The relations between Pope Clement VIII and Judaism
were rather bad, since Pope Clement had no qualms in making the usual link between Jews and usury:
All the world suffers from the usury of the Jews, their monopolies and deceit. They have brought many unfortunate people into a state of poverty, especially the farmers, working class people and the very poor. Then as now Jews have to be reminded intermittently anew that they were enjoying rights in any country since they left Palestine and the Arabian desert, and subsequently their ethical and moral doctrines as well as their deeds rightly deserve to be exposed to criticism in whatever country they happen to live.
Jews in Avignon
Clement VIII's approach towards the Jews had more specific targets. In Cum saepe accidere
(February 28, 1592) he forbade the long-established Jewish community of the papal enclave of Avignon
Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...
to sell new goods, putting them at a disadvantage and fostering the cliché of the Jew as a dealer in secondhand goods.
With Caeca et Obdurata
Caeca et Obdurata Hebraeorum perfidia was a papal bull, promulgated by Pope Clement VIII on February 25, 1593, which expelled the Jews from the Papal States, effectively revoking the bull Christiana pietas of his predecessor Pope Sixtus V...
(February 25, 1593), he confirmed the bull of Pope Paul IV
Pope Paul IV, C.R. , né Giovanni Pietro Carafa, was Pope from 23 May 1555 until his death.-Early life:Giovanni Pietro Carafa was born in Capriglia Irpina, near Avellino, into a prominent noble family of Naples...
that established a ghetto
A ghetto is a section of a city predominantly occupied by a group who live there, especially because of social, economic, or legal issues.The term was originally used in Venice to describe the area where Jews were compelled to live. The term now refers to an overcrowded urban area often associated...
for the ancient community of Jews in Rome, and reiterated the ban on Jews, who had otherwise been formally expelled from the Papal States by Pope Pius V
Pope Saint Pius V , born Antonio Ghislieri , was Pope from 1566 to 1572 and is a saint of the Catholic Church. He is chiefly notable for his role in the Council of Trent, the Counter-Reformation, and the standardization of the Roman liturgy within the Latin Church...
(1566–72) (in Hebraeorum gens
) February 26, 1569 dwelling outside of the ghettos of Rome, Ancona
Ancona is a city and a seaport in the Marche region, in central Italy, with a population of 101,909 . Ancona is the capital of the province of Ancona and of the region....
, and Avignon, thus ensuring that they remained city-dwellers. Beyond Papal reach, east of Poland, by contrast, farming communities of Jews remained a familiar feature of the landscape.
Reading of the Talmud
With Cum Hebraeorum malitia
a few days later, (February 28) he even forbade the reading of the Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....
. It is alleged that Clement VIII's reference to the "blind obstinacy" of the Jews gave rise to the religious slur "kike
Kike is a derogatory slur used to refer to a Jew.-Etymology:The source of the term is uncertain. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it may be an alteration of the endings –ki or –ky common in the personal names of Jews in eastern Europe who immigrated to the United States in the early...
", though many etymologies dispute this.