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Zionism and Israel - Encyclopedic Dictionary

According to early fathers of the church, "the
Jews" were damned because they had killed Christ.

Saint Hippolytus, 170-236, evidently was the first to pioneer the theme that the Jews deserved punishment for the killing of Jesus:

"Now then, incline thine ear to me and hear my words, and give heed, thou Jew. Many a time does thou boast thyself, in that thou didst condemn Jesus of Nazareth to death, and didst give him vinegar and gall to drink; and thou dost vaunt thyself because of this. Come, therefore, and let us consider together whether perchance thou dost boast unrighteously, O, Israel, and whether thou small portion of vinegar and all has not brought down this fearful threatening upon thee and whether this is not the cause of thy present condition involved in these myriad of troubles." (Hippolytus Expository Treatise Against the Jews)

For this reason, according to Eusebius of Caesaria, Jews could not rebuild the Jerusalem or the temple in Jerusalem, as their destruction had been visited upon them for killing the Messiah.

St Augustine of Hippo developed the idea that the Jews must be kept alive, their sufferings serving witness to the correctness of Christian doctrine:

The Jews who killed him [Jesus] and who refused to believe in him... were dispersed all over the world... and thus by the evidence of their own scriptures, they bear witness for us that we have not fabricated the prophecies about Christ... It is in order to give this testimony which, in spite of themselves, they supply for our benefit by their possession and preservation of those books, that they themselves are dispersed among all nations, wherever the Christian Church spreads... Hence the prophecy in the Book of Psalms: "..My God has shown me concerning mine enemies, that You shall not slay them, lest they should at last forget Your law: disperse them in Your might." Therefore God has shown the Church in her enemies the Jews the grace of His compassion, since, as says the apostle, "their offence is the salvation of the Gentiles." Romans 11:11 And therefore He has not slain them, that is, He has not let the knowledge that they are Jews be lost in them, although they have been conquered by the Romans, lest they should forget the law of God, and their testimony should be of no avail in this matter of which we treat. But it was not enough that he should say, "Slay them not, lest they should at last forget Your law," unless he had also added, "Disperse them;" because if they had only been in their own land with that testimony of the Scriptures, and not every where, certainly the Church which is everywhere could not have had them as witnesses among all nations to the prophecies which were sent before concerning Christ.. [City of God, 18:46]

In addition to bearing witness, the Jews must also be preserved, according to Augustine, for their ultimate conversion to Christianity, which is their only route to salvation.(Robert Chazan. The Jews of Medieval Western Christendom, 1000-1500. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006, pp. 36-37 )

The Catholic Church insisted that it must protect the Jews, elaborating on the doctrines of Aquinas. Yet, on the other hand, if the suffering of the Jews was deserved punishment from God, it was a short step to believing it was a holy duty to help God out and make the Jews suffer.

The thesis of the collective guilt of "the Jews" inherently anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic. It formed the basis for a cultural norm that treated the Jews as a single legal and moral person. If all the Jews, for all eternity were guilty because some Jews had allegedly crucified Jesus, then all "the Jews" could likewise be collectively guilty of poisoning wells, or supporting this or that political party or any other imagined or real misdeed.

The Crusades became first major occasion for wholesale slaughter of Jews in Germany and elsewhere despite the attempt of the Catholic church to moderate the violence. During the Crusades and in other anti-Jewish riots, whole Jewish towns and Jewish quarters were burned and people were thrown from the walls of cities. Often Jews were rounded up in the synagogue and burned alive. This treatment has been characterized euphemistically by some modern Christian writers as "indignities suffered by the Jews."

The record of early persecutions is surely incomplete, but that does not mean there was no anti-Semitism in the early years of Christianity, other than the theological judgments of Church fathers. There was violence and discrimination. It is certain that synagogues were burned from the 4th century. Jews were expelled from a number of places:

554 -  France - Diocese of Clement
561 -  France - Diocese of Uzzes
612 -  Visigoth Spain
642 -  Visigoth Empire
855 -  Italy
876 -  Sens
1012 - Mainz
1182 - France
1182 - Germany

In the Middle ages, Jews were periodically expelled from European countries and their property was confiscated. For example, Jews were expelled from Spain more than once. The time was in 1492 (followed in 1496-7 by expulsion from Portugal). They had been expelled from England under Edward I (1290) and France under Philip Augustus (1182), and previously from other places. Philip readmitted the Jews in 1198, carefully regulating their banking business for his benefit. In Spain, Jews were forced to convert, often on pain of death, over a very long period, and then under Ferdinand and Isabella, the "conversos" were subject to an Inquisition and forced to admit that they were secret Jews and heretics under torture. The motivations for the Inquisition were Christian piety, consolidation of the rule to the state as against noblemen who either were conversos or were supported by them, and confiscation of converso lands and wealth. Inquisitors were canonized as saints by the Roman Catholic Church as late as the 19th century.

Forced Conversions - In addition to conversions effected in Spain under the the threat of expulsion or death, Jews were sometimes forced to attend periodic sermons intended to convert them.

Disputations - A characteristic persecution consisting of holding a public debate between a Christian priest or church official and a Rabbi or leader of the Jewish community. The debate was meant to "prove" the correctness of the Christian faith. At the conclusion of the debate, Jews were killed or subjected to mass conversion, or Jewish books such as the Talmud were burned (see illustration at right).   

 Anti-Semitism - Pope Gregory orders the Talmud to be burned A.D. 1239 after a disputation. Panel - Pedro Berruguete, 15th century. Note the non-heretical book floating above the fire.

Replacement Theology - The Old Testament prophets stated that Israel were the chosen people of God who would be rescued and restored to the holy land. Church fathers devised replacement theology to reinterpret references to "Israel" as the Christians and the Christian Church. This notion was a central tenet of anti-Jewish thinking in the Middle Ages. The emperor Ferdinand of Spain believed that he was destined to bring about the restoration of "Israel" which required expulsion of the Jews from Spain, and ultimately a crusade to reconquer the holy land. Replacement theology has been revived and popularized by "anti-Zionists" such as the Reverend Sizer.

Zionism and Israel - Encyclopedic Dictionary-

Some of the typical medieval superstitions about
Jews included:

Jews poison the wells - This libel was supposed to be the origin of plagues and particularly the black plague.

Jews desecrate the host - Spoilage of communion wafers, which turned red from a fungus, was attributed to Jews who had dipped the wafers in the blood of slaughtered Christians.

Jews kill Christians in secret - For example, explaining the reasons for expulsion of the Jews from France, the French monk Rigord (d. 1205) related that [Philip Augustus had often heard] that the Jews who dwelt in Paris were wont every year on Easter day, or during the sacred week of our Lord's Passion, to go down secretly into underground vaults and kill a Christian as a sort of sacrifice in contempt of the Christian religion. For a long time they had persisted in this wickedness, inspired by the devil, and in Philip's father's time, many of them had been seized and burned with fire.

The blood libel - A variation of the secret killings theme, the blood libel insists that Jews kill pre-pubertal Christian boys in order to prepare the unleavened bread (Matzoth) of the Passover. It was possibly born in 1144 in England, where a Christian mob accused Jews of murdering the boy William of Norwich during Easter. This story was related in The Life and Miracles of St William of Norwich, by Thomas of Monmouth, a Norwich monk. This story, did not claim that the Jews used the blood to bake unleavened bread, but rather claimed the boy had been crucified. Nonetheless, it is often considered to be the first "blood libel." Others soon followed, including Simon of Trent and Andreas of Rinn. In one variant, the child was not killed but rather bled to death.

In Spain in 1490 or 1491 Spanish inquisitors forced Jews to confess that they had killed a Christian child, one Christopher of Toledo or Christopher of La Guardia, later made a saint of the Roman Catholic church and venerated as Santo Nino de La Guardia. No missing child was ever reported that would correspond to this child and corroborate the tale. The tale was elicited from the victims by the holy inquisitors under torture, by suggestion (for example, "Confess that on this date you did do X") it is likely that the blood libel was well known by this time.

The Talmud - The Talmud supposedly contained conspiratorial formulae, imprecations against Jesus and Mary and injunctions to cheat and discriminate against non-Jews. Therefore it would often banned or censored.

Physiognomy - In addition to characteristic large noses and stooped postures, Jews in the Middle Ages may be shown with tails and horns, similar to the devil


Christianity and antisemitism deals with the hostility of Christian Churches, Christian groups, and by Christians in general to Judaism and the Jewish people. Christian rhetoric and antipathy towards Jews developed in the early years of Christianity and was reinforced by ever increasing anti-Jewish measures over the ensuing centuries. The action taken by Christians against Jews included acts of violence, and murder culminating in the Holocaust. Christian antisemitism has been attributed to numerous factors including theological differences, competition between Church and Synagogue, the Christian drive for converts, decreed by the Great Commission, misunderstanding of Jewish beliefs and practices and a perceived Jewish hostility toward Christians. These attitudes were reinforced in Christian preaching, art and popular teaching for two millennia, containing contempt for Jews, as well as statutes which were designed to humiliate and stigmatise Jews.

Modern antisemitism has been described as primarily hatred against Jews as a race with its modern expression rooted in 18th century racial theories, while anti-Judaism is described as hostility to Jewish religion, but in Western Christianity it effectively merged into antisemitism during the 12th century. Scholars have debated how Christian antisemitism played a role in the Nazi Third Reich, World War II and the Holocaust. The Holocaust has driven many within Christianity to reflect on the relationship between Christian theology, practices, and that genocide.

Christian Friends of Yad Vashem,
Dr. Susanna Kokkonen, 26 Apr 2013
(Dr. Susanna Kokkonen is Director of Christian Friends of Yad Vashem.
Learn more about this vital work at

As a Christian, it seems to me that Christianity has sadly played a significant role both in anti-Judaism and the persecution of the Jewish people. The teachings of various established churches included the charge that Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus, and thus they deserved to be punished. The prolonged suffering and dispersal of Jews among the nations were seen as just retribution for their monumental crime of killing God. Another theological concept basically claimed that Christianity had replaced Judaism, due to the Jewish people’s poor performance as the Chosen People of God.

All in all early Christianity, spearheaded by the early Church fathers, began to view Judaism as inferior to Christianity and Jews themselves as evil and cursed, unworthy of mercy and love. In essence, a Jew was regarded as worse than a pagan.

One of the most well-known detractors of Jews was the Church father John Chrysostom (354-430), who accused the Jews of, among other things, idolatry and housing the Devil himself in their synagogues.

In his “First Homily Against the Jews”,Chrysostom insisted that, “Jews are dogs, stiff-necked, gluttonous, drunkards. They are beasts unfit for work… The Jews had fallen into a condition lower than the vilest animals… The synagogue is worse than a brothel and a drinking shop; it is a den of scoundrels, a temple of demons, the cavern of devils, a criminal assembly of the assassins of Christ…. I hate the Jews, because they violate the Law… It is the duty of all Christians to hate the Jews.”

Several centuries later, this visceral anti-Jewish propaganda was refuelled by the influential reformer Martin Luther. When asked, “What shall we do with this damned, rejected race of Jews?” Luther responded:

“First, their synagogues should be set on fire… Secondly, their homes should likewise be broken down and destroyed… Thirdly, they should be deprived of their prayer books and Talmuds in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught… Fifthly, travelling privileges must be absolutely forbidden to Jews… If however we are afraid that they might harm us personally… then let us settle with them for that which they have extorted usuriously from us, and after having divided it up fairly, let us drive them out of the country for all time.”

Centuries later, such pronouncements were a source of inspiration to the Nazis. Both Chrysostom and Luther were quoted by Nazi officials and their works were reprinted by the Third Reich. Quite strikingly, their views were also quoted by the defence in the Nuremberg war crimes trials. For instance, Julius Streicher, editor of the anti-Semitic weekly Der Stürmer, asserted at his trial that Martin Luther also should have been there presenting his case. Thus one can clearly see the link between classic Christian anti-Judaism and modern racist anti-Semitism.

Because Christianity shared a tradition with Judaism, the Jews constituted a perpetual challenge to Christian truth. Even more disturbing was the fact that the Christian Messiah hailed from the House of David. One way of overcoming this dilemma was to increasingly diminish and blot out the Jewish identity of Jesus.

As a consequence, the Jewish character of Jesus was removed and he became first and foremost a Christian, leaving little to connect Christians to Judaism. However, Jesus was indeed a Jew, as were his family and disciples, and there is nothing in the New Testament which negates that.

In Matthew 5:17. Jesus states clearly:"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.”

Similarly, the Gospels record Jesus celebrating the Jewish holidays, and describe him as wearing the garments of a religious Jewish male.

Perhaps the saddest attempt at removing any traces of Jewishness both from Church practices in general and from Jesus’ persona in particular took place in the Nazi era and the effort to ‘de-judaize’ Germany. To this end “Deutsche Christen”, the so-called German Christian Church, disassociated Christianity from the Old Testament altogether and turned Christ into a perfect “Aryan Jesus”. They also published their own de-judaized New Testament, altered their hymn books, and updated their catechism, all in the effort to rid German Christianity of all Jewish influence.

It is no wonder then that when Kristallnacht – the Night of the Broken Glass – took place on November 9, 1938 the churches of Germany were silent. The mass pogrom saw 30,000 Jews rounded up and taken to concentration camps, while 1,000 synagogues were burned all over Germany. The lack of public criticism left the Nazis with a sense that they now had a license to forge ahead with anti-Jewish actions, including the confiscation of Jewish property. As far as I know, there was only one church leader who publicly lamented that “synagogues too are houses of God”.

By the time Germany ignited World War Two in 1939, many opportunities to react had been lost. Increasingly, churches throughout Europe mostly kept silent while Jews were persecuted and murdered. Any protest was exceptional.

Several factors lay behind this deafening silence: anti-Judaism in churches expressed in sermons and by other means; Europe’s identity as a primarily Christian continent and a perceived need to protect the church institutions themselves. This, in turn, raises a very profound question: In times of crisis, is it more important for a church to protect its institution or to be a voice of morality?

What does come through clearly are the limits of human compassion. In such a situation, how was it possible for only some to react to the Lord’s leading while most of humanity were deaf to His gentle voice.

Let us all remember the words – very serious words – of the detained pastor and concentration camp inmate Martin Niemöller: “Christianity in Germany bears a greater responsibility before God than the National Socialists, the SS and the Gestapo. We ought to have recognised the Lord Jesus in the brother who suffered…

Zionism and Israel - Encyclopedic Dictionary

The attitude of the Catholic church regarding Jews was equivocal. In some cases, the Church intervened to grant Jews protection or to decry mass murders such as those that occurred during the Crusades.

At other times, it pursued forced conversions and promulgated various encyclicals and bulls ordering the examination of Jewish books of Law, burning of the Talmud and restriction or expulsion of the Jews. Though the origins of there atrocities were in the Middle Ages, the practices continued and were actually renewed after the end of the Middle Ages during the counter reformation.

Since the promulgation of the code of Justinian, the position of the Jews in Rome had been that of an inferior race held in suspicion and excluded from important functions of the city. They could not expect civil employment and the law declared them forever disqualified.

Throughout the Christian world ecclesiastical authority severely excluded Jews from the Christian community. In France the councils were unanimous; Vannes 465, Agde 506, Epaone, of the diocese of Vienna 517, all forbade the marriage of Christians with Jews; the second council of Orleans likewise prohibited marriages between Christians and Jews; that of Clermont in 535 excluded Jews from the magistracy; that of Macon 581 which deprived them of collecting taxes; that of Paris 615 confirmed at Reims, which declared them disqualified for all civil employment.

The constant humiliation of the Jews was carried out in symbolic ways as well as in material injury. In the Middle Ages, when the Popes received the homage of the delegates of the Roman-Jewish community on the day of their coronation, they traditionally answered: "Legum Probo, sed improbo gentium"("I approve of the law but I disapprove of the race.")

Later, when the Rabbis of Rome were forced to offer a magnificent copy of the Pentateuch, the Pope would answer: "Confirmamus sed non consentimus."("We ratify but we do not consent.")

Much of this history has been deliberately repressed. Relevant documents include:

Bull Cum Nimis Absurdum -

An example of European anti-Semitism in the renaissance period, this Papal decree of 1555. established the ghetto of Rome as well as re-imposing restrictions on Jewish dress and trades that had been enforced intermittently.

Hebraeorum gens solaa,

Bull of Pope Pius V, issued on Feb. 26, 1569, restricted Jews in the Papal States to Rome and Ancona, temporarily reversed subsequently).

Caeca et Obdurata Hebraeorum perfidia -

(Blind and obdurate is the perfidy of the Hebrews) of February 25, 1593, expelling the Jews from all Papal states and territories other than Rome, Ancona and Avignon, and in particular from Bologna and several other cities.

Cum Hebraeorum malitia (or Quum Habraeorum malitia) of 1592 or 1593,

a Bull of Pope Clement VIII, decreeing that all copies of the Talmud and Kabbalah were to be turned over to the inquisition for burning. It was evidently soon rescinded or superseded however.

Bull Beatus Andreas -

In 1755 Gregory XIV examined a request for canonization of Andreas of Rinn, a child supposedly murdered by Jews. Centuries after the end of the Middle Ages, the bull unequivocally supported the claim that Jews perform ritual murders of Christians.

Additional Bulls and background concerning Jews

Following is a partial list of Papal Bulls and other relevant documents regarding the Jewish question, illustrating both the partial protection offered the Jews at different times and the institutionalization of Anti-Semitism.

Where protection was offered, it was often done in a condescending manner, asserting the Christian duty to have mercy on the Jews even though they were collectively guilty of killing Jesus (or in modern times, "forgiving" the Jews for killing Jesus) or was simply rescinding previous decrees. Catholic persecution of Jews - and protection - began in the Middle Ages, but the persecution continued and was intensified well after the Middle Ages, notably in the Inquisition and in the formation and regulation of ghettos, which began in the 1500s, well after the end of the Middle Ages. The Papal bulls and encyclicals that advanced and supported anti-Semitism included the following sorts of decrees:

Many believed and hoped that Catholic persecution of Jews had ended in the period of Pope John XXIII. Recent Bulls and Encyclicals of Pope Benedict XVI that reinstate anti-Semitic prayers and Catholic societies do not augur well.

Pius V was perhaps the worst of the anti-Semitic Popes. He was nonetheless canonized and the canonization was not rescinded.

In addition to the actual regulations depriving Jews of livelihood or home or forcing conversions, the Bulls often were prefaced with language of racist incitement that indicated the attitude of the Catholic Church to Jews.

The Bull Cum Nimis Absurdum ("How completely absurd") of Paul IV, 1555, which created the ghetto of Rome, began with these words:

As it is completely absurd and improper in the utmost that the Jews, who through their own fault were condemned by God to eternal servitude,

The Bull Hebraeorum gens ("The Jewish Race") 1569, of Saint Pius V, which expelled Jews from some of the Papal states, began with these words:

"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 of justice -- in all towns, districts, and places -- must depart these regions."

The above is quoted in modern anti-Semitic works, including Catholic publications and the Stormfront Website.

To the modern reader, the Papal bulls seem to present a conflicting picture. Sometimes privileges were revoked and sometimes extended. Often the same Pope would order protection of the Jews from bodily harm but enact discriminatory laws of various kinds. Thus, the church would encourage hatred of Jews, but then it would discourage violence against Jews. For Catholic theology there was no contradiction. The role of the Jews was to serve as an example of the wages of sin to Christians. Therefore, the Jews must be tortured and ridiculed, but never killed.

The documents listed below are Papal Bulls unless otherwise noted. The Bulls get their titles from the initial words, generally the first three words, of the text of the document, which are known as the incipit. Note that there may be several Bulls with the same title by different Popes, and on entirely different subjects.


"Jus Gasaga" -
a corruption of "Jus Chazaka" -
the law of the right of tenancy of Jews, usually in ghetto homes.

Catechumen -
a person being taught the Catechism, a new convert.
The Bulls called for a special tax on Jews, to be used to support the catechumens. The house of Catechumens in Rome was used as an instrument for forced conversion,
and its victims included the chief Rabbi of Rome.

Neophyte - a new convert.

The sources generally do not distinguish between Bulls, encyclicals and other documents
of more limited circulation.  


Gregory I Sicut judaeis non 598

A letter, supplemented by others, provided limited protection of Jews. "Just as no freedom may be granted to the Jews in their communities to exceed the limits legally set for them, so they should in no way suffer through a violation of their rights"

The letter contained the phrase "Sicut Judaeis" - and thus to the Jews. Gregory forbade Jews to have Christian slaves, and encouraged conversions. The measures of protection along with limitations and persecution, and even the wording of Sicut iudaeis were repeated in subsequent bulls and letters of various popes. It became the model for treatment of Jews.  

Calixtus II Sicut Judaeis c. 1120

Probably the first formal version of Sicut Judaies. Reiterates protection of the Jews in the wake of the persecutions of the first Crusade.  

Innocent III Post miserabile Aug. 1198

Addressed to prelates of Europe and dealt with the need for another Crusade. Suspended payment of interest and principal to Jewish lenders for crusaders. Since many did not return, the debt was effectively cancelled.

Innocent III Etsi non displiceat 1205

Addressed to King of France. Accuses Jews of usury, blasphemy, arrogance, employing Christian slaves and murder. Urges king to put an end to the "evils."  

Honorius III Sicut judaeis non debet esse licentia Nov. 7, 1217

Forbids forced baptism of Jews or molestation.  

Honorius III In general consilio 1218

To archbishop of Toledo, requires enforcement of 4th Lateran Council decisions that Jews must wear special clothing and pay tithes to the local churches.  

Honorius III Ad nostram Noveritis audientiam April 29, 1221

Jews are obliged to carry a distinctive badge and forbidden to hold public office.

Gregory IX Sufficere debuerat perfidioe judoerum perfidia March 5, 1233

Jews forbidden to employ Christian servants.

Gregory IX Etsi Judeorum 1233

To prelates of France, urged prevention of physical violence against Jews.  

Gregory IX Si vera sunt 1239

To kings and prelates of Spain and France - orders seizure of Talmud and other Jewish books and examination for blasphemy against Jesus. These books were regularly burned or censored.  

Innocent IV Impia judoerum perfidia May 9, 1244

French King ordered to burn the Talmud. Jews forbidden to employ Christian nurses.

Innocent IV Lachrymabilem Judaeorum 1247

o German prelates; orders an end to persecution of Jews and declares that the blood libel accusation is false.

Clement IV Turbato corde July 26, 1267

Christians forbidden to embrace Judaism

Gregory X Turbato corde March 1, 1274

(Identical to previous.)

Nicolas III Vineam Sorec Aug. 4, 1278

Addressed to orders of friars - Preaching to the Jews is encouraged and friars are to be specially trained for this purpose. Also known as Vineam Soreth.  

Nicolas IV Turbato corde  Sept. 5, 1288

Christians who embrace Judaism  

John XXII Ex Parte Vestra Aug. 12, 1317

Relapse of converts.

John XXII Cum sit absurdum June 19, 1320

Converted Jews need not be despoiled.

Clement VI Quamvis Perfidiam September 26, 1348

Tries in vain to dispel the superstition that Jews are responsible for Black Death by poisoning the wells  

Urban V Sicuti judaeis non debet June 7, 1365

Forbidden to molest Jews or to force them to baptism.

Benedict XIII (Anti-Pope) Etsi doctoribus gentium 1415

A collection of anti-Jewish church legislation that served as an inspiration to other Popes.  

Martin V Sedes apostolica June 3, 1425

Jews obliged to wear distinctive badge.

Eugene IV Dudum ad nostram audientiam Aug. 4, 1442

Forbade Jews to live with Christians or fill public functions, etc.

Calixtus III Si ad reprimendos May 28, 1456

Confirmed the preceding Bull of Eugene IV forbidding Jews to live with Christians.  

Sixtus IV Numquam dubitavimus 1482

To Ferdinand of Aragon, to appoint inquisitors to extirpate heresy and investigate backsliding of Jewish converts to Christianity. The Spanish Inquisition and expulsion of the Jews from Spain followed.

Paul III Cupientes judaeos March 21, 1542

Privileges in favor of neophytes.

Paul III Illius, qui pro dominici Feb. 19, 1543

Establishment of a monastery for catechumens and neophytes.

Jules III Pastoris aeternivices  Aug. 31, 1554

Tax in favor of neophytes

Paul IV Cum Nimis Absurdum July 14, 1555

Jews forbidden to live in common with Christians, to practice any industry, etc.

Paul IV Dudum postquam March 23, 1556  

Tax in favor of neophytes

Pius IV Cum inter ceteras Jan. 26, 1562

Bull relative to monastery of catechumens.

Pius IV Dudum e felicis recordationis  Feb. 27, 1562

Bull confirming that of Paul IV.

Pius V Romanus Pontifex April 19, 1566

Bull confirming that of Paul IV

Pius V Sacrosanctae catholicae ecclesiae Nov. 29, 1566

Bull relating to convent of neophytes

Pius V Cum nos nuper Jan. 19, 1567

Jews are forbidden to own real estate

Pius V Hebraeorum gens Feb. 26, 1569

Accuses Jews of many evils including magic. Orders expulsion of Jews from Church States except Rome and Ancona.

Gregory XIII Vices ejus nos Sept. 1, 1577

Obligatory preaching of Christian sermons to Jews;. Creation of college of neophytes.

Gregory XIII Antiqua judaeorum improbitas July 1, 1581

Against blasphemers.

Gregory XIII Sancta Mater Ecclesiae Sept. 1, 1584

Obligatory preaching of Christian sermons to Jews;100 men and 50 women must be sent every Saturday to listen to conversion sermons delivered in a church near the ghetto.  

Sixtus V Christiana pietas Oct. 22, 1586

Privileges granted to Jews by relief of former edicts. These were reversed. by Clemen VIII.  

Clement VIII Cum saepe accidere  Feb. 28, 1592

Jews of Avignon forbidden to sell new goods.

Clement VIII Caeca et obdurata Feb. 25, 1593

Confirmation of the Bull of Paul III. Jews forbidden to dwell outside of Rome, Ancona, and Avignon.

Clement VIII Cum Haebraeorum malitia Feb. 28, 1593

It is forbidden to read the Talmud.

Paul V Apostolicae servitutis July 31, 1610

Regulars (of monks) obliged to learn Hebrew.

Paul V Exponi nobis nuper fecistis Aug. 7, 1610

Bull concerning the dowries of Jewish women.

Urban VIII Sedes apostolica April 22, 1625

Concerning heretical Portuguese Jews.  

Urban VIII Injuncti nobis Aug. 20, 1626

Privileges granted to the monastery of catechumens

Urban VIII Cum sicut acceptimus Oct. 18, 1635

Obligation to feed poor Jews imprisoned for debt.

Urban VIII Cum allias piae March 17, 1636

Synagogues of the Duchies of Ferarri and Urban, to pay a tax of 10 ecus.

Alexander VII Verbi aeterni Dec. 1, 1657

Bull relating to rights of neophytes regarding jus gasaga.(rights of tenancy in the ghetto)  

Alexander VII Ad ea per quae Nov. 15, 1658

Jus Gasaga (rights of tenancy in the ghetto)  

Alexander VII Ad apostolicae dignitatis May 23, 1662

Concordat between the college of neophytes and German college.

Alexander VII Illius, qui illuminat March 6, 1663

Privileges favoring the fraternities of neophytes. Alexander VIII Animarum saluti March 30, 1690 Bull relating to the neophytes in Indies.

Innocent XII Ad radicitus submovendum Aug. 31, 1692

Abolition of special jurisdiction

Clement XI Propagandae per unicersum  March 11, 1704

Confirmation and extension of Paul III regarding neophytes.

Clement XI Essendoci stato rappresentato Jan. 21, 1705

Powers of Vicar of Rome in jurisdiction of catechumens and neophytes

Clement XI Salvatoris nostri vices Jan. 2, 1712

Transfer to "Pii Operai" the work of the catechumens.

Innocent XIII Ex injuncto nobis Jan. 18, 1724

Prohibits sale of new objects.

Benedict XIII Nuper, pro parte dilectorum Jan. 8, 1726

Establishment of dowries for young girl neophytes.

Benedict XIII Emanavit nuper  Feb. 14, 1727

Necessary conditions for imposing baptism on a Jew.

Benedict XIII Alias emanarunt March 21, 1729

Forbidding the sale of new goods.

Benedict XIV Postremomens Feb. 28, 1747

The baptism of Jews

Benedict XIV Apostolici Ministerii munus  Sept. 16, 1747

Right of repudiation of neophytes.

Benedict XIV Singulari Nobis consoldtioni Feb. 9, 1749

Marriages between Jews and Christians.

Benedict XIV Elapso proxime Anno  Feb. 20, 1751

Concerning Jewish heretics.

Benedict XIV Probe te meminisse Dec. 15, 1751

Baptism of Jewish children

Benedict XIV  Beatus Andreas Feb. 22, 1755

Martyrdom of a child by Jews. A blood libel concerning the murder of the child Andreas Oxner or Anderl von Rinn (Andreas of Rinn ) by Jews that supposedly took place in 1462 in Rinn near Innsbruck. Confirms the blood libel as factual. The Bull reviews the cases of ritual murder by Jews, which it explicitly upholds as a fact, and establishes the beatifcation but not the canonization of Andreas of Rinn and Simon of Trent


The Popes, 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia

The Popes Against the Jews  David Kertzer, 2002

Origin of

About the Jews


The Sad Legacy
of Christian Antisemitism

of the
Catholic Church

 Papal Bulls
Other Documents Relating to Jews