Monday, November 28, 2011

Papal Bull
for harsh "disfellowshipping"
of the Jews /

Παπική βούλα
για τη βάναυση «αποκοπή»
των Εβραίων






Since it is absurd and improper that Jews—whose own guilt has consigned them to perpetual servitude—under the pretext that Christian piety receives them and tolerates their presence should be ingrates to Christians, so that they attempt to exchange the servitude they owe to Christians for dominion over them; we – to whose notice it has lately come that these Jews, in our dear city and in some other cites, holdings, and territories of the Holy Roman Church, have erupted into insolence: they presume not only to dwell side by side with Christians and near their churches, with no distinct habit to separate them, but even to erect homes in the more noble sections and streets of the cities, holdings, and territories where they dwell, and to buy and possess fixed property, and to have nurses, housemaids, and other hired Christian servants, and to perpetrate many other things in ignominy and contempt of the Christian name—considering that the Roman Church tolerates the Jews in testimony of the true Christian faith and to end [ad hoc, ut] that they, led by the piety and kindness of the Apostolic See, should at length recognize their errors, and make all haste to arrive at the true light of the Catholic faith, and thereby [propterea] to agree that, as long as they persist in their errors, they should recognize through experience that they have been made slaves while Christians have been made free through Jesus Christ, God and our Lord, and that it is iniquitous that the children of the free woman should serve the children of the maid-servant—

1. Desiring to make sound provisions as best we can, with the help of God, in the above matter, we sanction by this our perpetually valid constitution that, among other things, in all future times in this city, as in all other cities, holdings, and territories belonging to the Roman Church, all Jews should live solely in one and the same location, or if that is not possible, in two or three or as many as are necessary, which are to be contiguous and separated completely from the dwellings of Christians. These places are to be designated by us in our city and by our magistrates in other cities, holdings, and territories. And they should have one entry alone, and so too one exit.

2. And in the individual cities, holdings, and territories where they dwell, they [the Jews] should have one synagogue alone in its customary location, and they may construct no new synagogue. Nor may they possess any real property. Accordingly, they must demolish and destroy all their other synagogues except for this one alone. The real property which they now possess, they must sell to all Christians within a period of time designated by the local magistrates.

3. And so that they be identified everywhere as Jews, men and women respectively required and bound to wear in full view a hat or some obvious marking, both to be blue in color, in such a way that they man not be concealed or hidden. Nor may they be excused from wearing the hat or marking on the pretext of rank, eminence, or privilege; nor may the acquire and absolution or dispensation through the ecclesiastical chamberlain, clerics of the Apostolic Camera and other persons presiding there, or through legates and vice-legates of the Apostolic See.

4. [And they shall not] have nurses or serving women or any other Christians serving them, of whatever sex. Nor shall they have their children wet-nursed or reared by Christian women.

5. Nor may they themselves or anyone in their employ labor in public on Sundays or other feast days declared by the Church.

6. Nor may they oppress Christians in any manner, [especially by] drawing up fictitious or simulated contracts [of debt].

7. Nor should they be so presumptuous as to entertain or dine with Christians or to develop close relations and friendships with them.

8. Nor may they use in the ledgers and account books which they have with Christians, [stipulating] the duration [of loans, etc.] any other alphabet than the Latin one or any other language than everyday Italian. If they do otherwise, these books will have no value [when brought up as testimony in court] against Christians [who have defaulted on repayment].

9. Additionally, these Jews may carry on no business as purveyors of grain, barley, or other items necessary for human sustenance, but must be limited [in this sphere] to dealing only in second-hand clothing, the arte cenciariae (as it is commonly called).

10. As for those among them [the Jews] who are physicians, even if they are summoned and requested, they may not come forth and attend to the care of Christians.

11. Nor may the permit the Christian poor [or any other Christian for that matter] to address them as Master.

12. And in their computation s and accounting, months must be composed of thirty fully completed days, and days that do not add up to the number thirty must be computed not as full months, but only as the actual number of days that have elapsed—and they [the Jews] may demand repayment only according to the number of days, not according to the rate for completed months. Pledges temporarily given them as collateral for their money, they may not sell for eighteen months, unless [otherwise] agreed upon prior to the day on which the pledges were actually given. After eighteen months have passed, if the Jews sell these pledges, all receipts over and above the value of the original loan must be made over to the owner of the pledge [i.e. the original borrower].

13. They will be held to observe without exception all statutes of the cities, holdings, and territories in which they dwell that give advantage to [lit. concern the favor of] Christians [over Jews].

14. And if they transgress the above in any way, either by us, or by our vicar, or by others deputized by us in the city, or by those ritories, they should be punished according to the nature of the transgression, either as rebels or perpetrators of the crime of lese majeste, and as those who have renounced their allegiance to the entire Christian people, in accordance with the determination made by us or the vicars, deputies, and magistrates.

15. Notwithstanding the apostolic constitutions and ordinations and whatever apostolic tolerations, privileges or indults conceded to those Jews through any of our predecessors, the Roman pontiffs, or legates of that See, or chamberlains of this Roman Church, or clerics of the Apostolic Camera or others presiding there, under whatever decree or edict and with whatever limitations—even limitations of limitations, and other more valid and unusual clauses, and equally with other decrees and invalidations, indeed, by our own action and from our clear knowledge and by the plentitude of apostolic power, and even by approbations, and so too by changes which have been renewed and approved repeatedly—with respect to all the foregoing, as well as with respect to anything whatsoever to the contrary [to this letter], even if in place of a general abrogation concerning them and all their stipulations a special, specific, express, and individual mention or whatever other expression has had to be made or some carefully chosen form has had to be retained, for each and every word and not only for the general clauses themselves important, we, in this place, both specifically and expressly, abrogate decrees of this kind, even if word for word, with nothing at all omitted and the traditional form preserved in them they have been inserted [into this present letter], having expressed clearly in this letter that these decrees should otherwise remain in force.

No one [may act against this letter], etc. If anyone [so dares, he will call upon himself Apostolic censure], etc. Given at Rome at St. Mark’s, in the year of the Incarnation of the Lord one thousand five hundred fifty-five, on the day before the ides of July, in the first year of our pontificate.

* Pope Paul IV, Cum nimis absurdum [Εφόσον είναι εξωφρενικό] (1555) [Latin].
[English/Αγγλικά, PDF]    *

from Kenneth Stow,
Catholic Thought and Papal Jewry Policy 1555-1593,
New York, 1977,
pp. 294-298.

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