· Information 

   The Kingship of Christ and The Conversion of the Jewish Nation
    by Rev. Denis Fahey, C.C.Sp.

  Chapter VI  
The Catholic Church and Anti-Semitism


After all that has already been said, it will be easy to deal with the question of anti-Semitism. What is meant by the term? It means hatred of the Jews as a race. The Jews, however, use the word to designate any form of opposition to themselves, and they strive persistently to associate irrationality and want of balance with the term. They evidently want the world to believe that anyone who opposes Jewish pretensions is more or less mentally deranged.

Now, first of all, it must be remarked that the term is too wide and too loose. The Arabs are doubtless Semites. Yet the Arabs in Palestine, on account of their opposition to Jewish domination, are anti-Semites.

Secondly, as we must stand valiantly for the rights of Christ the King, the true Supernatural Messias, and strive to reimpregnate society with the supernatural spirit of the Mystical Body, we must combat Jewish efforts to permeate the world with naturalism. In that sense, as there is only one divine plan for order in the world, every sane thinker must be an anti-Semite. The Jewish World, February 9th 1883, contained the following programme: “The great ideal of Judaism is . . . that the whole world should be imbued with Jewish teachings, and that in a universal Brotherhood of nations—a greater Judaism in fact—all the separate races and religions shall disappear.” This implies the elimination of the Supernatural Messias and the disappearance of the Mystical Body of Christ, the Catholic Church. The Jews need not he surprised that such pretensions evoke “anti-Semitism.”That programme is a challenge to the Catholic Church to a duel to the death.


The Catholic Church condemns hatred and want of charity between nations just as it does between individuals. By nature we are brothers and by our supernature, the divine life of grace, we are united in a brotherhood which is infinitely nobler still. “Above the brotherhood of humanity and fatherland,” said Pope Pius XI, “there is a brotherhood which is infinitely more sacred and more precious, the brotherhood which makes us one in Christ, our Redeemer, namely, our kinship in the Catholic Church, the Mystical Body of Christ Himself.” [1]

The Church condemns in a more particular manner hatred of the Jews. Why is hatred of the Jewish race, as such, especially odious? Because they are the nation and race in which the lord became flesh. Our Lord is a Jew of the House of David. Catholics commonly designate this hatred by the term “anti-Semitism.” [2]

If we take into account the condemnation of the German racial theories in the Encyclical Letter, On the Persecution of the Church in Germany, and in the Letter of the Sacred Congregation of Seminaries of April, 1938, the present National Socialist hatred of the Jewish race is to be still more severely condemned, because it is based on blasphemous and heretical presuppositions.[3]

It must, however, be remarked with the writer of the article, Juifs et Chrétiens, in the Dictionnaire Apologétique de la Foi Chrétienne, that the Church has spoken for and against the Jews. On the one hand, the Church has spoken for the Jews to protect their persons and their worship against unjust attacks. She has always condemned acts of violence against the Jews and has respected the liberty of their consciences and allowed them freedom for their cult. On the other hand, the Church has spoken against the Jews, when they wanted to impose their yoke on the faithful and provoke apostasy. She has ways striven to protect the faithful from contamination by them. As experience in past centuries showed that if the Jews succeeded in attaining to high offices of State they would abuse their powers to the detriment of Catholics, the Church always strove to prevent Catholics from coming under their yoke. They were forbidden to proselytise and were not allowed to have Christians as slaves or servants.

On the one hand, the Church condemns race hatred in general and hatred of the Redeemer’s race in particular. On the other hand, the Church insists, as we have seen, on the duty of combating naturalism in public and private life and approves of love of native land and extols true supernatural patriotism. We have the right and the duty to defend our country and our nation against the unjust aggression of another nation. This duty is still more strongly urged upon us when it is a question of our country’s fidelity to Christ the King. We must, therefore, combat naturalism in general always and everywhere, and we must be vigilant in regard to the naturalism of the Jewish nation in particular. The tireless energy with which His own nation pursues the elimination of the influence of the supernatural life is doubly painful to our Lord’s Sacred Heart. The combat against naturalism in general and, therefore, against the organised naturalism of the Jewish nation, is urged upon us, for example, by Pope Leo XIII (Tametsi, 1900) and Pope Pius XI (Quas Primas, 1925, and Quadragesimo Anno, 1931).

We are warned against Jewish naturalism explicitly in a whole series of papal documents quoted by Pope Benedict XIV, in the Encyclical Letter, A Quo Primum (1751). ‘As for Us,’ writes that learned Pontiff, ‘in this matter, as in all others, We follow the line of conduct adopted by Our Venerable Predecessors, the Roman Pontiffs. Alexander III (1159-1181) forbade Christians, under severe penalties, to enter the service of Jews for any lengthy period or to become domestic servants in their households’ ‘ They ought not,’ he wrote, ‘to serve Jews for pay in permanent fashion.’ The same Pontiff explains the reason for this prohibition as follows: ‘Our ways of life and those of the Jews are utterly different, and Jews will easily pervert the souls of simple folk to their superstition and unbelief, if such folk are living in continual and intimate intercourse with them.’ This quotation concerning the Jews will be found in the Decretal ‘Ad hæc.’ Innocent II (1198-1216) after having mentioned that Jews were being admitted by Christians into their cities, warned Christians that the mode and the conditions of admission should be such as to prevent the Jews from returning evil for good: ‘When they are thus admitted out of pity into familiar intercourse with Christians, they repay their hosts, as the proverb says, after the fashion of the rat hidden in the sack, or the snake in the bosom, or the burning brand in one’s lap.’ The same Pontiff says it is :fitting for Jews to serve Christians, but not for Christians to serve Jews, and adds: ‘The sons of the free-woman should not serve the sons of the bond-woman. On the contrary, the Jews, as servants rejected by that Saviour whose death they wickedly contrived, should recognise themselves, in fact and in deed, the servants of those whom the death of Christ has set free, even as it has rendered them bondmen.’ These words may be read in the Decretal, ‘Etsi Judæos.’ In like manner, in another Decretal, ‘Cum sit nimis under the same heading, ‘De Judæis et Saracenis’ (On Jews and Saracens) he forbids public positions to be bestowed on Jews: ‘We forbid the giving of public appointments to Jews because they profit by the opportunities thus afforded them to show themselves bitterly hostile to Christians . . . ’ If any should ask what is forbidden by the Apostolic See to Jews dwelling in the same towns as Christians . . . he has only to read the Constitutions of the Roman Pontiffs, Our Predecessors, Nicholas IV (1288-1294); Paul IV (1555-1559); Saint Pius V (1566-1572); Gregory XIII (1572-1585); and Clement VIII (1592-1605), which are readily available, as they are to be found in the Bullarium Romanum.”

In face of Jewish naturalism, then, we must proclaim the supremacy of the supernatural life of the Mystical Body by which we are spiritual descendants of Abraham, over the natural life of Abraham’s descendants according to the flesh, as well as over every form of national life.[4]

In face of Rosenberg’s naturalistic deification of the German race and his rejection of Jewish blood as poisoned, we must proclaim that the Mystical Body of Christ is the one divinely instituted supernatural society in which all both Jew and Gentile, German and non-German, find redemption. We must affirm unflinchingly that this supernatural society of which the life-blood is sanctifying grace is infinitely superior to every nation and every race. As Abraham merited by his faith and obedience to be the ancestor of the Head of redeemed humanity, who was therefore of Jewish blood; so we by our faith and obedience, are his spiritual descendants, spiritually Semites, members of the Mystical Body of his seed. This is what Pope Pius XI emphasized when he used the expression: “anti-semitism is inadmissible. We are spiritually Semites,” addressed to the members of a Belgian pilgrimage in September, 1938. [5] Pope Pius XI’s phrase is an echo of the one used by Pope Pius IX to the Jewish convert priests, the Fathers Lemann: “You are the sons of Abraham and I also.” [6]

The phrase used by Pope Pius XI has been very frequently quoted, in fact, so frequently, that one is inclined to suspect that it is being used as propaganda with a view to emphasising one aspect of the question, especially when one hardly ever finds any allusion to the previous portion of the Pope’s discourse. Pope Pius XI had also said:“It is impossible for Christians to be anti-Semites, but we acknowledge that everyone has the right to defend himself, in other words, to take the necessary precautions for his protection against everything that threatens his legitimate interests.” Thus we find in this pronouncement of Pope Pius XI [7] the two currents which, down the centuries, run through the official declarations of the Holy See concerning the Jews. On the one hand, the Sovereign Pontiffs strive to protect the Jews from physical violence and to secure respect for their family life and their worship, as the life and worship of human persons. On the other hand, they aim unceasingly at protecting Christians from the contamination of Jewish naturalism and try to prevent Jews from obtaining control over Christians. The existence of the second needs to be strongly stressed, because, to some extent it has been lost sight of in recent times. Catholics need to be made familiar, not only with the repeated Papal condemnations of the Talmud, but with the measures taken by the Sovereign Pontiffs to preserve society from the inroads of Jewish naturalism. Otherwise they will be exposed to the risk of speaking of Pope St. Pius V and Pope Benedict XIV, for example, as anti-Semites, and showing their ignorance of the meaning of supernatural life and of the rule of Christ the King over society.


But what is the reason of the peculiar persistent opposition to the Jews? The ultimate reason is their perversion of the supernatural mission which they as a nation received from God. They were destined to be the heralds of the divine life of grace to the world. They did not listen to Our Lord when He spoke to them of the reality of a higher life and of a higher unity for the peoples of the world than their national life and the unity imposed by their nation. The Jews as a nation refused to aid in building up the supernatural, supranational Mystical Body of Christ into which all nations were invited to enter. “In the time of Our Lord,” writes Père Lagrange, O.P., “the Talmud was not yet written, but its spirit already animated the doctors of Israel.” [8] It is that spirit of self-centred pride and contempt, owing to their being specially favoured by God, which roused the opposition of the nations to the Jews before the coming of Christ. It is the Talmud which has maintained that organised pride and systematic contempt amongst them since. This perversion of the normal relation of a nation to other nations is the morally inevitable result of their refusal to accept the divine plan for order in the world. Opposition to God and rejection of grace lead to decay. Moral wrong becomes right for a mind persistently opposed to God and the one Mediator, Christ Jesus.

The results of Jewish opposition to the divine plan may be summed up as follows: “If we now consider the opposition of the Jewish nation to the Mystical Body of Christ since Calvary, we shall find it codified and crystallised, so to say, in the Talmud and Kabbala. The Talmud contains, chiefly but not exclusively, the deviations from the order of the world in regard to the organisation of society (social life). The terrible pride of the Jewish race, due to their having lowered and corrupted the idea of the mission to which God has called them, is very visible therein. While the Talmud represents the codification of Jewish opposition to the Kingship of Christ, the Kabbala reflects rather the opposition to the priesthood of Christ. In the latter we see, chiefly but not exclusively, the divagations [sic.= to wander, stray] from order which have arisen amongst the Jews, with regard to mystical union with God and spiritual life, owing to their persistent want of submission to God and to Jesus Christ Whom He has sent. The refusal to accept the divine life offered by Our Lord has resulted in the deification of the natural powers of man. The Kabbala furnishes the key to the Pantheism of Freemasonry, Theosophy, and the other occult societies which promise to reveal the secrets of a higher life to their adepts.” [9]

1Allocution to the Spanish Refugees, 14th September, 1936.
2Cf. the document of the Congregation of the Holy Office already quoted on p. 75.
3Chapter III. pp. 43-44.
4“All are not Israelites that are in Israel: neither are all they that are the seed of Abraham, children” (Rom. IX, 6, 7).
5‘The French journal, La Croix, of September 17th 1938, stated that Pins XI, opening a Missal which had been offered him by some Belgian pilgrims, read out in Latin the prayer “Supra quæ propitio, etc.,” from the Canon of the Mass. In English the prayer runs as follows:“Vouchsafe to look upon them with a countenance merciful and kind, and to receive them as Thou wast pleased to receive the gifts of Thy just servant Abel, and the sacrifice of our father Abraham, and that which Melchisedech Thy high priest offered up to Thee, a holy sacrifice and spotless victim.” The Pope then went on to say: “Anti-semitism is incompatible with the sublime ideas and truths expressed in this text. We Christians can take no part in such a movement . . . no, it is impossible for Christians to take part in anti-semitism. We acknowledge that everyone has the right to defend himself, in other words, to take the necessary precautions for his protection against everything that threatens his legitimate interests. But anti-semitism is inadmissible. We are spiritually Semites.”
—Translation from The Missal (Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd. 1933).
6“Vos estis filii Abrahæ et ego.” This is quoted in the book, La Cause des restes d’lsraël introduite au Concile Œcuménique du Vatican, by the Fathers Lémann.
7The Antiphon of the Magnificat of the first vespers of Quinquagesima Sunday expresses the same idea in succinct fashion. It runs as follows: “Noble Abraham, the Father of our Faith, offered a holocaust on the altar in the place of his son.”
Cf. the text of Gal. III, 29: “And if you be Christ’s, then are you the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise.” M. Drach quotes this text when, addressing his fellow Israelites, he says: “It is only through Jesus that you can be children of Abraham.” (L’Harmonie entre I’Eglise et la Synagogue, Vol. I, p. 25).
8 L’Evangile de Jésus Christ, p. 463.
9The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World, pp. 75, 76.