Why the Church change its position on Jews?


#1

What are your thoughts on the “Nostra Aetate” from Vatican II?
When we recap the teachings of the Church before Vatican II it is less tolerate or even sometimes hostile to Jews

The principal items of Church legislation relative to Judaism have been set forth in connection with the history of the Jews. There remains only to add a few remarks which will explain the apparent severity of certain measures enacted by either popes or councils concerning the Jews, or account for the fact that popular hatred of them so often defeated the beneficent efforts of the Roman pontiffs in their regard.

Church legislation against Jewish holding of Christian slaves can be easily understood: as members of Christ, the children of the Church should evidently not be subjected to the power of His enemies, and thereby incur a special danger for their faith; but more particularly, as stated by a recent Jewish writer:

“There was good reason for the solicitude of the Church and for its desire to prevent Jews from retaining Christian slaves in their houses. The Talmud and all later Jewish codes forbade a Jew from retaining in his home a slave who was uncircumcised” (Abrahams, “Jewish Life in the Middle Ages”).
The obligation of wearing a distinguishing badge was of course obnoxious to the Jews. At the same time, Church authorities deemed its injunction necessary to prevent effectively moral offences between Jews and Christian women. The decrees forbidding the Jews from appearing in public at Eastertide may be justified on the ground that some of them mocked at the Christian processions at that time; those against baptized Jews retaining distinctly Jewish customs find their ready explanation in the necessity for the Church to maintain the purity of the Faith in its members, while those forbidding the Jews from molesting converts to Christianity are no less naturally explained by the desire of doing away with a manifest obstacle to future conversions.

It was for the laudable reason of protecting social morality and securing the maintenance of the Christian Faith, that canonical decrees were framed and repeatedly enforced against free and constant intercourse between Christians and Jews, against, for instance, bathing, living, etc., with Jews. To some extent, likewise, these were the reasons for the institution of the Ghetto or confinement of the Jews to a special quarter, for the prohibition of the Jews from exercising medicine, or other professions. The inhibition of intermarriage between Jews and Christians, which is yet in vigour, is clearly justified by reason of the obvious danger for the faith of the Christian party and for the spiritual welfare of the children born of such alliances. With regard to the special legislation against printing, circulating, etc., the Talmud, there was the particular grievance that the Talmud contained at the time scurrilous attacks upon Jesus and the Christians (cf. Pick, “The Personality of Jesus in the Talmud” in the “Monist”, Jan., 1910), and the permanent reason that

“that extraordinary compilation, with much that is grave and noble, contains also so many puerilities, immoral precepts, and anti-social maxims, that Christian courts may well have deemed it right to resort to stringent measures to prevent Christians from being seduced into adhesion to a system so preposterous” (Catholic Dictionary, 484).

    -Catholic Encyclopedia

#2

Because muranos, or falsely converted Jews, are not likely to be firm with the Jews or Judaism.


#3

The underlying theme in the Catholic Encyclopedia in trying to justify Catholic persecutions of Jews is viewing “the Jew” as some sort of anti Chrst or satan whose very presence in the vicinity of a Catholic may cause him or her to be led astray from Christianity and into a life of sin and despair. “The Jew” in other words is an undermineing influence and therefore it is justified to persecute them. Needless to say Jews had no compunction to intermarry with gentiles or convert to their religion.

This hateful drivel is part and parcel of Catholic antisemitism and goes by the name “Jewish naturalism”. Jews are responsible for “liberalism”, “premarital sex”, “are trying to destroy Christmas”,to name just a few of their various “crimes”.

What is truly remarkable is that the Catholic Encyclopedia does not seek to condemn past injustices but to explain and justify them. Vatican II was a giant step away from the immoral justifications like those you quoted from the Catholic Encyclopedia .


#4

People learned long ago that Jews were more likely to be “secular”, and that they ARE an undermining influence in countries built upon Catholicism as the official state religion.

The Jews are most persecuted in countries in which their culture runs against that of the state’s - Catholic Spain, France, England, Saudi Arabia, Orthodox Russia, and, of course, Nazi Germany. Not that any of those governments would necessarily agree with one another (they wouldn’t), but that the position of the Jewish people in each of those countries is contrary to it’s culture.

After the “Enlightenment”, people have come to believe secularism in government is a must, and anything else is inherently evil. A few hundred years, this “Enlightenment” infiltrated the Catholic Church, and The Church relaxed it’s position on such things as it’s relationship with the Jews.

Note, however, that The Church was never “anti-Semitic”, but was against the CULTURE of the Jewish people, it’s undermining influence in creating Catholic countries. The Church wished to “stamp out” the culture (and faith) of the Jews, just as it wished to do the same to any other competing force. This is only natural if you have The Faith to believe that your religion was given to you by God Himself. If you have been told by God Himself to “go out and make disciples of all the nations”, then you would of course strive to convert and restrict other religions, including the Jews, Muslims, Protestants, Buddhists, Taoists, Shintoists, etc.

Do not believe that the Jews were the only people “persecuted” by Catholics, because you are not. We’ve done plenty of “persecution”, and it only “looks bad” today, looking through our eyes, formed by “the Enlightenment”. Without “the Enlightenment”, the so-called “persecutions” of the Catholic Church would not seem at all “evil”, it would seem quite appropriate.


#5

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