Jan. 16, 1205

“Papal Bull” issued by Pope Innocent III and addressed to King Philip of France [Papal States; Present-day France, Italy]: “What is even worse, blaspheming against God’s name, they publicly insult Christians by saying that Christians believe in a peasant who had been hung by the Jewish people. Indeed, who do not doubt that He was hung for us, since he carried our sins in His body on the Cross […]. Also, on Good Friday the Jews, contrary to old customs, publicly run to and fro over the towns and streets and everywhere laugh at Christians because they adore the Crucified One on the Cross and, though their improprieties, attempt to dissuade them from their worship. The doors of the Jews are open to thieves half the night and if any stolen goods be found with them, none can obtain justice from them. The Jews likewise abuse the royal patience, and when they remain living among the Christians, they take advantage of every wicked opportunity to kill in secret their Christians hosts. Thus, it has recently been reported that a certain poor scholar has been found murdered in their latrine. Wherefore, lest through them the name of God be blasphemed and Christian liberty become less than Jewish servitude, we warn, and in the name of God exhort Your Serene Majesty – and we join thereto a remission of sins – that you restrain the Jews from their presumptions in these and similar matters and that you try to remove from the French kingdom abuses of this sort for you seem to have the proper zeal of God and knowledge of Him. Moreover, since secular laws should be directed with greater severity against those who profane the name of God, you should so turn against these blasphemers that the punishment of some should be a source of fear to all and that ease of obtaining forgiveness serve as an incentive to evil dowers. You should bestir yourself, moreover, to remove heretics from the French kingdom, nor should your Royal Highness permit wolves in your realm, but rather by persecuting them your Highness should display the same zeal with which he follows the Christian faith.”
Church, State, and Jews in the Middle Ages. Edited with instructions and notes by Robert Chazan. (New York; 1953); Researched and Translated by Ziba Shadjaani 12/2018