Pope Gregory XVI Refuses Metternich's Request for Tolerance Towards Jews Hot

Pope Gregory XVI Refuses Metternich's Request for Tolerance Towards Jews

Pope Gregory XVI

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In response to a request from Austrian ambassador Metternich that the pope adopt a more tolerant policy towards Jews, Pope Gregory XVI tells him that the restrictions placed on Jews have a sacred origin and cannot possibly be lightened.

According to Pope Gregory XVI:

"The prohibitions on the Jews, forbidding them from employing Christian servants or wet nurses, from owning real estate...from living — where there is a ghetto — outside of its walls mixed in and confused with Christians, are prohibitions founded in the sacred Canons.

These, in order to guarantee Christian religion and morality, command the separation of Christians and Jews."

Laws against Jewish ownership of property outside ghettos are needed because

"Aside from the fact that the Jews are forbidden such ownership by the sacred Canons as a Nation of deicides and blasphemers of Christ, and sworn enemies of he Christian name, there is also the danger that the Jews will seduce and pervert those who rent from them or peasants who depend on them."

Living outside the ghetto is unthinkable because

"Beyond the dangers for Religion and Morals from the common relations to be found among those living in the same community, there is also the scandal of seeing the Jews pretending to be living the same as others.

In thus exulting in their insolence toward Christians and the Church, they put themselves on an equal basis with the Christians and laugh at the Ecclesiastical laws that oblige them to live in the Ghetto."

Pope Gregory XVI goes on to complain about Jews who flout the law and break his restrictions:

"Disorders such as these, while they may be illegally tolerated in secular states, cannot be tolerated in the Ecclesiastical State, because they are openly contrary to the most sacrosanct principles of the Ecclesiastical laws. ...

Nor does the loss of the Jews' primitive fanaticism render the observance of the Canonical sanctions on them any the less necessary. Indeed, it makes such observance all the more necessary, because if they lose the fanaticism regarding Jewish laws and practices, they certainly do not lose their national hatred for the Religion of Jesus Christ, and for the Christian name itself.

On the contrary, these increase as they abandon themselves to philosophism and indifferentism."


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