So I’m debating with a person who says at the 4th Lateran Council it was declared that Jews are “Christ Killers”, and they used it to segregate Jews. Can someone knowledgeable on the subject give me some help on this? Is this actually true? If so, what am I to respond with?
here is a link to the council documents dealing with the Jewish people
I do not know what is made of these documents today, but I have a background in medieval history. These mainly deal with the sort of otherness of jewish populations and the segregation which was in place in varying degrees for centuries. also notable is the concern about judiasers, or those converts from judaism who supposedly continued to practice jewish rituals while being nominally christian for purposes of social advantage. these were a common target of the inquisition particularly in spain. Medieval litterature or nearly all kinds is rife with antisemitism. Popular opinons were greatly hostile to the Jewish people but to the extent of my knowledge the Church was never on board with this or endorsed these sentiments in any real way. The Jews mentioned in the council documents are usually those having heavy dealings with christians or those who have converted. sorry if this is not helpful and I am rambling a bit but the main idea is that there are measures described in these documents which might make modern readers wince but the contrary to popular opinion the church did not make hateful or violent declarations against the Jewish people.
I see a lot of these kinds of accusations all over the internet. You’ll see a quote allegedly from a bull or encyclical by Pope so-and-so, who says one of two things: either he’ll say something advocating violence to some other people using the most extreme language (“kill them all”, “burn them” etc), or even more outrageously, he’ll make a statement to the effect of “I am God, worship me!” I make it a point to track down these statements like a bloodhound.
Usually I find the exact quotation repeated over and over solely on anti-Catholic websites. In the rare occasions that the name of the bull or encyclical is given, I can look it up. In every case I have done so, the offending quote is nowhere in the document. These anti-Catholic ‘crazy pope quotes’ were hard to refute before the internet, but now it’s easy. I’m surprised so many of these quotes are still circulated on the web. But I guess it’s not that surprising considering how many hateful people are out there that love to revel in their fallacies like a dog loves to roll in excrement.