Pope Clement VI's Bull Orders That Jews Not be Forced into Baptisms Hot

Pope Clement VI's Bull Orders That Jews Not be Forced into Baptisms

Pope Clement VI

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Pope Clement VI issues a papal bull ordering that Jews be not forced into baptisms and that Christians respect Jews' Sabbaths, festivals, synagogues, and cemeteries.

This is one of two bulls issued by Pope Clement VI this year designed to deny that Jews bear any responsibility for the the Black Death. Christians have been blaming Jews for the plague and attempting to take revenge against Jewish communities all across Europe.

The Black Death has been killing large numbers of people in Europe, and no one knows why it's happening. As in other, similar events in human history, they have been lashing out at the closest scapegoat: nearby Jews. The Jews are being accused of poisoning wells or "anointing" Christian houses with poison.

As a consequence, Christians are slaughtering Jews in pogroms all over Europe. Many flee to Eastern Europe and Russia, which are at this time more tolerant and not so badly affected by the plague.

This migration creates larger populations of Jews to the east who will later suffer discrimination from Christians in the west. Eventually, these Eastern European Jews will be specifically targeted for extermination by Nazi Germany.

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