Covenants • perennial, infallible, unchangeable Magisterium on the Jews

Sicut Judaeis non


Despite her consistent emphatic condemnations of the evils of Judaism, the Church always observed, though the Jews did not observe, a policy of “Live and let live,” a strict policy against forced conversions and extra-legal violence. The policy was articulated in numerous papal proclamations as “Sicut Judaeis non.” Jewish citations of Sicut Judaeis non typically revel in the freedom guaranteed Jews by the Church. Utterly lacking in Jewish citations, such as the citation in Jewish-owned Wikipedia, is the reciprocal duty of the Jews: “Just as license ought not to be presumed for the Jews in their synagogues beyond what is permitted by law, so in those points conceded to them, they ought to suffer nothing prejudicial.” Pope St. Gregory the Great in Edward A. Synan, The Popes and the Jews in the Middle Ages (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1965), p. 46.


“Under the formula ‘Sicut Judaeis non,’ Pope St. Gregory the Great articulated the same principle as the Church’s policy toward the Jews. No one was to harm them, but they were to be given no position of cultural influence, lest they use it to engage in blasphemy and the corruption of morals.”

Dr. E. Michael Jones,  The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History

ISBN 9780929891071, p. 64. available at https://www.fidelitypress.org/book-products/the-jewish-revolutionary-spirit



Sicut Judaeis non





The oldest complete version of Sicut Judaeis non is from Pope Alexander III:


“Sicut Judaeis non” promulgated by Pope Alexander III, September 14, 1199 A.D. in The Popes and the Jews in the Middle Ages by Edward Synan, (NY, NY: Macmillan Company) 1965, Paperback Edition 1967. Appendix VI, pp. 229-232.





Council of Florence


“§ 712 It [the Holy Catholic Church] firmly believes, professes, and teaches that the matter pertaining to the law of the Old Testament, of the Mosaic law, which are divided into ceremonies, sacred rites, sacrifices, and sacraments, because they were established to signify something in the future, although they were suited to Divine worship at that time, after our Lord’s coming had been signified by them, ceased, and the Sacraments of the New Testament began; and that whoever, even after the passion, placed hope in these matters of law and submitted himself to them as necessary for salvation, as if faith in Christ could not save without them, sinned mortally. Yet it does not deny that after the passion of Christ up to the promulgation of the Gospel they could have been observed until they were believed to be in no way necessary for salvation; but after the promulgation of the Gospel it asserts they cannot be observed without the loss of eternal salvation. All, therefore, who after that time observe circumcision and the Sabbath and the other requirements of the law, it declares alien to the Christian faith and not in the least fit to participate in eternal salvation, unless someday they recover from these errors….


“§714 The Most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews, and heretics, and schismatics, can ever be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire ‘which was prepared for the devil, and his angels,’ (Matthew 25:41) unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this Ecclesiastical Body, that only those remaining within this unity can profit from the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and that they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, alms deeds, and other works of Christian piety and duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved unless they abide within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”


Cantate Domino, from the infallible ecumenical Council of Florence under His Holiness Pope Eugene IV defining the Solemn Doctrine: Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (“Outside the Church, there is no salvation.”), promulgated by papal bull, February 4, 1444 [Florentine calendar] in Denziger, Enchiridion Symbolorum, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, § 712-714



Doctors of the Church


St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, page 444: “Poor Jews! You invoked a dreadful curse upon your own heads in saying: ‘His blood be upon 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. Jerome, Epist. 151, ad Algasiam, question II: “The Jews, after having despised the truth in person, will receive lies in receiving the Antichrist.”


St. Ambrose, Sermo 37, The Two Ships: “The faithlessness of the Synagogue is an insult to the Savior. Therefore He chose the barque of Peter, and deserted that of Moses; that is, He rejected the faithless Synagogue, and adopts the believing Church.”


St. Ambrose, in The Great Commentary of Cornelius a  Lapide, Vol. 3, page 311: “O Jewish hearts, harder than rocks!”


St. Ambrose, Enarratio on Psalms XLIII: “This shows that the Jews, who did not want to believe in Jesus Christ, will believe in the Antichrist.”


St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Letter #363: “The Jews must not be persecuted or chased like beasts....They are living signs that remind us of the Passion of our Lord. Besides, they are scattered through the world so that, while they pay for such a crime, they can be the witnesses of our redemption.”


St. Bernard of Clairvaux, SS: “O intelligence coarse, dense, and cow-like, which did not recognize God even in His own works! Perhaps the Jew will complain that I call his intelligence bovine, but his intelligence is less than bovine: ‘The ox knows his Owner, and the ass knows his Master's crib, but Israel has not known Me, and My people have not understood’ (Isaias 1:3). You see, O Jew, I am easier on you than your own prophet!”


St. Cyril of Alexandria: “It has come to pass that the last state of Israel is worse than the first for, as the Savior's disciples says (II Peter 2:21, 22), it would be better for them not to have known the way of justice than, after they have known it, to turn back from that holy commandment which was delivered to them. For that of the true proverb has happened to them: the dog has returned to his vomit, and the sow that was washed has returned to wallowing in the mire (Proverbs 26:11). And from what they afterwards dared to do, it is plain to see that they have swallowed their vomit and have turned again to wallow in their ancient mire and have lapsed into the errors of Egypt, for the evil spirit has again entered into them, and their last state has become worse than their first.”


St. Ephrem: “What is your iniquity, O daughter of Jacob, that your chastisement is so severe? You have dishonored the King and the King's Son, you shameless one, you harlot!”


St. Gregory Nazianzen: “If anyone does not worship the Crucified One, let him be anathema and numbered among the deicides.”


St. John Chrysostom, Homily on Romans, 6:12: “Yet surely Paul’s object everywhere is to annul this Law… And with much reason; for it was through a fear and a horror of this that the Jews obstinately opposed grace.”


St. John Chrysostom, Homily on Galatians, Ch 3: “And so while no one annuls a man's covenant, the covenant of God after four hundred and thirty years is annulled; for if not that covenant but another instead of it bestows what is promised, then is it set aside, which is most unreasonable” … “How dare Christians have the slightest intercourse with Jews, those most miserable of all men who are lustful, rapacious, greedy, perfidious bandits, pests of the universe! Indeed, an entire day would not suffice to tell of all their huckstering. Are they not inveterate murderers, destroyers, men possessed by the devil? They 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 also the soul of the Jew. As a matter of fact, Jews worship the devil: their rites are criminal and impure; 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 degenerated? Because of their hateful assassination of Christ. This supreme crime lies at the root of their degradation and their woes. The rejection and dispersion of the Jews was the work of God, not of emperors. It was done by the wrath of God and because of His absolute abandonment of the Jews. Thus the Jews will live under the yoke of slavery without end. God hates the Jews, and on Judgment Day He will say to those who sympathize with them: ‘Depart from Me, for you had intercourse 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, First Homily Adversus Judaeos: “Many, I know, respect the Jews and think that their present way of life is a venerable one. This is why I hasten to uproot and tear out this deadly opinion. I said that the synagogue is no better than a theater and I bring forward a prophet as my witness. Surely the Jews are not more deserving of belief than their prophets. ‘You had a harlot's brow; you became shameless before all.’ Where a harlot has set herself up, that place is a brothel. But the synagogue is not only a brothel and a theater; it also is a den of robbers and a lodging for wild beasts. Jeremiah said: ‘Your house has become for me the den of a hyena.’ He does not simply say ‘of wild beast,’ but ‘of a filthy wild beast,’ and again: ‘I have abandoned my house, I have cast off my inheritance.’ But when God forsakes a people, what hope of salvation is left? When God forsakes a place, that place becomes the dwelling of demons.”


St. John Chrysostom, Catena Aurea, Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 27: “Observe here the infatuation of the Jews; their headlong haste, and destructive passions will not let them see what they ought to see, and they curse themselves, saying, ‘His blood be upon us,’ and even entail the curse upon their children. Yet a merciful God did not ratify this sentence, but accepted such of them and of their children as repented; for Paul was of them, and many thousands of those who in Jerusalem believed.”


St. John Chrysostom, Homily II:

“…(6) I have spoken these words to you. You will speak them to those Judaizers, and they to their wives. ‘Fortify one another.’ If a catechumen is sick with this disease, let him be kept outside the church doors. If the sick one be a believer and already initiated, let him be driven from the holy table. For not all sins need exhortation and counsel; some sins, of their very nature, demand cure by a quick and sharp excision. The wounds we can tolerate respond to more gentle cures; those which have festered and cannot be cured, those which are feeding on the rest of the body, need cauterization with a point of steel. So is it with sins. Some need long exhortation; others need sharp rebuke.

“(7) This is why Paul did not enjoin us to exhort in every case but also to rebuke sharply: ‘Wherefore rebuke them sharply.’ Therefore, I will now rebuke them sharply, so that they may accuse themselves and feel shame for what they have done. Then they will never again be hurt by that sinful fast.

“(8) So I shall put aside exhortation henceforth as I testify and exclaim: ‘If any man does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let a curse be upon him.’ What greater evidence could there be that a man does not love our Lord than when he participates in the festival with those who slew Christ? It was not I who hurled the curse at them, but Paul. Rather, it was not Paul but Christ, who spoke through him and said earlier: ‘Those who are justified in the law have fallen away from grace.’

“(9) So speak these words to them, read aloud to them these texts. Show all your zeal in saving them. When you have snatched them from the devil’s jaws, bring them to me on the day of the Jewish fast. Then, after I have kept the rest of my promise to you, let us, with one accord and with one voice, join our brothers in giving glory to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for to Him is glory forever. Amen.”


St. Augustine, Letters, 74, 4: “Instead of the grace of the law which has passed away, we have received the grace of the gospel which is abiding; and instead of the shadows and types of the old dispensation, the truth has come by Jesus Christ. Jeremiah also prophesied thus in God’s name: ‘Behold, the days come, says the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah...’ Observe what the prophet says, not to Gentiles, who had not been partakers in any former covenant, but to the Jewish nation. He who has given them the law by Moses, promises in place of it the New Covenant of the gospel, that they might no longer live in the oldness of the letter, but in the newness of the spirit.”


St. Augustine, in The Anguish of the Jews by Fr Edward Flannery, Macmillan, 1954 (cf), and in The Faith of the Early Fathers by Fr Jurgens, Collegeville, 1979: “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 Savior, for through their fathers they have killed Christ. The Jews held Him; the Jews insulted Him; the Jews bound Him; they crowned Him with thorns and dishonored Him by spitting upon Him; they scourged Him; they heaped abuses on Him; they hung Him upon a tree.”


St. Augustine, Sermon 91, PL38:567: “Our Lord Jesus Christ referred to Himself as ‘the Stone’ (Mt. 21:44). Lying on the ground, it shakes whoever falls over it; coming from on high, it crushes the proud. The Jews have already been shaken by their previous stumble. What awaits them is to be crushed by His Coming.”


St. Augustine, “Against the Jews,” PL 42:51: “The Jews wander over the entire earth, their backs bent over and their eyes cast downward, forever calling to our minds the curse they carry with them.”


St. Basil the Great, “On Prayer,” Sermon IX, PG 32; SS vol.II p.384: “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, 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. For they who persevere in their blindness inherit the blood-guilt of their fathers; for they cried out: ‘His blood be upon us, and upon our children’ (Matthew xxvii.25).”


St. Thomas Aquinas, De Regimine Judaeorum: “It would be licit, according to custom, to hold Jews in perpetual servitude because of their crime.”




Pope St. Pius V, Hebraeorum gens: “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.”


St. Padre Pio, in the Calvary of Padre Pio by Joseph Pagnossin, 1978 Padua, Italy, page 91: “The Jews are enemies of God and foes of our holy religion.”


St. Gregory of Nyssa: “Jews are slayers of the Lord, murderers of the prophets, enemies and haters of God, adversaries of grace, enemies of their father's faith, advocates of the devil, a brood of vipers, slanderers, scoffers, men of darkened minds, the leaven of Pharisees, a congregation of demons, sinners, wicked men, haters of goodness!”


St. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, Ch 11: Now, law placed against law has abrogated that which is before it, and a covenant which comes after in like manner has put an end to the previous one; and an eternal and final law – namely, Christ – has been given to us, and the covenant is trustworthy…Have you not read…by Jeremiah, concerning this same new covenant, He thus speaks: ‘Behold, the days come,’ says the Lord, ‘that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah…’”


St. Justin Martyr, Florilegium Patristicum, Rauschen, 1911: “Those of the seed of Abraham who live according to the Law of Moses and who do not believe in Christ before death shall not be saved; especially they who curse this very Christ in the synagogues; who curse everything by which they might obtain salvation and escape the vengeance of fire.”


St.Vincent Ferrer, himself a convert from Judaism: “One who dies a Jew will be damned!”


St. Vincent Ferrer, ACS p.82; “Since His spouse, the Synagogue, refused to receive Him, Christ answered: ‘This is a harlot!’ and gave her a bill of divorce.”


St. Felix of Toledo, On the Condemnation of the Jews, Council XVII of Toledo, Spain, Canon No. 8: “It is known that the Jewish people are polluted with wickedness, blasphemy, and the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ so that their wickedness has no limit.”


St. Barnabas, attributed: “Do not add to your sins by saying that the Covenant is both theirs and ours. Yes, it is ours, but they lost it forever.”


St. Hippolytus, Against the Jews, God’s condemnation upon the Deicide of Perfidious Judaism is eternal:

“…5. Listen with understanding, O Jew, to what the Christ says: ‘They gave me gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.’ And these things He did indeed endure from you. Hear the Holy Ghost tell you also what return He made to you for that little portion of vinegar. For the prophet says, as in the person of God, ‘Let their table become a snare and retribution.’ Of what retribution does He speak? Manifestly, of the misery which has now got hold of thee.
“6. And then hear what follows: ‘Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not.’ And surely ye have been darkened in the eyes of your soul with a darkness utter and everlasting. For now that the true light has arisen, ye wander as in the night, and stumble on places with no roads, and fall headlong, as having forsaken the way that saith, ‘I am the way.” - John xiv. 6. Furthermore, hear this yet more serious word: ‘And their back do thou bend always’; that means, in order that they may be slaves to the nations, not four hundred and thirty years as in Egypt, nor seventy as in Babylon, but bend them to servitude, he says, ‘always.’ In fine, then, how dost thou indulge vain hopes, expecting to be delivered from the misery which holdeth thee? For that is somewhat strange. And not unjustly has he imprecated this blindness of eyes upon thee. But because thou didst cover the eyes of Christ, (and) thus thou didst beat Him, for this reason, too, bend thou thy back for servitude always. And whereas thou didst pour out His blood in indignation, hear what thy recompense shall be: ‘Pour out Thine indignation upon them, and let Thy wrathful anger take hold of them’; and, ‘Let their habitation be desolate,’ to wit, their celebrated temple.
“7. But why… was the temple made desolate? … but it was because they killed the Son of their Benefactor, for He is coeternal with the Father. Whence He saith, ‘Father, let their temple be made desolate’; Cf. Matt. xxiii. 38. for they have persecuted Him whom Thou didst of Thine own will smite for the salvation of the world; that is, they have persecuted me with a violent and unjust death, ‘and they have added to the pain of my wounds.’ In former time, as the Lover of man, I had pain on account of the straying of the Gentiles; but to this pain they have added another, by going also themselves astray. Wherefore ‘add iniquity to their iniquity, and tribulation to tribulation, and let them not enter into Thy righteousness,’ that is, into Thy kingdom; but ‘let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous,’ that is, with their holy fathers and patriarchs.
“8. What sayest thou to this, O Jew? It is neither Matthew nor Paul that saith these things, but David, thine anointed, who awards and declares these terrible sentences on account of Christ. And like the great Job, addressing you who speak against the righteous and true, he says, ‘Thou didst barter the Christ like a slave, thou didst go to Him like a robber in the garden.’
“9. I produce now the prophecy of Solomon, which speaketh of Christ, and announces clearly and perspicuously things concerning the Jews; and those which not only are befalling them at the present time, but those, too, which shall befall them in the future age, on account of the contumacy and audacity which they exhibited toward the Prince of Life; for the prophet says, The ungodly said, … about Christ, ‘Let us lie in wait for the righteous, because he is not for our turn, and he is clean contrary to our doings and words, and upbraideth us with our offending the law, and professeth to have knowledge of God; and he calleth himself the Child of God.’ Wisd. ii. 1, 12, 13. And then he says, ‘He is grievous to us even to behold; for his life is not like other men’s, and his ways are of another fashion. We are esteemed of him as counterfeits, and he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness, and pronounceth the end of the just to be blessed.’- Wisd. ii. 15, 16.”


St. Agobard, attributed: “Jews are cursed and covered with malediction. The curse has penetrated them like water in their bowels and oil in their bones. They are cursed in the city and cursed in the country, cursed in their coming in and cursed in their going out. Cursed are the fruits of their loins, of their lands, of their flocks; cursed are their cellars, their granaries, their shops, their food, the very crumbs off their tables!”


St. John Capistrano: “Christ is King, and Christ’s Church is the kingdom of God. The Jews are the descendants of those who killed this king. They have inherited hatred against Christ from their ancestors, and they give it full vent wherever they can do so with impunity. Therefore, we are justified in suspecting them. They are now simply our enemies and are known as such. They have crucified our Lord Jesus Christ.’





The Holy See and the Jews, published by the Ligue Franc-Catholique (the League of the French Catholic) at 11 bis, rue Portalis, Paris, France. The League is a lay group of Catholics for patriotic and social defense, founded by Monseigneur Jouin, Apostolic Prothonotary, Cure of St. Augustine parish, Paris in 1913. The magazine was founded March 23, 1918, with the approval of the Holy See. Monseigneur Jouin was a recognized authority on Jewish history and objectives and the necessity for exposing the facts in defense of Christianity. The Vatican formally praised him for this work of enlightenment as far back as June 20, 1919, in a letter signed by Cardinal Gasparri, Papal Secretary of State. Monseigneur Jouin died in 1932.



Pope Gregory IX, “Epistle to the Hierarchy of Germany,” in 1233 A.D., Annales  Ecclesiastici, Cardinal Caesar Baronius, ed. August Theiner, 1864, vol.I: “Ungrateful for favors 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 St. Leo the Great, Sermon CLXVIII; BVM vol.II, p.119: “So clearly was the transition then made from the Synagogue to the Church that, when the Lord gave up His soul, the veil of the Temple was rent in two.”


Pope Innocent IV, Letter to King Louis IX of France, May 9, 1244: “The ... Jews ... omitting or scorning the Mosaic law and the prophets, follow certain traditions of their seniors concerning which the Lord rebukes them in the Gospel, saying: ‘Why do you transgress the mandate of God and irritate Him by your traditions, teaching human doctrines and mandates?’ [Matthew 15;9] Upon this sort of traditions, which in Hebrew are called the Talmud--and there is a great book among them exceeding the text of the Bible in length, in which are manifest blasphemies against God and Christ and the blessed Virgin, intricate fables, erroneous abuses, and unheard-of stupidities--they nourish and teach their sons and render them utterly alien from the doctrine of the law and the prophets ...”


Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, para. 29: “…the New Testament took the place of the Old Law which had been abolished…but on the gibbet of His death Jesus made void the Law with its decrees fastened the handwriting of the Old Testament to the Cross.”


Pope Innocent III, “Epistle to the Hierarchy of France,” July 15, 1205, PL 215: “Crucifiers of Christ ought to be held in continual subjection.”


Pope St. Pius V, Hebraeorum gens: “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.”


Pope Pius VII: “For when the liberty of all ‘religions’ is indiscriminately asserted, by this very fact truth is confounded with error and the holy and immaculate Spouse of Christ, the Church, outside of which there can be no salvation, is set on a par with the sects of heretics and with Judaic perfidy itself.”


Pope Paul IV, Cum Nimis Absurdum: “Desiring firstly, as much as we can with [the help of] God, to beneficially provide, by this [our decree] that will forever be in force, we ordain that for the rest of time, in the City as well as in other states, territories and domains of the Church of Rome itself, all Jews are to live in only one [quarter] to which there is only one entrance and from which there is but one exit, and if there is not that capacity [in one such quarter, then], in two or three or however many may be enough; [in any case] they should reside entirely side by side in designated streets and be thoroughly separate from the residences of Christians... Moreover, concerning the matter that Jews should be recognizable everywhere: [to this end] men must wear a hat, women, indeed, some other evident sign, yellow in color... Moreover, these Jews are to be limited to the trade of rag-picking, and they cannot trade in grain, barley or any other commodity essential to human welfare.”


Pope Leo VII, REG. PONTIF., vol.I:3597, Jaffe, Leipzig: 1888: “Let the Gospel be preached to them and, if they remain obstinate, let them be expelled.”



How the Popes Treated the Jews

excerpted from Talmud Unmasked by Fr. I. B. Pranaitis, http://talmudunmasked.com/appendix.htm



Pope Innocent III decreed as follows:


“As Cain was a wanderer and an outcast, not to be killed by anyone but marked with the sign of fear on his forehead, so the Jews . . . against whom the voice of the blood of Christ cries out . . . although they are not to be killed they must always be dispersed as wanderers upon the face of the earth.”(1)


(1) Migne, Patrologia, CCXV, 1291.


“Although Christian piety tolerates the Jews . . . whose own fault commits them to perpetual slavery . . . and allows them to continue with us (even though the Moors will not tolerate them), they must not be allowed to remain ungrateful to us in such a way as to repay us with contumely for favors and contempt for our familiarity. They are admitted to our familiarity only through our mercy; but they are to us dangerous as the insect in the apple, as the serpent in the breast … Since, therefore, they have already begun to gnaw like the rat, and to stink like the serpent, it is to our shame that the fire in our breast which is being eaten into by them, does not consume them … As they are reprobate slaves of the Lord, in whose death they evilly conspired (at least by the effect of the deed), let them acknowledge themselves as slaves of those whom the death of Christ has made free.”(2)


(2) Ibid., p.694.


Under this same pope, Innocent III, the Fourth Lateran Council, in 1215, adopted canons Nos. 67-70, decreeing the Roman Catholic attitude towards the Jews:(3)


(3) cf. Binius, Concilia Generalia, Vol. II, Tom. 3, p.695.


The first is financial, containing protective measures for Christians against the rapacity of Jews as userers. Only Jews were permitted to lend money at interest.


The second decrees that all Jews be distinguished for all time from Christians by color of dress and distinctive badge.


The third forbids Jews to have Christians as nurses, tutors, and domestic servants and forbids Christians to cohabit with Jews and Jewesses. Legal marriage with them was impossible.


The fourth forbids the acceptance of legal testimony of Jews against Christians and orders preference for the testimony of a Christian against a Jew. An order is also added that all in authority in Church and State must watch continually lest converted and baptized Jews continue to practice the rites of their former faith.


A few years later Pope Innocent III reiterates and confirms these edicts of the Lateran Council as follows:




“Although it be not displeasing to the Lord, but rather acceptable to Him, that the Jewish Dispersion should live and serve under Christian princes …they greatly offend in the sight of God's Divine Majesty who prefer the offspring of the Crucifiers before those who are the heirs of Christ. …It has come to our knowledge that in the kingdom of France Jews have so much liberty that, under a species of usury—by which they not only extort interest, but interest from interest—they obtain control of the goods of the churches and the possessions of the Christians. …Furthermore, although it was decreed in the Lateran Council that Jews be not permitted to have Christian servants in their homes, either as tutors for their children or for domestic service, or for any reason whatsoever, they still persist in having Christians as servants and nurses, with whom they commit abominations of a kind which it rather becomes you to punish than us to explain. And again, although the same Council laid it down that the testimony of Christians against Jews is to be admitted, even when the former use Jewish witnesses against Christians, and decreed that in a case of this kind anyone who would prefer Jews before Christians is to be condemned as anathema, yet up to the present time things are so carried on in the kingdom of France, that the testimony of Christians against Jews is not believed, whereas Jews are admitted as witnesses against Christians. And at times, when they to whom Jews have loaned money with usury produce Christian witnesses about the facts of payment, THE DEED WHICH THE CHRISTIAN DEBTOR THROUGH NEGLIGENCE INDISCREETLY LEFT WITH THEM IS BELIEVED RATHER THAN THE WITNESSES WHOM THEY BRING FORWARD. On Good Friday also, contrary to the law of old, they walk through the streets and public squares, and meeting Christians who everywhere according to custom go to adore the Crucifix, they deride them and strive to prevent them from this duty of adoration. We warn and exhort Your Serene Majesty in the Lord (adding the remission of your sins) that you force the Jews from their presumption … and see to it that due punishment be meted out to all such blasphemers, and that an easy pardon be not given to delinquents!”(4)


(4) Migne, op.cit., CCXV, 501.


In 1567, Pope Pius V revoked the small concession, granted to Jews by Pius IV, enabling them to possess immovable property up to the value of 1,500 gold ducats. He ordered the Jews to sell all their properties to Christians. Two years later he ordered all Jews expelled from the States of the Church:


“By authority of these present Letters, We order that each and every Jew of both sexes in Our Temporal Dominions, and in all the cities, lands, places and baronies subject to them, shall depart completely out of the confines thereof within the space of three months after the present Letters shall have been made public. They shall be despoiled of all their goods, and be prosecuted according to the due process of law. They shall become bondsmen of the Roman Church, and shall be subjected to perpetual servitude. And the said Church shall claim the same right over them as other dominions over their slaves and bondsmen.”(5)


(5) Bull. Rom. Pont., VII, 741.


In 1244, Pope Innocent IV also ordered the burning of Jewish books. He exhorted the King of France as follows:


“Our dear Son, the Chancellor of Paris, and the Doctors, before the clergy and people, publicly burned by fire the aforesaid books (The Talmud) with all their appendices. We beg and beseech your Celestial Majesty in the Lord Jesus, that, having begun laudably and piously to prosecute those who perpetuate these detestable excesses, that you continue with due severity. And that you command throughout your whole kingdom that the aforesaid books with all their glossaries, already condemned by the Doctors, be committed to the flames. Firmly prohibiting Jews from having Christians as servants and nurses.…”(6)


(6) Bull. Rom. Pont., IV, 509.


Pope Gregory IX sent the following to the archbishops of Germany:


“The Jews, who are admitted to our acquaintance only through our mercy, should never forget their yoke of perpetual slavery, which they bear through their own fault. In the Council of Toledo it was decreed that Jews of both sexes, and for all time, should be distinguished from others by their mode of dress. We therefore command that each and every one of you to have all the excesses of the Jews completely repressed, lest they should presume to raise their necks from the yoke of servitude in contumely of the Redeemer; forbidding them to discuss in any way concerning their faith or rites with Christians. In this matter calling to your aid the help of the civil power, inflicting upon Christians, who offer opposition, due ecclesiastical punishment…”(7)


(7) Bull. Rom. Pont., III, 497.


Pope Eugenius IV, in 1442, issued the following decree:


“We decree and order that from now on, and for all time, Christians shall not eat or drink with Jews; nor admit them to feasts, nor cohabit with them, nor bathe with them. Christians shall not allow Jews to hold civil honors over Christians, or to exercise public offices in the State. Jews cannot be merchants, Tax Collectors, or agents in the buying and selling of the produce and goods of Christians, nor their Procurators, Computers or Lawyers in matrimonial matters, nor Obstetricians; nor can they have association or partnership with Christians. No Christian can leave or bequeath anything in his last Will and Testament to Jews or their congregations. Jews are prohibited from erecting new synagogues. They are obliged to pay annually a tenth part of their goods and holdings. Against them Christians can testify, but the testimony of Jews against Christians in no case is of any value. All and every single Jew, of whatever sex and age, must everywhere wear the distinct dress and known marks by which they can be evidently distinguished from Christians. 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…”(8)


(8) Bull. Rom. Pont., V, 67.


In 1555, Pope Paul IV reiterated these restrictions against the Jews and added some new ones. He ordered Jews to pay an annual amount for every synagogue, "even those that have been demolished," and said:


“Jews can only engage themselves in the work of street sweepers and rag pickers, and cannot be produce merchants or in things necessary for human use."(9) For contravening these regulations Jews are to be punished "as rebels and criminals laesae majestatis rei (high treason), held as outlaws by all Christian people, by the judgment of our Vicars, Deputies and Magistrates…”


(9) Bull. Rom. Pont., VI, 499.


The present attitude of the Roman Catholic Church toward the Jew, as well as that of Mussolini, is of much interest for the latter has revived the age old disabilities of the Church against the Jews. All Jewish literature is forbidden and no book by a foreign Jew can be translated into Italian. No play by a foreign Jew can be produced. No Jew is allowed to broadcast over the radio. Jewish professors are barred from Italian universities and textbooks of 114 Jewish writers have been withdrawn from the schools. Jews have been expelled from all administrative posts. Marriage is again illegal between Jews and Christians. A third anti-Semitic newspaper, Giornalissimo, has joined forces with the already existing anti-Jewish Regime Fascista and Il Tevere.


The Vatican's semiofficial organ, L'Osservatore Romano, of August 13, 1938, in an article headed “The Jews and the Vatican Council” (1870) speaks of the Catholic Church's PROTECTIVE measures for Jews, and then goes on to say:


“But—in order to set things straight—by this it was not intended that Jews should be allowed to abuse the hospitality of Christian countries. Along with these protective ordinances, there existed restrictive and precautionary decrees with regard to them. The civil power was in accord with the Church in this, since, as Delassus says, 'they both had the same interest in preventing the nations from being invaded by the Jewish element and thereby losing control of society.' But if Christians were forbidden to force Jews to embrace the Catholic religion, to disturb their synagogues, their Sabbath and their festivals, the Jews, on the other hand, were forbidden to hold public office, civil or military; and this prohibition extended even to the children of converted Jews. The precautionary decrees concerned the professions, education, and business positions.”(10)


(10) cf. Il Messagero, Rome, August 17, 1938; La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno, Bari, August 18, 1938; Corriere della Sera and others. All have the same caption: “How the Popes Treated the Jews.”






St. John Chrysostom, “the Golden Mouth,” Doctor of the Church

c. 347-407 A.D.

saved the souls of thousands of Jews in converting them to the One True Faith