Catholics during the Medieval period shared an intense anti-Semitism. One of the greatest, Peter the Venerable considered Jews as no better than animals. In fact Jews are not just animals but beasts of burden. In A Tract Against The Inveterate Hardness of the Jews, arguing for the divinity of Christ, he repeats the point over and over: Here he is addressing a Jew:
It seems to me, Jew, that I … judge in these matters … as do all men. And if all men, then you also - if, nevertheless, you are human. For I dare not declare that you are human lest perchance I lie, because I recognize that reason, that which distinguishes humans from … beasts, is extinct in you or in any case buried… Truly, why are you not called brute animals? Why not beasts? Why not beasts of burden? … The ass hears but does not understand; the Jew hears but does not understand. Am I the first to say this? Has not the same been said many centuries before [by your prophet]? … And although it is fully proved by these sacred authorities that you are a domestic animal or beast … and it has been sufficiently shown by me, nevertheless yet a fifth chapter will be added that shall expose, not only to Christians but to all the lands of the world, that you are truly a beast of burden and that, when I affirm this, I in no way exceed the bounds of truth.
Granted, he is not calling for killing them, but this theme of disrespect was rampant. Jews were killed as well as Muslims during the Crusades because they were considered to be “Christ killers”.
The phrase perfidious Jews has only recently been removed from the liturgy.
does not make the Catholic Church responsible for the Antisemitism in Europe before and at Luther’s time, but the CC was the primary guiding influence. It was expected that everyone would be Catholic, including the rulers of the countries in which this anti-semitic culture existed.
I am not trying to excuse Luther’s over the top writing about this, but I am saying he was steeped in an anti-semetic culture that existed all over Europe. This culture existed within, and was nurtured by the Catholic Church.