Pope Gregory IX and Judaism

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The relations between Pope Gregory IX and Judaism were comparatively good for a medieval Pope, since Gregory acted as a political protector to persecuted Jewish communities. However, he also enacted canonical laws that were later criticized for having maintained the Jews' separate status in medieval society.

1233 mandate[edit]

  • 6 April 1233 "Mandate, if facts are established, to the archbishops and bishops of France to induce the Christians in their dioceses to stop persecuting the Jews, who had complained to the pope that they were being maltreated and tortured by certain lords, imprisoned and left to die. The Jews are willing to forsake usury. They are to be set free and are not to be injured in person or in property."

1234 decretals[edit]

In the 1234 Decretals, he invested the doctrine of perpetua servitus iudaeorum – perpetual servitude of the Jews – with the force of canonical law. According to this, Jews would have to remain in a condition of political servitude and abject humiliation until Judgment Day. The doctrine then found its way into the doctrine of servitus camerae imperialis, or servitude immediately subject to the Emperor's authority, promulgated by Frederick II.

The second-class status of Jews thereby established would last until well into the 19th century.[1]

1235 protection[edit]

  • 3 May 1235 "Protection provided to Jews by standard formula of Sicut Judeis."

1236 charges, mandate and request[edit]


  1. ^ Dietmar Preissler, Frühantisemitismus in der Freien Stadt Frankfurt und im Großherzogtum Hessen (1810 bis 1860), p.30, Carl Winter Universitätsverlag, Heidelberg 1989, ISBN 3-533-04129-8 (German). The doctrine's Vatican indexing is liber extra - c. 13, X, 5.6, De Iudaeis: Iudaeos, quos propria culpa submisit perpetua servituti; the Decretum online (Latin)