Lateran IV and Jews

I’m talking with an evangelical in another forum, and he is saying some horrible things about Lateran IV and saying it is an ecumenical council and therefore infallible.

The first thing he says is that it makes canon law that Jews and heretics should be exterminated. I found a copy of the text of Lateran IV on EWTN and can’t find anything to this extent. Where does this charge come from? Or did I simply read too fast and miss it?

However, it does look like Lateran IV makes some pretty nasty declarations regarding the Jews. Is it true that these declarations are infallible and how does it affect us today?

Thanks in advance.

Well, never get your Church teaching from an Evangelical because it is likely to be pretty mixed up. This statement is the first example of that. Ecumenical councils can make dogmatic statements, and such statements would indeed be infallible. But just because an ecumenical council is held, there is nothing automatically “infallible” about it. There is also a failure in the above as it fails to understand the difference between doctrine and discipline. Many canons of regional and ecumenical councils were ecclesial laws. Today regulations such as these are found in canon law, but prior to 1917 there was no book with canon law, it was found in various different forms including canons of councils, Bulls issued by Popes, etc.

I think that tells you all you need to know.


It doesn’t.

If I recall correctly, some form of the Latin word *exterminare *was used, which meant to expel from the boundaries. So, we are talking about deportation not mass murder.

Section 3, On Heretics, mentions expelling heretics and the expulsion of heretics a few times. (source)

GracieRuth #1
I’m talking with an evangelical in another forum, and he is saying some horrible things about Lateran IV and saying it is an ecumenical council and therefore infallible.

The first thing he says is that it makes canon law that Jews and heretics should be exterminated
……it does look like Lateran IV makes some pretty nasty declarations regarding the Jews. Is it true that these declarations are infallible and how does it affect us today?

“Pope Innocent III in the Lateran Council of AD 1215, Unam Sanctam, the Papal Bull of Pope Boniface VIII, 1302, and Pope Eugene IV’s Bull Cantate Domino, 1441 all refer to those who have rejected the true gospel, Pope Eugene IV makes the statement about the pagans, Jews, etc… so this classifies them like the Arians, Monophysites, Ebionites, who heard the message of Christ’s gospel. It is not talking about those who have not heard the gospel. The ones that these decrees are considering are those that have heard the message. If they had heard the message and obstinately stay outside the Church, they can not be saved. Notice that in this decree, just like the first two mentioned, the decree does not say, “Well, if those pagans and Jews, etc. have never heard of the gospel, they can not be saved.” This is fully consistent with what the Church teaches now.”

As Blessed John Paul II explains in *Threshold of Hope *(Random House, 1994, p 140-1):
“Besides formal membership in the Church, the sphere of salvation can also include other forms of relation to the Church. Paul VI expressed this same teaching in his first encyclical, Ecclesiam Suam, when he spoke of the various circles of the dialogue of salvation (Cf. p 101-117), which are the same as those indicated by the Council as the spheres of membership in and of relation to the Church. This is the authentic meaning of the well-known statement ‘Outside the Church there is no salvation.’ ”

The explanatory note provided by Adolf Schönmetzer in the 36th edition of Denzinger in Latin is translated by Peter Hünermann, ed., Denzinger: Enchiridion Symbolorum, 43rd Edition, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2010, pp. 285-6.

Within the bull, there is missing a distinction that Boniface VIII himself had explicitly made in the presence of the French legate on June 24, 1302: the king, like any other believer, is subject to the spiritual power of the pope only “with regard to sins” (ratione peccati). On the same occasion, the pope protested that he had been unjustly attacked as if “We had demanded that the king should recognize that his rule as king is from Us. For forty years, We have been experienced in the law, and We know that two powers have been ordained by God. Who, therefore, should or could believe that such foolishness, such stupidity was or is in Our head? We say that in no way do We wish to usurp the jurisdiction of the king, and thus Our brother from Porto has said.” . . . The brother from Porto is in fact Cardinal Matthew of Aquasparta, 0.F.M., who probably composed this bull

Council of Florence: “It [the holy Roman church] firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Catholic Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the Church’s sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed his blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.”

The teaching of the Council of Florence is not false; it simply needs to be interpreted in the light of all the other teachings of the one true Faith. To do otherwise would be to fall into the error condemned by that Council, the error of rejecting the fullness of truth found only in the one Catholic Church.

Jews, other non-Christian believers, and unbelievers commit an objectively grave sin if they know about the Church and decline to convert – but they only deserve eternal punishment if they commit any actual mortal sin and never repent. Many times non-Christians fail to convert without the full culpability of actual mortal sin. So they can still obtain eternal life because they are not outside the Church.

Non-Christians can enter the state of grace and become non-formal members of the Church by an implicit baptism of desire. And they can return to the state of grace after actual mortal sin by perfect contrition. The Council was speaking of the refusal or failure to convert to Christianity, only when it has full culpability.

Pope Pius IX Singulari Quadam:
“It must, of course, be held as a matter of faith that outside the apostolic Roman Church no one can be saved, that the Church is the only ark of salvation, and that whoever does not enter it will perish in the flood. On the other hand, it must likewise be held as certain that those who live in ignorance of the true religion, if such ignorance be invincible, are not subject to any guilt in this matter before the eyes of the Lord. But then, who would dare to set limits to this ignorance, taking into consideration the natural differences of people, lands, native talents, and so many other factors?”

The Church is infallible in her pronouncements of the truth revealed by God. I assume you are concerned about the canon requiring Jews to dress differently than Christians to avoid misunderstanding (like unintended mixed marriages, etc.). Obviously, this was not a truth revealed by God. Likewise, this isn’t even Church law, since the Church does not have jurisdiction over Jews. This was directed at civil rulers ordering them to make certain civil laws for a particular time and place. The Church was not promised infallibility for this kind of thing. Therefore, the wisdom and merits of such a law can certainly be questioned.

As for any canons about the civil treatment of particualr heretics in a particular place and time, the same can be said about their wisdom. We’re dealing with practical, civil prescriptions limited in time and place, not truths revealed by God to be handed on in all times and places.

In a 19th century debate with a Presbyterian minister about whether the Catholic Church was against religious liberty or not, Archbishop of New York John Hughes explained the canon in question:

No comments about whether it was morally right for us to require Jews to wear distinguishing clothing or to prohibit them from holding office? I find it deeply disturbing.

Decisions like that are not teachings, and so these decisions are fallible. I don’t know the circumstances of that decision, so I can’t say much about it. Maybe it was a mistake. The Church does sometimes make mistakes in Her judgments of the prudential order.

I certainly dont.

But they have excersized so much power and control over the minds of Christians these days, I would likely get banned for expressing the Biblical based viewpoints on these issues.

All I will say is this. To meet the definition of anti-Christ on the earth, you must deny Jesus is the Messiah. There is only ONE religion in the world, who bases itself and their tribal identity off DENYING Jesus as Messiah. And no Islam states in the Quran 100% Jesus is Messiah and born to a virgin and rose on the third day. All other world religions amazongly accept and venerate Jesus as the greatest human with a special connection God, to knowlege, the unseen world, or the divine. People actually might be surprised and very flattered if they knew.

But again, only ONE religion DENIES Jesus as Messiah. When you DENY Jesus as messiah, you’ve KILLED HIM ALL OVER AGAIN becuase thats why he was killed 2000 years ago by the same people. Tonight I watched a hollywood movie just to see the cross mocked as usual. Until this day they blame Christians for their persecution. NEVER fall for it. Both Hillary and Trump have children that are in a religion that DENY Christ officially.

I’ve been heavily biting my tongue on all this. 1 John 2:22 explains it nicely. But now they will soon run our country and thus take the supreme court as their own.

We’re just too, too naughty for words.

Canon 67 banned excessive usury from Jewish lenders

Canon 68 complained of the level of integration that many Jews enjoyed in Christian states and proclaimed that they should be badged so as to distinguish them from Christians.

Canon 69 Jews can not hold public office

None one of those proclamations define a matter of faith or morals, so, no, they are not infallible declarations. Also, despite the Church’s desire the rules were not very well implemented in any christian lands. We can tell because the exhortations continue to appear in later Church legislation.

Agreed 100% that Protestants often fabricate church history and official RCC doctrine

They have difficulty with the context of infallibility

Often, there is also difficulty distinguishing dogma versus doctrine versus practices versus politics.

Close, but not exact. It’s “if they know* that membership in the Church was made necessary by Christ* but refuse to enter into it,” not just that they “know about the Church.” See Lumen gentium #14. :thumbsup:

I could be wrong but back then weren’t the governments involved Christian theocracies where public office holders were regarded as lay Christian ministers of the secular order? In other words, public offices were lay Church positions. So, it makes sense that non-Christians would be prohibited from holding them.

Amen. Amen. Amen!

People seriously dont know what their dealing with in these matters. This isnt some small secular matter of prejudice etc These rules were ALL spiritual based. What if I said that these people are living elohims that walk the earth and look like humans? They also claim the same. This might shed light on why the Church and Islam have the laws that they do.

Judaism has a variety of teachings on the Messiah. Traditionally, for Jews, the Messiah would be a political figure, who would cast off foreign oppression and fulfill the prophecies (build the Kingdom of God on earth, establish the millennium of peace, usher in an era where paganism and idolatry would cease, etc.) Note that for many Jewish thinkers, there will be a Messianic Era, but no personal messiah figure. Those Jews who are still waiting for a Messiah to come are essentially anticipating for the first time what Christians believe Jesus will do the second time. Church teaching on the Jews has dramatically changed since Lateran IV, and Anti-Semitism has no place in a Christian’s life.

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