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The Supposed Perfidy of the Jews

Contents

Introduction

In this paper, I review what the Church used to teach about the Jews. I shall establish that: This is a painful and unpleasant task. I find it shameful to discover what some of my heroes, the Fathers of the Church believed and preached about the Jewish people. It is quite clear that they would have condemned my views (as also the practice of Pope John-Paul II) as heretical Judaising. However, it will not be possible for the Church to repent of past failings without clearly acknowledging exactly what those failings were. It is not good enough to say "sorry" and then expect to "move on". Repentance would means that lessons were learned: not just about Catholic-Jewish relations but also regarding glib (but ostensibly Scripturally based) condemnations of disparaged and marginalized groups in general.

None of the teaching that appears below is infallible, though a Papal decree in Oecumenical Council does feature. I am not trying to argue that the Magisterium has changed any definitive teaching, but only that what would have been commonly taken to be definitive teaching, based on solid Scriptural and Patristic testimony has been jettisoned.

It is hardly appropriate to acknowledge the help that I have received in preparing this document from InterNet sources that promulgate anti-semitism and the disparagement of Judaism. Other quotes were obtained from sundry pro Jewish sources. I cannot vouch for the authenticity of all the texts quoted below. I detected, rejected and excluded one spurious quote, from the fabricated "Recognitions of St Clement". There may be others, still the overall impression would remain. Even if a quote is spurious: someone wrote it: and by doing so testified to their own belief, if not that of the person they falsely represent!

The Jews corporately murdered Christ.

The following Scriptural texts can be taken to signify that the Jews corporately murdered the Messiah:
"Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus  .... said unto them the third time, 'Why, what evil hath he done?  I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chasten him, and let him go.' And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified.  And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. And Pilate seeing that he prevailed nothing, but that rather a tumult was made; taking water washed his hands before the people, saying: 'I am innocent of the blood of this just man; look you to it.' Then cried all the people, and said, 'His blood be on us, and on our children.'" [Luke 23:20-23; Mat 27:25]

"Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth .... you, by the hands of wicked men have crucified and slain." [Acts 2:22-23]

"Therefore, let all the House of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." [Acts 2:36]

"Be it known unto you all, even to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand before you whole." [Acts 4:10]

"And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, 'Ye men of Israel .... Jesus, whom ye delivered up, and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.  But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.'" [Acts 3:12-15]

"And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree." [Acts 10:39]

The Fathers of the Church understood these texts in that way. This is made clear in many of their writings:
"Their rejection of Jesus has resulted in their present calamity and exile. We say with confidence that they will never be restored to their former condition. For they committed a crime of the most unhallowed kind, in conspiring against the saviour." [Origen]

"The blood of Jesus falls not only on the Jews of that time, but on all generations of Jews up to the end of the world." [Origen]

"Judas betrayed Me, the Jews persecuted and crucified Me ....  In particular, this is the story of Judas; in general it is that of the Jews ....  Judas is cursed, that in Judas the Jews may be accursed." [St Jerome]

To the objection that it was the Romans and not the Jews who killed Christ it was argued that Pilate told the Jews that he had found no fault in Christ and therefore would not pass sentence.
"And so all who cried out with impious voices for the crucifixion of Christ slew Him, not, indeed, directly with their own hands, but personally through him who was compelled to such a crime by their clamour .... They were implicated in the crime from which they tried to hold themselves aloof; for Pilate would have done no such thing, save to implement what he perceived to be their fixed desire." [St Augustine: On the Gospel of Saint John 114, 115]

"Let not the Jews say, 'We have not crucified Christ.' For to this end they gave Him to Pilate the judge, in order that they themselves might seem as if they were guiltless of His death .... But if he is guilty because he did it against his will, are they innocent who compelled him to do it? By no means. But he gave sentence against him, and commanded him to be crucified: and in a manner himself killed him; you also, O you Jews, killed him. Whence did you kill Him? With the sword of the tongue: for ye did whet your tongues. And when did ye smite, except when ye cried out, 'Crucify, crucify'? .... This is the whole of the Jews sagacity, this is that which they sought as some great matter.  Let us kill and let us not kill: so let us kill, as that we may not ourselves be judged to have killed."
[St Augustine: On the Psalms 63:4,5; Roman Breviary, Matins of Good Friday]

"For as though they were afraid lest they should seem to fall short at all in the crime, having killed the prophets with their own hands, but this man with the sentence of a judge, so they do in every deed; and make it the work of their own hands, and condemn and sentence both among themselves and before Pilate, saying: 'His blood be on us and on our children,' and insult Him, and do despite unto Him themselves, binding Him, leading Him away, and render themselves authors of the spiteful acts done by the soldiers, and nail Him to the cross, and revile Him, and spit at Him, and deride Him.  For Pilate contributed nothing in this matter, but they themselves did everything, becoming accusers, and judges, and executioners, and all."
[St John Chrysostom: On the Gospel of Saint Matthew]
The idea that only the rulers of the Jews were implicated in the murder of Our Lord was rejected on the basis that these only secured Jesus' murder by first securing the same intention from the Jewish people as a whole. Pilate and the Romans wanted to let Jesus go, and even Herod wanted no part in His death. It was said to be the mass of the Jews that secured His murder at the festival of the Passover, when Jews were congregated in Jerusalem from all over the world. The Fathers of the Church insisted that this was "the entire nation".

The Jews are all guilty of deicide.

Because it was thought that the Jews corporately killed Christ; it was concluded that all Jews bore the guilt of his murder. This was seen as a parallel with the fall. Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, and therein we all sinned, too, "in Adam". So it was with the Jews: "through their fathers",  Judas and the rest, they were believed to have murdered God. All of them.
"Judaism, since Christ, is a corruption; indeed, Judas is the image of the Jewish people: their understanding of Scripture is carnal; they bear the guilt for the death of the Saviour, for through their fathers they have killed Christ." [St Augustine]

"The Jews, therefore, not only made themselves strangers to the covenants, but also dishonoured the Father and killed the Son in envy." [St Ephraim the Syrian]

"The Jews are murderers of the Lord .... They are guilty of shouting: 'Away with him, away with him! Crucify him!' He who was God in the flesh!" [St Gregory of Nyssa: Oration on the Resurrection of Christ]

"Nor is it sufficient that we call Him who is in Heaven 'Father.' We must add to the name 'Our Father.' This name rebukes and condemns the Jews who not only spurned Christ faithlessly, but also cruelly executed Him Who was announced to them by the prophets, and sent first to their nation.  No longer may they call God their Father, because the Lord confounds and refutes them, saying: 'your father is the devil' [John 8:44].  O sinful nation, O people weighed down with guilt, breed of evil-doers, lawless children, you have turned your backs on the Lord and have provoked the Holy One of Israel." [St Cyprian: On The Lord's Prayer]

"If someone should kill the beloved son of a man, and then stretch forth their hands still stained with blood to the afflicted father, asking for fellowship, would not the blood of his son, still visible on the hand of his murderer, provoke him to just anger instead?  And such are the prayers of the Jews, for when they stretch forth their hands in prayer, they only remind God the Father of their sin against His Son. And at every stretching forth of their hands, they only make it obvious that they are stained with the blood of Christ."
[St Basil: On Prayer, Sermon Nine]

".... from that time seditions and wars and mischievous plots followed each other in quick succession, and never ceased in the city and in all Judea until finally the siege of Vespasian overwhelmed them. Thus the divine vengeance overtook the Jews for the crimes which they dared to commit against Christ."
[Eusebius of Caesarea, Church History: Book II, Chapter 6]

The Catholic laity in Slovakia was taught by their clergy that the Nazis were doing the will of Jesus Christ in exterminating the Jews. In 1942 before Passover, Rabbi Michael Dov-Ber Weissmandel begged Archbishop Kametko to intervene with President Tisso, to prevent the expulsion of the Jewish population from Slovakia. The archbishop replied:
"This is no mere expulsion. There you will not die of hunger and pestilence; there they will slaughter you all, young and old, women and children, in one day. This is your punishment for the death of our Redeemer. There is only one hope for you, to convert to our religion. Then I shall effect the annulling of this decree."
["Faith After the Holocaust", Eliezer  Berkovits, Ktav, 1973, pp. 16-17.]
In the autumn of 1955 Rabbi Weissmandel escaped from a deportation to Auschwitz. He approached the papal nuncio for help in stopping the extermination of Slovakian Jews. The official response was "This, being a Sunday, is a holy day for us. Neither I nor Father Tisso occupy ourselves with profane matters on this day." When asked how the murder of innocent men and women, children and babies could be considered "profane" by Christians, the nuncio replied:
"There is no innocent blood of Jewish children in the world. All Jewish blood is guilty. You have to die. This is the punishment that has been awaiting you because of that sin."
["Faith After the Holocaust", Eliezer  Berkovits, Ktav, 1973, pp. 16-17.]

The Jews are all damned.

Because the Jews were all judged to be guilty of Christ's murder, they were considered to be damned.
"By this alone the Jews can receive pardon of their sins, if they wash away the blood of Christ slain, in His baptism, and, passing over into His Church, obey His precepts. In Isaiah the Lord says: 'Now I will not release your sins. When ye stretch forth your hands, I will turn away my face from you; and if ye multiply prayers, I will not hear you: for your hands are full of blood.'" [St Cyprian:  Against the Jews]

"The ceremonies of the Jews are both baneful and deadly to Christians and whoever keeps them is doomed to the abyss of the devil." [St Augustine: Epistle 82]

"On account of their unbelief, and the other insults which they heaped upon Jesus, the Jews will .... suffer more than others in that judgement which is believed to be impending over the world." [Origen: Against Celsus 2:8]

"Poor Jews! You invoked a dreadful curse upon your own heads in saying: 'His blood be on us and our children'; and that curse, miserable race, you carry upon you to this day, and to the end of time you shall endure the chastisement of that innocent blood." [St. Alphonsus Maria Liguouri, The Passion and death of Jesus Christ.]

"Pilate took water in accordance with that, 'I will wash my hands in innocency', in a manner testifying and saying, I indeed have sought to deliver this innocent man, but since a tumult is rising, and the charge of treason to Caesar is urged against me, I am innocent of the blood of this just man .... Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us and on our children. This imprecation rests at the present day upon the Jews: the Lord's blood is not removed from them." [St Thomas Aquinas : Catena Aurea]

"I knew in my faith that the Jews were accursed and condemned without end, except those who were converted." [Blessed Juliana of Norwich: Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love]

".... all those who are outside the catholic church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the catholic church before the end of their lives ...."
[Pope Eugenius IV, at the Oecumenical Union Council of Florence]

The Jews are morally degenerate

St John Chrysostom was especially keen to establish that the Jewish Nation was rapacious, depraved and degenerate:
"I know that many people hold a high regard for the Jews and consider their way of life worthy of respect at the present time. This is why I am hurrying to pull up this fatal notion by the roots .... the synagogue is not only a whorehouse and a theatre: it is also a den of thieves and a haunt of wild animals .... not the cave of a wild animal merely, but of an unclean wild animal." [St John Chrysostom]

“How dare Christians have the slightest doings with Jews, those most miserable of all men!  They are lustful, rapacious, greedy, perfidious bandits, pests of the universe.  Indeed, an entire day would not suffice to tell of all their rapine, their avarice, their deception of the poor, their thievery, and their huckstering.  Are they not inveterate murderers, destroyers, men possessed by the devil?  Jews are impure and impious, and their synagogue is a house of prostitution, a lair of beasts, a place of shame and ridicule, the domicile of the devil, as is also the soul of the Jew.  As a matter of fact, Jews worship the devil: their rites are criminal and unchaste; their religion a disease; their synagogue an assembly of crooks, a den of thieves, a cavern of devils, an abyss of perdition!  Why are the Jews degenerate?  Because of their hateful assassination of Christ.  This supreme crime lies at the root of their degradation and woes.  The rejection and the dispersion of the Jews was the work of God and because of His absolute abandonment of the Jews.  Thus, the Jew will live under the yoke of slavery without end. God hates the Jews, and on Judgement Day He will say to those who sympathise with them: “Depart from me, for you have had doings with My murderers!”  Flee, then, from their assemblies, fly from their houses, and, far from venerating the synagogue, hold it in hatred and aversion.”
 [St John Chrysostom: "Six Homilies Against the Jews"]

He seems to say that they are incapable of repentance:
"Israel, since the deicide, has been given over to commerce with demons; the Jews have all the vices of beasts and are good for nothing but slaughter; gluttons, drunkards, sensualists living for their belly .... they behave no better than pigs and goats in their lewd vulgarities. Their crime leaves them no hope of mending their ways of being pardoned. The synagogue is a brothel, a den of thieves, a lair of wild beasts."
[St John Chrysostom]
Moreover, prefiguring the worst of Nazism, it would appear that he thought them to be sub-human:
"When animals are unfit for work, they are marked for slaughter, and this is the very thing which the Jews have experienced. By making themselves unfit for work, they have become ready for slaughter. This is why Christ said, 'as for my enemies, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them before me.' " [St John Chrysostom]
Of course, Chrysostom's shrill condemnations testify to the fact that his view were not universally held within the Church in his day. Unfortunately, largely due to his influence, such views did gain sway.
“When Jews are admitted out of pity into familiar intercourse with Christians, they repay their hosts, according to the popular proverb, after the fashion of the rat hidden in the sack, or the snake in the bosom, or of the burning brand in one's lap.” [Pope Innocent III]

“Furthermore, by means of their particular practice of commerce, they amass a great store of money and then by an exorbitant rate of interest utterly destroy the wealth and inheritance of Christians.”
[Pope Benedict XIV: "A Quo Primum"]

 “With great sorrow and mortal anxiety, We have heard that the Jews have in a Christian land the same rights as Christians, that Christian men and women live under the same roof with these traitors and defile their souls day and night with blasphemies.” [Pope Stephen III: Epistle to the Bishop of Norbonne]

"The Jewish people fell from the heights because of their faithlessness and condemned their Redeemer to a shameful death. Their godlessness has assumed such forms that, for the salvation of our own people, it becomes necessary to prevent their disease. Besides usury, through which Jews everywhere have sucked dry the property of impoverished Christians, they are accomplices of thieves and robbers; and the most damaging aspect of the matter is that they allure the unsuspecting through magical incantations, superstition, and witchcraft to the Synagogue of Satan and boast of being able to predict the future. We have carefully investigated how this revolting sect abuses the name of Christ and how harmful they are to those whose life is threatened by their deceit. On account of these and other serious matters, and because of the gravity of their crimes which increase day to day more and more, We order that, within 90 days, all Jews in our entire earthly realm .... must depart these regions."
[Pope St. Pius V: "The Jewish Race" 1569]

"As for what you say: that you desire to dispute with Jews, so as to convert them and turn them to the faith, I commend you the less for that: for you beat the air, exhausting yourself with foolish and vain zeal ..... It seems to me wiser for our Faith to conceal the injury done to it for the time rather than enter into discussion with a people stiff necked and of a stubbornness truly bestial."
[Peter de Blois: "Against the Perfidy of the Jews"]

In 1751 the first pope to issue encyclical letters addressed the issue of Jews and Catholics living together in Poland. The result was a call for the ghettoization of Polish Jews. Here are some extracts from the Encyclical ....
"....Another threat to Christians has been the influence of Jewish faithlessness; this influence was strong because Christians and Jews were living in the same cities and towns .... the number of Jews .... has greatly increased .... The Jews have so replaced the Christians that some parishes are about to lose their ministers because their revenue has dwindled so drastically. Because the Jews control businesses selling liquor and even wine, they are therefore allowed to supervise the collection of public revenues. They have also gained control of inns, bankrupt estates, villages and public land by means of which they have subjugated poor Christian farmers. The Jews are cruel taskmasters, not only working the farmers harshly and forcing them to carry excessive loads, but also whipping them for punishment. So it has come about that those poor farmers are the subjects of the Jews, submissive to their will and power. Furthermore, although the power to punish lies with the Christian official, he must comply with the commands of the Jews and inflict the punishments they desire. If he doesn't, he would lose his post. Therefore the tyrannical orders of the Jews have to be carried out .... some households of the great have employed a Jew as 'Superintendent of the Household'; in this capacity, they not only administer domestic and economic matters, but they also ceaselessly exhibit and flaunt authority over the Christians they are living with. It is now even commonplace for Christians and Jews to intermingle anywhere. But what is even less comprehensible is that Jews fearlessly keep Christians of both sexes in their houses as their domestics, bound to their service. Furthermore, by means of their particular practice of commerce, they amass a great store of money and then by an exorbitant rate of interest utterly destroy the wealth and inheritance of Christians. Even if they borrow money from Christians at heavy and undue interest with their synagogues as surety, it is obvious to anyone who thinks about it that they do so to employ the money borrowed from Christians in their commercial dealings; this enables them to make enough profit to pay the agreed interest and simultaneously increase their own store. At the same time, they gain as many defenders of their synagogues and themselves as they have creditors .... if it is asked what matters the Apostolic See forbids to Jews living in the same cities as Christians, We will say that all those activities which are now allowed in Poland are forbidden; these We recounted above."
[Pope Benedict IV : "A Quo Primum".]

The Jews are cursed to be outcasts.

So, it was taught that all Jews were guilty of Christ's death, and were therefore cursed. It was further believed that the curse was of a particular character: namely that it rendered them social pariahs and outcasts. From this, a suitable social policy towards the Jews was deduced.

The type of Cain was thought to illustrate Jewish reality. Certainly, some of the Fathers applied the story of Cain and Able to the Jews. As the envious murder by Cain was more grievous because it was of his own brother; so, the Jews killed their own: even their own kinsman, Messiah and God. "He came unto His own, but His own received Him not." [John 1:11]

"Abel, the younger brother, is killed by the elder brother; Christ the head of the younger people, is killed by the elder people of the Jews. Abel dies in the field; Christ dies on Calvary.
God asks Cain where his brother is, not as if He did not know, but as a judge asks a guilty criminal.  Cain replies that he knows not, and that he is not his brother's keeper.  And what answer can the Jews give at this day, when we ask them with the voice of God, that is, of the Sacred Scriptures, about Christ, except that they do not know the Christ we speak of?  Cain's ignorance was pretended, and the Jews are deceived in their refusal of Christ .... Then God says to Cain, 'What hast thou done?  The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.' So the voice of God in the Holy Scriptures accuses the Jews.  For the blood of Christ has a loud voice on the earth, when the responsive Amen of those who believe in Him comes from all nations.  This is the voice of Christ's blood, because the clear voice of the Faithful redeemed by His blood is the voice of the blood itself.
 Then God says to Cain: 'Thou art cursed from the earth, which hath opened its mouth to receive thy brother's blood at thy hand.' ....  So the unbelieving people of the Jews is cursed from the earth, that is, from the Church, which in the confession of sins has opened its mouth to receive the blood shed for the remission of sins by the hand of the people who would not be under grace, but under the law. And this murderer is cursed by the Church; that is, the Church admits and avows the curse pronounced by the Apostle: 'Whoever are of the works of the law are under the curse of the law.'" [St Augustine: Reply to Faustinus the Manichaean XII:10-11]
"But Israel despised and would not render, for their will was not right, nay moreover they killed those that were sent, and not even before the Lord of the vineyard were they ashamed, but even He was slain by them.  Verily, when he came and found no fruit in them, He cursed them through the fig tree, saying, 'Let there be henceforth no fruit from thee;' and the fig tree was dead and fruitless, so that even the disciples wondered when it withered away.  Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by the prophet; 'I will take away from them the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the scent of myrrh, and the light of a lamp, and the whole land shall be destroyed.' [Jer 25:10] For the whole service of the law has been abolished from them, and henceforth and forever they remain without a feast.  And they observe not the Passover; for how can they?  They have no abiding place, but they wander everywhere .... But in every place they transgress the law, and as the judgements of God require; they keep days of grief instead of gladness.  Now the cause of this to them was the slaying of the Lord, and that they did not reverence the Only Begotten .... Therefore the Lord cursed them under the figure of the fig tree." [St Athanasius: Letter 6, Easter 334]

"The Lord made Cain a wanderer and a fugitive over the earth, but set a mark upon him, making his head to shake, lest anyone finding him should slay him.  Thus the Jews, against whom the blood of Christ calls out, although they ought not to be killed, nevertheless, as wanderers they must remain upon the earth until their faces are filled with shame and they seek the name of the Lord Jesus Christ."
[Pope Innocent III: Epistle to the Count of Nevers.]

"We read in the Psalm a new kind of prophecy concerning the Jews: 'God has shown me', says the Church, 'on the subject of my enemies', to 'slay them not in case my people should ever forget.'  Alive, however, they are eminent reminders for us of the Lord's suffering.  On this account they are scattered through all lands in order that they may be witnesses to our redemption while they pay the just penalties for so great a crime." [St Bernard: Epistle 363]

St Justin goes so far as to argue that circumcision was no longer a covenant sign, but a curse sign:
"'Because they have transgressed against Me, and despised Me, and because they have walked contrary to Me, I also walked contrary to them, and I shall cut them off in the land of their enemies.' For the circumcision, according to the flesh, which is from Abraham, was given for a sign; that you may be separated from other nations, and from us; and that you alone may suffer that which you now justly suffer; and that your land may be desolate, and your cities burned with fire; and that strangers may eat your fruit in your presence, and not one of you may go up to Jerusalem. For you are not recognized among the rest of men by any other mark than your fleshly circumcision. Accordingly, these things have happened to you in fairness and justice, for you have slain the Just One, and His prophets before Him." [St Justin Martyr: Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 16]
It was generally held that the Jew's fate: dispossession of Jerusalem; exile from Judaea and dispersion throughout the world were as a direct result of their deicide:
"Since, therefore, the Jews were predicted as destined to suffer these calamities on Christ's account, and we find that they have suffered them, and see them sent into dispersion and abiding in it, it is manifest that it is on Christ's account that these things have befallen the Jews, the sense of the Scriptures harmonizing with the issue of events and of the order of the times." [Tertullian: An Answer to the Jews 13]

"What nation is an exile from their own city, and from the place sacred to the worship of their fathers, save the Jews alone?  And these calamities they have suffered, because they were a most wicked nation, which, although guilty of many other sins, yet has been punished so severely for none, as for those that were committed against our Jesus." [Origen: Against Celsus II:8]

"But the Jew totally rejects this testimony. He refuses to admit what Christ said. What does the Jew say? 'The man who said this is my foe. I crucified him. So how am I to accept his testimony?' But this is the marvel of it. You Jews did crucify Him. But after He died on the cross, He then destroyed your city; it was then that He dispersed your people; it was then that He scattered your nation over the face of the earth. In doing this, He teaches us that He is risen, alive, and in heaven. Because you were not willing to recognize His power through His benefactions, He taught you by his punishment and vengeance that no one can struggle with or prevail against His might and strength." [St John Chrysostom: Fifth Homily Against the Jews]
The Jews were therefore to be segregated away from Christians:
"Indeed, if anyone of the clergy or faithful has taken a meal with the Jews, it is determined that, as a corrective punishment, he is to abstain from Communion so that he may be reformed."
[Council of Elvira: Canon 50 (300AD)]

"Concerning the prohibition of usury and base gain by the clergy; and concerning the prohibition against conversing or eating with the Jews. No priest shall set money out at interest or take unfair profit or be friendly or sociable with Jews; nor should anyone take food or drink with the Jews; for if this was decreed by the holy apostles, it is incumbent upon the faithful to obey their command; and the synod shall excommunicate any one who does not comply with this order." [Oecumenical Council of Nicaea]

"Let no one in the priestly order nor any layman eat the unleavened bread of the Jews, nor have any familiar doings with them, nor summon them in illness, nor receive medicines from them, nor bathe with them; but if anyone shall take in hand to do so, if he is a cleric, let him be deposed, but if a layman, let him be cut off."
[Council of Quinisext (692 AD)]

"We decree and order that from now on, and for all time, Christians shall not eat or drink with the Jews, nor admit them to feasts, nor cohabit with them, nor bathe with them. They cannot live among Christians, but in a certain street, separated and segregated from Christians, and outside which they cannot under any pretext have houses." [Pope Eugene IV (1447 AD)]

"They were allowed to live only in certain wards of the larger towns, which were known as 'Jewries.'  They were required also to wear a special dress or a badge of yellow cloth on the breast. They were considered to be living in the country not by common right but by special consent of the king and under his protection. They were subject, therefore, not to the common law but to special regulations made for them by the king or his officers."
[Edward P. Cheyney, A Short History of England]

The Jews are to be enslaved.

The Fathers applied the story of Jacob and Esau to the relationship between the Church and the Synagogue.
"'Come, ascend we unto the mount of the Lord, and unto the house of the God of Jacob.' Not of Esau, the former son, but of Jacob, the second; that is, of our 'people', whose 'mount' is Christ." [Tertullian: A Reply to the Jews]

"Two peoples were foretold, the elder and the younger; that is, the old people of the Jews, and the new one which should consist of us. 'And the Lord said unto Rebecca, Two nations are in thy womb, and two peoples shall be separated from thy belly; and the one people shall overcome the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.'" [St Cyprian: Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews, I:19]

and used it to deduce that the role of the Jew was to serve the Christian as a slave.
"For God ordained 'two peoples and two nations' .... Beyond doubt, through the edict of the divine utterance, the prior and 'older' people - that is, the Jewish - must necessarily serve the 'younger'; and the 'younger' people - that is, the Christian - overcome the 'older' .... For thus has the 'younger' - that is, posterior - people overcome the 'older people', while it attains the grace of divine favour, from which Israel has been divorced."
[Tertullian: A Reply to the Jews]

"The Jews, according to what had before been foretold, had departed from God, and had lost God's favour, which had been given them in past time, and had been promised them for the future; while the Christians had succeeded to their place, deserving well of the Lord by faith, and coming out of all nations and from the whole world."
[St Cyprian: Against the Jews]

"That saying, 'The elder shall serve the younger', is understood by our writers, almost without exception, to mean that the elder people, the Jews, shall serve the younger people, the Christians .... when it was said, 'The one people shall overcome the other people, and the elder shall serve the younger,' that prophecy meant some greater thing; and what is that except what is evidently fulfilled in the Jews and in the Christians? .... He [Christ] is the Lord of His brother, because His people rules over the Jews." [St Augustine: The City of God, XVI:35, 37]

"....the Jews three times endured bondage, very harsh and most severe: but none of these came upon them unpredicted....  First, I shall speak of the prediction of their slavery in Egypt.  Surely, in speaking to Abraham, God said: 'Know for certain that your posterity will be strangers in a land not their own; they shall be subjected to slavery and shall be oppressed four hundred years' [Genesis 15:13] .... Come now and let us turn our discussion to the second captivity.  What one is that? The bondage in Babylon.  Jeremiah certainly foretold it exactly when he said: 'Thus says the Lord: Only after seventy years have elapsed for Babylon will I visit you and fulfil for you my promise to bring you back to this place' [Jeremiah 29:10] .... What, then, is this third captivity?  It is the bondage that came upon them in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes....  When the prophets predicted the other captivities, they spoke not only of the captivity but also of the length of time it was appointed for each bondage to last; for this present captivity, however, they set no time but, to the contrary, said that the desolation would endure until the end."
[St John Chrysostom: Six Homilies Against the Jews]

"The Jew will live under the yoke of slavery without end.  God hates the Jews."
[St John Chrysostom: Six Homilies Against the Jews]

"The Jews, by their own guilt, are consigned to perpetual servitude because they crucified the Lord."
[Pope Innocent III: To the Archbishops of Sens and Paris]

"Crucifiers of Christ ought to be held in continual subjection."
[Pope Innocent III, Epistle to the Hierarchy of France, 1205]

"It is fitting for Jews to serve Christians, but not for Christians to serve Jews.  On the contrary, the Jews, as slaves rejected by that Saviour Whose death they wickedly contrived, should recognize themselves in fact and in creed the slaves of those whom the death of Christ has set free, even as it has rendered them bondmen."
[Pope Innocent III: "Etsi Judaeos", Decretal cited by Pope Benedict XIV]

"Ungrateful for favours and forgetful of benefits, the Jews return insult for kindness and impious contempt for goodness. They ought to know the yoke of perpetual enslavement because of their guilt. See to it that the perfidious Jews never in the future grow insolent, but that they always suffer publicly the shame of their sin in servile fear." [Pope Gregory IX, Epistle to the Hierarchy in Germany, 1233 A.D.]

"It would be licit to hold Jews, because of their crimes, in perpetual servitude, and therefore the princes may regard the possessions of Jews as belonging to the State." [St. Thomas Aquinas: De Regimine Judaeorum]

"And that you order both the aforesaid abusive books [The Talmud] condemned by the same doctors and generally all the books with their glosses which were examined and condemned by them to be burned by fire wherever they can be found throughout your entire kingdom, strictly forbidding that Jews henceforth have Christian nurses or servants, that the sons of a free woman may not serve the sons of a bondswoman, but as slaves condemned by the Lord, whose death they wickedly plotted, they at least outwardly recognize themselves as slaves of those whom the death of Christ made free and themselves slaves.  So we may commend the zeal of your sincerity in the Lord with due praises." [Pope Innocent IV: To King Louis IX]

"We declare that the evidence of Christians is to be accepted against Jews in every case, since Jews employ their own witnesses against Christians - and that those who prefer Jews to Christians in this matter are to lie under anathema, since Jews ought to be slaves to Christians and to be supported by them on the grounds of humanity alone." [Third Oecumenical Council of the Lateran: Canon 26]


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