half of the story. The event after the crucifixion of Jesus at Easter in the cemetery. Who was there first and discovered the empty tomb? And who did Jesus commission to tell the (male) disciples that he had risen? Mary of Magdala! Now let someone say that we women have nothing important to say.


Written by: Hans Peter Flückiger


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