‘Don’t Blame the Jews for the Black Death’ Urges the Pope

Not the current Pope.  The 14th century one!

On this day in history:  Pope Clement VI issued the first of two papal bulls urging Christians not to blame the Jews for the plague epidemic sweeping across Europe. By 1348 the devastating and apocalyptic nature of the Black Death had resulted in suspicion of the Jews within Christian communities. Rumours of Jews poisoning communal wells began to circulate and the persecution of Jewish people greatly increased. The pope condemned the violence and said those who blamed the Jews had been tricked by the Devil. However, the pope’s statements had only limited success and the Jewish community continued to be one of the most persecuted during the years of the plague.