ca. Feb. 1205

“Papal Bull” issued by Pope Innocent III and addressed to King Philip (Philippe Auguste) II of France [Papal States; Present-day France, Italy] [Provisional]: “The Pope accuses the Jews living in France of extortion, usury, usurping church property, and the property of Christians (‘non solum usuras, sed usuras usurarum extorquent, ecclesiarum bona et possessiones Christionorum usurpent’). The Pope reaffirms the prohibition of Christian nannies to serving in Jewish homes and the preference of the testimony of Christians outlined by the Third Lateran Council and regrets that they are not observed. The Pope lambasts the fact that Jews erect higher synagogues than nearby churches where the celebration of the Christian liturgy is prevented by the great clamor with which the Jews celebrate his services. Innocent III claims that the Jews publicly insult the Christians with ridiculous words in relation to Jesus Christ and that the houses of the Jews are open until midnight to thieves and their booty. Furthermore, he claims that Jews abuse the patience of the king and kill Christians furtively. And so that in order that the name of the Lord is not soiled and the freedom of Christians is not worse than the slavery of the Jews, Innocent III finally exhorts Philip Augustus to abolish such abuses in the Kingdom of France and to punish blasphemers. Finally, the pope justifies the persecution of wolves who have accepted the appearance of sheep to thus demonstrate the fervor with which one professes the Christian faith (‘in eorum demonstret persecutione fervorem quo fidem prosequitur Christianam’).” [Researcher’s note: The above is a summary of the original Latin text, which can be found in the cited source. This writ has given rise to a number of debates. One in particular evolves around the proper translation of the word “persecutio” which Pope Innocent uses in the beginning. Some interpret it to mean persecution while other believe it means “pursuit.” Nevertheless, the Pope claims that even though God accepts the presence of Jews in Christian kingdoms, “divine eyes are outraged by all who prefer the sons of the crucifiers to the heirs of Christ.”]
Documenta Catholica Omnia; Innocentii III Romani Pontificius; Regestorum Sive Epistolarum Liber Sextus. (Complete Catholic [Church] Documents; The Roman Pontif Innocent III, Legal Documents/Laws or Letters; Box Six);; Accessed online; Researched and Translated by Ziba Shadjaani 12/12/2018