Jun. 14, 1751

Papal encyclical “A Quo Primum” issued by Pope Benedict XIV [Present-day Italy]: “In regard to the matter of the Jews We must express our concern…The Jews have so replaced the Christians that some parishes are about to lose their ministers because their revenue has dwindled so drastically…Therefore the tyrannical orders of the Jews have to be carried out…It is now even commonplace for Christians and Jews to intermingle anywhere…by means of their particular practice of commerce, they amass a great store of money and then by an exorbitant rate of interest utterly destroy the wealth and inheritance of Christians…But if it is asked what matters the Apostolic See forbids to Jews living in the same cities as Christians, We will say that all those activities which are now allowed in Poland are forbidden; these We recounted above…You will recall the statutes and prescripts of the synods of your predecessors; they always entered in their constitutions every measure concerning the Jews which was sanctioned and ordained by the Roman Pontiffs…The essence of the difficulty, however, is that either the sanctions of the synods are forgotten or they are not put into effect. To you then, Venerable Brothers, passes the task of renewing those sanctions…You will be able to give these orders and commands easily and confidently, in that neither your property nor your privileges are hired to Jews; furthermore you do no business with them and you neither lend them money nor borrow from them. Thus, you will be free from and unaffected by all dealings with them…At the same time We promise you that when the situation arises, We will cooperate energetically and effectively with those whose combined authority and power are appropriate to remove this stain of shame from Poland.”
“On Jews and Christians Living in the Same Place A Quo Primum Encyclical of Pope Benedict XIV promulgated on June 14, 1751.” No author; Accessed online 8/24/2011