Encyclical Written to Condemn Racism & Anti-Semitism - Will Not Be Issued

Encyclical Written to Condemn Racism & Anti-Semitism - Will Not Be Issued

Achille Ratti, Pope Pius XI
Source: Wikipedia

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Father John LaFarge, American Jesuit tasked with writing an encyclical for Pope Pius XI to condemn racism and anti-Semitism, turns his work over to Wladimir Ledochowski, the Father Superior of the Jesuits in Rome.

Often lamented for never having been issued, it nevertheless contains elements of anti-Semitism itself because it calls for more understanding of the "authentic basis for the social separation of the Jews from the rest of humanity," which is of course religion rather than race.

The encyclical written by LaFarge for the pope describes the Jews as the people who "put to death their Savior and King," and as a result they are doomed to "wander over the face of the earth." Christians are warned about the "spiritual dangers to which contact with Jews can expose souls" while attacking Jews who "promote revolutionary movements that aim to destroy society and to obliterate from the minds of men the knowledge, reverence, and love of God."

Jews are "blinded by their dream of worldly gain and material success," so they deserve all the "worldly and spiritual ruin" that they experience. Whatever bad happens to them, it's ultimately their fault, and it's not the job of the Catholic Church to help them because it cannot be "drawn into purely man-made politics."

The Church "is only interested in upholding her legacy of Truth. ...The purely worldly problems in which the Jewish people may see themselves involved are of no interest to her."

This is very similar to many other condemnations of anti-Semitism issued by the Catholic Church over the years — everything that appears to defend Jews from attacks is accompanied by a statement expressing support for the reasons they are being attacked in the first place.

This is why the Catholic Church is never able to stop violent, racist anti-Semitism: you can't stop an ideology or movement if you only criticize some of the directions it takes while also justifying its most fundamental arguments and principles.

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