Nov. 30, 1286

Papal letter from Pope Honorius IV to the Archbishop of Canterbury and his suffragans [Present-day United Kingdom]: “Too freely has the damnable Jewish distortion of faith loosened its reins in English lands—as we have heard—by outrageous actions and horrible works insulting to our Creator and detrimental to the Catholic faith. Jews are said to possess a certain book, composed with malicious deceit, which they commonly refer to as Talmud, and which contains abominations, falsifications, faithless and abusive matter of all sorts. They study this book constantly, devoting themselves with depraved solicitude to this nefarious document, and they condemn their own sons, from a tender age, to this death-dealing study. They stuff them with this poisonous diet, never fearing to inform and instruct them that the contents of this book are more to be believed than that which is set forth in the Law of Moses, in order that their sons might turn their backs on the Son of God, fleeing him through the byways of faithlessness and never approaching the path of truth. Moreover, the Jews try to attract to their sect not only faithful Christians, but by means of inducements, they even approach those who have become converts to Christianity. Indeed, they dwell with them obscenely and publicly in the very parishes where they have been baptized, thus scandalizing the faithful and bringing contumely on the Christian faith. These people are then sent to other places, where they are unknown, and there they openly revert to Judaism. The Jews also criminally invite the orthodox to worship with them on Sabbaths and holidays in the synagogues. There, these Christians show reverence to the parchment scrolls of the Jews; and thus, many of them Judaize no less than the Jews themselves. The Jews employ Christian domestics, upon whom they impose on Sundays and holidays the very servile labors from which they should abstain on those days. The Jews also employ Christians in their homes as nurses and governesses for their children, and as a result, opportunities arise for sexual intermingling. There are also Christians and Jews who frequent one another’s homes, eating and drinking together, thus preparing the soil for error. In their daily prayers, the Jews curse Christians and commit other evils which are an offense to God and result in injury to Christian souls.
Although the English clergy had frequently been urged to take steps to remedy these matters it had not done so. A dangerous sickness like this, however, must not be neglected, for it will only grow worse. The use of spiritual and temporal penalties to bring a halt to these excesses is ordered, as well as other methods, including fit and proper verbal exhortations. How successful you are in this endeavor, you will intimate to us fully, by way of letters.”
Grayzel, Solomon. The Church and the Jews in the XIIIth Century, Volume II (1254-1315). The Jewish Theological Seminary of America: New York, 1989. Page 157. Researched by Dominik Jacobs 9/15/2019