Carlo Maria Curci

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Carlo Maria Curci (1810 in Naples – June 8, 1891 in Florence) was an Italian theologian from Naples.


Curci joined the Society of Jesus in 1826, and was devoted to the education and care of the poor and prisoners. Curci became one of the first editors of the Jesuit periodical, La Civiltà Cattolica. He later wrote for Vincenzo Gioberti, Antonio Rosmini-Serbati and other advocates for reform; Cerci wrote a preface to Gioberti's Primato (1843), but dissented from his Prolegomena.

In the 1870s, Curci delivered a course on Christian philosophy in Florence and published several Scriptural works. In his edition of the New Testament, Curci harshly criticized Italian clergy for neglecting to study Scripture.

In the meantime, he began to attack the Vatican for its role in politics. In his work "The Modern Conflict between the Church and Italy" (Il Moderno Dissidio tra la Chiesa e l'Italia, published in 1878) he called for the separation of church and state in Italy. This was followed by "The New Italy and The Old Zealots" (La Nuova Italia ed i Vecchi Zelanti, published in 1881), another attack on the Vatican policy; and by his "Royal Vatican" (Vaticano Regio, published in 1883), in which he accuses the Vatican of selling sacred objects and declares that secularism came from the false principles accepted by the Curia.

Curci's work in Naples eventually drew him to Christian Socialism. He was condemned in Rome, and in a letter to The Times (September 10, 1884), he delivered an account of his disobedience to the decrees of the Roman Congregation, stating: "I am a dutiful son of the Church who hesitates to obey an order of his mother because he does not see the maternal authority in it."

Curci was expelled from the Society of Jesus and suspended from the Church. During this time, Cardinal Henry Edward Manning put his purse at Curci's disposal. He eventually accepted the decrees against him and retracted all of his statements contrary to the ideology of the Church. Curci later retired and spent the remainder of his life in Florence. A few months before his death, he was readmitted to the Jesuit Society.


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Curci, Carlo Maria". Encyclopædia Britannica. 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 637. 

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