Dialogika

Texts from the History of the Relationship

POPE ALEXANDER II, "Warning Against Violence Toward the Jews" (ca. 1060) - excerpt

[From Alexis Rubin, Scattered Among the Nations, p. 30]

To all the Bishops of Spain:

We are pleased by the report which we have heard concerning you, that you have protected the Jews living among you, lest they be slain by those who set out to war against the Saracens [Muslims] in Spain. These warriors, moved surely by foolish ignorance and strongly by blind cupidity, wished to bring about the slaughter of those whom divine charity has perhaps predestined for salvation. In the same manner Saint Gregory [Pope Gregory I] also admonished those agitating for annihilating them, indicating that it is impious to wish to annihilate those who are protected by the mercy of God, so that, with homeland and liberty lost, in everlasting penitence, damned by their ancestors for spilling the blood of the Savior, they live dispersed throughout the various areas of the world. The situation of the Jews is surely different from that of the Saracens. Against the latter, who persecute Christians and drive them out of their cities and homes, one may properly fight; the former, however, are prepared to live in servitude.