This text is based on the unedited transcripts of lectures given in the series "The Catholic Church and the Jewish People from Vatican II to Today" delivered at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome between October 19, 2004 and January 25, 2005 under the auspices of the Cardinal Bea Centre for Judaic Studies. The full collected texts of the course of lectures will be published during the first half of 2005 by:

Editrice Pontificia Università Gregoriana

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The Difficult Apprenticeship of Diversity

Prof. Anna Foa

Rome, 26th October 2004 at the Pontifical Gregorian University


The history of the relations between Jews and Christians in the long centuries that preceded Nostra Aetate is a history that begins with the rise of Christianity and that stretches over a period of almost two thousand years. In the impossibility of tracing even a rough sketch of this history, I will merely show a few of its aspects and then concentrate chiefly on what happened after the 18th century. The latter period marked the beginning of a gradual process of the secularization of society, while the relationship between the Jews and the Church entered a profound crisis that would not be healed until the Second Vatican Council and the decisive turning point of Nostra Aetate.

There is an image that can be considered emblematic of the relationship between Jews and Christians in these centuries: that of the Church and the Synagogue, which adorns many medieval cathedrals. On one side, we see the Synagogue, in the guise of a distraught woman, with a blindfold on her eyes to indicate her blindness before the Messiah whom she refuses to acknowledge; on the other side of the same portal, we find the Church, a triumphant, towering figure eager to display her victory over the Synagogue. This is an iconographic pattern that fully represents the Christian idea of substitution: the Church supersedes the Synagogue, Christianity is the new Israel. If the Church is triumphant, it is because the Synagogue has lost her strength, she is blind, and she is fallen.

This is a fundamental theme of the Christian theological elaboration of the first centuries, clearly defined as early as the 3rd century – a theme that represents on the one hand the theological liquidation of Judaism, seen as defeated and as replaced by Christianity in the divine election, but that on the other hand is also able to find a place for Judaism within the economy of salvation: the Jews must be present within Christian society, although in a state of subordination and dependence. As symbols of error, they will be privileged witnesses to the truth of Christianity: the place iconographically represented by the blind and distraught Synagogue.1

Of course, next to this justification of the presence of Judaism in society we find other theories, including theological ones, such as the eschatological idea that the final conversion of the Jews was necessary to bring about the final Apocalypse. The formula represented in this image, however, is the one that best expresses this relationship, as it indicates subordination, but also equilibrium. The two images are placed on the two scale pans, even if the pan of the Synagogue is lower than the other, to emphasize its own submission. In the 13th century, in the bull Etsi Iudeos, this submission would be indicated with the Latin formula of perpetua servitus, where servitus is meant not in a literal, but in a moral, religious sense: the subordination of error to truth. This equilibrium would remain in place for centuries.2

At its origins, however, there was a deliberate choice. It was not an obvious move, since there was really nothing necessary or ineluctable in the fact that the Church decided to maintain the Jews in its bosom. First of all, it was the choice of the Western, Roman Church, more than of its Eastern counterpart where the presence of the Jews was rather forcefully confrontational, where synagogues were destroyed and violent episodes were much more frequent. With Gregory the Great, at the end of the 6th century, the Western Church definitively opted for the presence of Judaism in its midst, basing its theological pronouncements concerning the Jews on the theories of Paul and Augustine. It was not at all obvious that the Jews ought to have been there; and similarly, it would not be obvious that there would have to be heretics, or Muslims, in a world based on religious uniformity where no diversity – save that of Judaism – was foreseen.

The persistence of the Jewish presence thus constituted a choice, based on a series of theological reasons, as well as on the pronouncements of Roman law destined to be assimilated by canon law. By making this choice, however, the Church laid the foundations for an apprenticeship of diversity, or, in other words, found itself forced to face an instance of diversity: a diversity that was blindfolded, distraught, subordinate, in perpetual servitude, but a diversity that even the most monolithic Christian societies had to face wherever there were Jews.  

Of course, the complex reasons for this presence were not easily understandable for those who had no familiarity with the subtleties of theology, or for the common people (Christians who disagreed with the Church concerning a particular aspect of the faith) who saw heretics burn and infidels live, or who saw the Crusaders, at the end of the 11th century, leave to go and free the Holy Land from the infidels without first getting rid of the infidels who lived within their own society. Hence, many contradictions, many conflicts, many spontaneous persecutions were begun from below. Despite all this, the foundations were laid for this process of apprenticeship of diversity. I am firmly convinced that the Christian West would have had a different history if it had not made this choice, or if it had not encompassed this diversity within itself, even with all the tragic episodes, the persecutions, the violence that accompanied the choosing.

The fact that they lived in the Diaspora, in the West, did of course change the history of the Jews, but at the same time it changed profoundly the history of Western culture. It introduced a sort of dialogue. Of course, there was a whole range of possibilities, and the dialogue, or the relationship between the two worlds, represented an infinitesimal segment of it, which, more than being abstract, belonged to the dimension of daily life, of society, of all that escaped control. But it was still possible, and it has been a part of this history.

In this complex equilibrium there were many factors that tended to shift the rules of the game. The chief factor was the drive to conversion, the exercise of pressure on Jewish minorities to accept the Christian religion. This proselytizing pressure on the Jews does not begin immediately, even if in theory the will to convert is an essential aspect of Christianity. In fact, for the whole of the first millennium of the Middle Ages until after the beginning of the Crusades, there is no real pressure from the Christian world. The two worlds remain impermeable, and conversions are chiefly a problematic or disturbing element. In the centuries of the early Middle Ages, the neophytes are generally individuals who convert out of a religious choice and who do not draw any economic or social advantages from their choice. In fact, they find themselves uprooted, people trusted by no one because they have passed from one world to another. The situation changes only after the Crusades. Conversions, previously isolated and individual phenomena, now involve great numbers of people, and are often forcibly obtained.

Everything begins during the massacres of the Jews in the German region of the Rhineland, which were perpetrated by marginal groups of crusaders and accompanied by forced conversions. There were some who refused to convert and thus sanctified the Name (kiddush ha-Shem), there were others who accepted baptism and saved their own lives. There was only one historical precedent, going back to the 7th century, when the Kings of the Visigoths had ordered the conversion of all Spanish Jews to Catholicism. In this episode, about which we know very little, the initiative had come from the political power, in the guise of the Visigoth king Sisebut and his successors, who had just converted from Arianism to Catholicism, and were thus motivated by the zeal of the neophytes, despite the fact that their action was radically opposed to the Christian belief – recently underscored by Pope Gregory the Great – that the sacrament of baptism could not be conferred against the will of the recipient. In 694 at the Synod of Toledo, the Spanish Church would nonetheless ratify the validity of these conversions, even as it reaffirmed the prohibition to convert Jews by force.

In practice, while there was a theoretical injunction against forcing specific individuals to accept baptism, once this sacrament had been conferred one could no longer go back without effectively apostatizing. Once introduced into the canons, this principle would pose a huge problem for Christianity: how should one relate to those whom you are forcing to convert with your sword at their throat? Are you able to trust them when you force them to remain loyal to a baptism administered under duress when the alternative is to be tried for apostasy? How would you be able to trust their religious faith?

This is a problem that would characterize the whole history of relations between Jews and Christians, and which flows from the conflict between the principle of the spontaneity of conversion and the principle that considers the sacrament of baptism valid regardless of the manner in which it was administered. The contradiction would be perpetuated by the formulations of canon law, even if it would be partially solved by the distinction between absolute force, which renders the baptism invalid as it affects the sacramental character of the action, and relative force. The cases of absolute force, however, are so rare that it is extremely difficult to prove their existence. According to regulations introduced into canon law, baptism can be considered administered with absolute force, and thus null and void, only when the recipient’s hands and feet were tied and he or she continued to protest with a loud voice that he or she did not want to be baptized. In all other cases, even if threatened with death, the force that is being exercised is relative and consent is an option, so that such a baptism is valid.

This distinction was invented at the end of the 11th century, and in fact, before then, those who had been forced to convert by the bands of the crusaders under pain of death quickly returned to Judaism as soon as the circumstances allowed it. The German bishops, on their part, exercised no opposition, being well aware of the risks implicit in the existence of a great number of people converted by force.

The problem would later reemerge, and this time the choice of the Church would be different. In 1267, Pope Clemens IV issued the Bull Turbato Corde, by which those who had converted, as well as those Jews who helped them to return to Judaism, were put under the jurisdiction of the Inquisition. We are now in the historical context in which heresies were tearing apart Western Christianity, and the tribunals of the Inquisition had already been working for a few decades to test the orthodoxy of beliefs held by Christians. On the one hand, the Inquisition could not exert any jurisdiction upon the Jews, whom the Church did not consider heretics but rather members of a religio licita; on the other hand, the Inquisition tried all that it could to extend its control to the Jewish world, too. In this sense, the Bull of 1267 opened many possibilities to the Inquisition, but at the same time it made the issue of forced conversions much more problematic.

The history that began at this point is a tragic history: the “judaizing” converts were hunted down by tribunals, who then proceeded to torture them to force them to admit their apostasy, and then burned them at the stake. The judaizers were declared heretics, thus creating the judaizing heresy. Until then, the most tragic episodes of the relations between the Christian world and the Jews had met the opposition of the church and its hierarchy; now, on the other hand, a spiral of violence and persecution would begin, which for centuries would represent one of the main elements of insecurity for the life of the Jewish communities, and for which the Church, and only the Church, was directly responsible.

In the same period, the question of a “distinctive sign” became more and more pressing. Invented in the Islamic world to identify infidels – Jews and Christians – it was appropriated by the Church in 1215, although not applied for a long time. The purpose of the “distinctive sign” was initially to distinguish Jews from Christians, and to avoid promiscuities of all sorts (especially those of a sexual nature) between the two groups. In time this sign, in the eyes of Christians and even more so of Jews, would acquire a humiliating connotation. The sign emerges in a general context where the distinction between Jews and Christians was disappearing, because there was no specificity or relevant difference in terms of physical appearance or dress. This was especially true in Italy, though in the rest of Europe, and in Germany in particular, the difference in dress remained pronounced.

Let us look at miniatures: in those from the German cultural area, Jews can be distinguished by their hat or their cloths. The Italian miniatures, especially those from the Renaissance period, show instead Jews playing musical instruments and wearing cloths and ornaments which are wholly similar to those worn by Christians.[3] In this world where it was impossible to distinguish Jews and Christians, the friars, and especially the Franciscans, fought strenuously to impose on reluctant cities the observance of the “distinctive sign.”[4] The signs were everywhere different: yellow rollers (remember that yellow is a sign of infamy), yellow or red hats, certain types of cloaks, and even for women circular earrings, which, according to the Franciscan preacher Giacomo della Marca, constitute for them “the sign of circumcision.”[5] On their part, Jews mounted a long and constant resistance to the practice of wearing these signs, trying to avoid it in all possible ways.

Another factor that especially from the 13th century onwards became a point of contention was Jewish books, especially the Talmud. The offensive began among Spanish Dominican friars and French sovereigns, and it was only in the 16th century, and not without hesitation, that the Roman Church made this hostility its own. In 1553, in Rome, the Talmud was publicly burned at the stake. Later on, despite various attempts, especially during the pontificate of Sixtus V, to merely censor the Talmud, the Popes ended by banning it completely. Unlike the German Jews, who could continue to read their books, the Jews of the State of the Church would have to do without the Talmud for three centuries. Such a restriction could not but have very strong repercussions on the intellectual life and the transmission of knowledge, as well as on the daily life of the Italian Jews. And even for this ban the Church carries direct responsibility, at least from the 1553 onwards.

In contrast, it is impossible to ascribe to the Church direct responsibility for the accusations of ritual murder or desecration of the host – accusations that, often with the support of the local clergy, were raised against Jewish communities between the late Middle Ages and the first centuries of the modern era. Thus the Jews were accused, in the majority of cases accused collectively as a group, of ritually murdering a child in the period of the Pesach (Passover) to perpetuate the murder of Christ or even to use its blood for the preparation of unleavened bread. Jews were similarly accused of profaning the consecrated host, as we can reread in the splendid images of the polyptych by Paolo Uccello in Urbino, commissioned by the Franciscans and inspired by a case that had taken place in Paris two centuries earlier. In the first panel, we see a woman, who reclaims her robe from a Jewish pawnbroker, handing him, in exchange, a consecrated host taken away during a Mass. In the following panels we see the frying of the host by a Jewish family, as well as their arrest. The case ends with the whole family – including the children – burnt at the stake, while the woman, repenting before dying, is able to save her soul, albeit not her life. This is an edifying tale, whose pattern is analogous to the accusation of ritual murder. In other legends the profaned host shows the face of the Christ child.

The accusation raised against the Jews is that through these desecrations they intend to destroy Christianity itself. It should be stressed, however, that the medieval Church distanced itself from these accusations, especially those of ritual murder. Thus, the papal Bulls of the 13th century strongly affirm the belief that the Jews are innocent of these charges. At the end of the 19th century it would not be like that, and the Church would make the old “medieval” accusations its own. In Rome, these events only took place once, when in 1554 a child was found crucified in the Teutonic Cemetery, close to the Vatican, and the crowds accused the Jews of the murder. The Church, however, paid no attention to the voices of the people and proceeded to find the real authors of the murder, which had no ritual aspect at all.[6]

In the middle of the 16th century only few regions in Europe still had Jewish communities in their territory. England had already expelled all Jews at the end of the 13th century, France at the beginning of the 14th, Spain in 1492, and the Spanish dominions in Italy between 1492 and the first decades of the 16th. In the 16th century, Jews lived only in a part of Italy and in Germany. In the course of the century, they would be expelled from large parts of Germany, especially from Lutheran towns, as well as from the region of Milan in Italy. And everywhere, in Italy, they were more and more often forced to live in the ghettos, surrounded by walls and gates.

The first ghetto, as is well known, was that of Venice, created in 1516. The most famous ghetto was that of Rome, created by Paul V in 1555 with the Bull Cum nimis absurdum.[7] This was the longest lasting and most significant ghetto because it was developed by the Church in a complex theological project and because the model of Rome’s ghetto was followed in all other ghettos that almost everywhere in Italy would hem in Jewish space in the course of the 16th -17th centuries.

For the Church, the ghetto obeyed a rationale that went beyond the mere separation of Jews from Christians. Pressures to convert, forced sermons every Saturday by preachers who came into the ghetto for this purpose, activities of the Inquisition that kept an eye on the observance of the norms of separation: all this turned the ghetto into a sort of open-air prison, whose purpose was mainly to control the Jews for however long it took to convert them all and so end the Jewish question forever. Of course, as we know, the project failed. It is true that in the period of the ghettos there were numerous individual conversions of Jews, but they were insufficient to really break the identity of the community, especially in a context of confinement where a community’s reaction to external pressure naturally tends to reinforce rather than fragment cohesiveness. In the end, even in the ghetto the old equilibriums were re-established, though for the Jews these equilibriums were much costlier than before. The ghetto was organized in a punitive manner, starting from highly restricted spaces, which do not allow any luxury even to the wealthier members of the community. Jewish bankers might for instance have the money to purchase paintings or tapestries, but could not have walls on which to hang them.[8] In this way, the economy of the ghettos was forced to become increasingly centered on the practice of loaning at interest. In 1682, when the Church closed the Jewish banks, Rome’s ghetto fell into even more abject misery.

In the meantime, however, the world was changing and with it also relations with the Jews. The Jewish presence in Europe, reduced to its lowest level in the 16th century, over the following two hundred years would grow and expand. Many Jews, especially from Germany, chose to move to Eastern Europe. Others moved to the Netherlands, still others “go back” to England and France. The latter, at least initially, were mainly Jews from Portugal, in other words the descendants of those Jews who had been forcibly converted in the Iberian Peninsula between the 15th and the 16th century. They were therefore “marranos,” who have gone through various generations of outward Christian observance, and who were now looking for a place where they could safely go back to their Jewish identity that had been suppressed in the past. The experience of forced conversion, far from generating new Christians, was actually the cause of a rebirth and renewal of the Jewish world.[9]

In Italy, as the Church confronted by the emerging new culture and growing secularization, adopted a defensive attitude that was radically hostile to modernity, the equilibrium between the Jews and the Christian world would become increasingly static and oppressive. In Rome, the ghetto remained closed in a sort of immobility, prevented from having any exchange with the outside world – an outside world that was itself becoming fossilized and increasingly losing touch with the more lively and dynamic currents of European society. To use Benedetto Croce’s famous definition of the Spanish domination in Italy, we could talk, with reference to Rome’s ghetto in the 18th century, of one decadence superimposed on another. The closure and hatred directed by the Church toward modernity was accompanied by a growing suspicion towards Judaism, which seemed allied to that process of secularization that threatened the Church’s social hegemony. The more the outer world grew secular, the more the Church’s relation with the Jews became problematic.

In the middle of the 18th century, a Pope who is nonetheless considered a representative of the more progressive wing of the Church, Benedict XIV Lambertini, sanctioned the Church’s increasingly repressive attitude towards the Jews, questioning the Church’s traditionally radical rejection of the accusation of ritual murder, as well as the caution with which in the past Rome had handled the cases of baptisms that were administered invitis parentibus. In particular, this last practice, which removed from the authority of their parents those children who had been baptized so that they could receive an adequate Christian education, paved the way for increasingly frequent episodes where minors were baptized or children were separated from their families – authentic kidnappings with the purpose of securing conversions.[10]

The famous Mortara case, which ensured the papacy’s loss of  favor in European public opinion and was ultimately instrumental in ending the popes’ secular power, was preceded and accompanied by numerous similar cases. Edgardo Mortara, a six year old Jewish child, was separated from his family in Bologna in 1858, because a maid, who had just been dismissed, had claimed that she had secretly baptized him. Taken to Rome and brought up in the Vatican under the protection of Pius IX despite the protests of European public opinion, he became a priest and died in 1940 in a monastery in Belgium, three months before Belgium was invaded by the Nazis. It might be worth asking how the Nazis would have treated the Jewish priest Mortara, if, in a sort of tragic irony of history, he had not died just before the crucial distinguishing factor between a Jew and a non-Jew became blood and no longer baptism.

Let us go back to the middle of the 18th century a period during which the situation of the Jews in Rome was markedly deteriorating. In 1774, new norms made life and work in the ghetto increasingly difficult, setting up new obstacles for their relations with the outside world. By the end of the century, the papacy saw the Jews as the main advocates of modernity, as the supporters of Enlightenment and revolution. This was untrue, as within the ghetto only a few Jews could gain access to the thought of the Enlightenment, and again only a few would actively support the French and the Jacobins during the Republic of 1798. Only the papacy imagined a sort of alliance between modernization, Enlightenment and Judaism; an alliance that, at least in the Roman context, had no reason to exist, and which the same Jewish world, generally unfamiliar with the new ideas, itself struggled to understand fully.

After Napoleon’s invasion and the imprisonment of the pontiff, the gap [between Christianity and Judaism] appeared unbridgeable. The Restoration actually widened it further, because of its punitive measures against Jews and liberals and its commitment to reconstruct the discriminations wiped away by the Revolution. And if the Roman Jews, newly imprisoned in the ghetto, were still struggling to understand the project of emancipation and make it their own, the rest of Italian Jews were fully committed to it, doing so in the only way open to them: supporting the process of construction of the Italian state and participating actively in the national Risorgimento.

In 1848 the Savoy monarchy was the first Italian régime to grant full and definitive emancipation to Jews, together with Protestants. After this point, the Church began a vigorous campaign against this emancipation, which in its eyes appeared like the negation of the relationship that it had had enjoyed with the Jews for centuries, the negation of the subordination of the Jew as the very condition of his presence. This was, in other words, the negation of the blindfolded and distraught Synagogue. For the Church of the 19th century, the very notion of equality for the Jews was blasphemy, much as it was for liberalism, freedom of thought, and the whole project of modernity which it attacked and could not accept.

In 1870, with the end of the temporal power of the Church, the emancipation of the Italian Jews was brought to completion. The Jew became a citizen like others, with the same rights and the same duties. The radical fracture between the Church and the Italian state would only begin to heal after thirty years, with the attenuation of the non expedit in 1904, and finally with the Concordat of 1929. The fracture between the Church and the Jews that had come about from the 18th century onwards would, however, remain in place longer.

The anti-emancipation polemic was accompanied in the last decades of the 19th century by the growth of a Catholic anti-Semitism that was much more aggressive than its medieval counterpart, or even of that of the Counterreformation. The pages of the Catholic magazines of the end of the century took up again the accusation of ritual murder, at the very moment in which this type of accusation was again reappearing in large parts of Eastern Europe, giving rise to trials and pogroms. The ancient grievances against the Talmud were also taken up again, now that the Church no longer bans the reading of this text. The Jesuit magazine Civiltà Cattolica stands out for the virulence of its denigratory campaigns. In December 1899, Anglicans and Catholics from England asked Leo XIII to reissue the papal Bulls that in the Middle Ages had declared the falsity of the accusations of ritual murder, so as to put an end to this dangerous calumny. The Pope, however, merely forwarded this hot potato to the Holy Office, which answered that “it was not in the position to give the desired response.”

The first decades of the new century did not substantially change the nature of this anti-Jewish attitude, which inevitably ended up blending, at least in part, with the anti-Semitism that was spreading through Europe. Of course the racial ideology of the Nazis and traditional Catholic anti-Judaism always remained distinct, but there were many ambits where they could meet and join. One of these was the hostility to the emancipation of the Jews, which explains perhaps, at least in part, the lack of a reaction from the Catholic world and from the Church when confronted by laws that represented effectively the overhaul of the process of emancipation, a radical de-emancipation.

Thus, after the fall of Fascism, the Jesuit historian Tacchi Venturi, speaking in an unofficial manner, could still express the wish on the part of the Church that not all that was contained in the racist laws would be abrogated, since they were also based on principles that belonged to the tradition of the Catholic Church and that the latter continued to uphold.[11] Immediately afterwards, the Church abandoned this position against emancipation, accepting the principle that no political discrimination ought to accompany religious differences. Even at that moment, however, we believe that the Church only accepted this principle reluctantly.

As evidenced by the first years of the post-war period, it took a very long time before the Church would truly understand that what had happened in Europe with the Shoah demanded a radical re-discussion of its relationships with the Jews. The same delay, on the other hand, can also be seen in the rest of the European world. Only later, from the end of the 1950’s, the understanding of the Shoah and of anti-Semitism gave rise to that process of re-thinking, which would lead to the rejection of the century-old “teaching of contempt,” as well as to the milestone represented by Nostra aetate.                                                                                                                 


1 On this theme, which is the object of a very vast bibliography, I only wish to mention the very recent volume by P. Stefani, Antigiudaismo. Storia di un’idea, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2004. 

2 Cf. K. R. Stow, Alienated Minority. The Jews of Medieval Latin Europe, Cambridge-London, Harvard University Press, 1992; A. Foa, Ebrei in Europa dalla peste nera all’emancipazione, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2003.

[3] Cf. R. Bonfil, Gli ebrei in Italia nell’epoca del Rinascimento, Firenze, Sansoni, 1991.

[4] Cf. A. Toaff, Il vino e la carne. Una comunitá ebraica nel Medioevo, Bologna, Il Mulino, 1989.

[5] Cf. B. Blumenkranz. Il cappello a punta. L’ebreo medievale nello specchio dell’arte cristiana, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2003

[6] Cf. A. Foa, Eretici. Storie di streghe, ebrei e convertiti, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2004.

[7] The fundamental work in this area is the study by A. Milano, Il ghetto di Roma. Illustrazioni storiche, Roma, Carducci, 1964. Cf. also K.R. Stow, Theater of Acculturation: The Roman Ghetto in the Sixteenth Century, Seattle, University fo Washington Press, 2001. 

[8] On these aspects, cf. L. Allegra, Identitá in bilico. Il ghetto ebraico di Torino nel Settecento, Torino, Zamorani, 1996. 

[9] The bibliography on this topic is virtually endless. Cf., among others, Y.H. Yerushalmi, Dalla corte al ghetto. La vita, le opere, le peregrinazioni del marrano Cardoso nell’Europa del Seicento, Milano, Garzanti, 1991: Y. Kaplan, From Christianity to Judaism. The Story of Orobio de Castro, Oxford University Press, 1989: H. Méchoulan, Gli Ebrei ad Amsterdam all’epoca di Spinosa, Genova, ECIG, 1998; and N. Wachtel, La fede del ricordo. Ritratti e itinerari di marrani in America (XVI-XX secolo), Torino, Einaudi, 2003.  

[10] Cf. in particular M. Caffiero, Battesimi forzati. Storie di ebrei, cristiani e convertiti nella Roma dei papi, Roma, Viella, 2004. 

[11] Even on this point the bibliography is extremely vast. I shall merely mention the fundamental contributions by G. Miccoli, Santa Sede, questione ebraica e antisemitismo fra Otto e Novecento, in Gli ebrei in Italia, ed. by C. Vivanti, Storia d’Italia, Annali, II, Torino, Einaudi, 1997, pp. 1369-1574, and R. Moro, La Chiesa e lo sterminio degli ebrei, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2002.