Medieval W. Christendom
The basic directions of Church policy flowed directly from the fundamental
doctrine indicated above. Jewish past and future required ongoing Jewish
existence and a safe place in Christian society. TheConstitutio pro Judeisserved as a
basic reiteration of the Jewish right to safety and to fulfillment of the demands of
Jewish religious faith.

Beyond formal statements, the leadership of the Church in fact recurrently
insisted in practice on recognition of these rights. Thus, for example, when anti-
Jewish violence unexpectedly broke out in 1096, as part of the early stages of the
First Crusade, Church leadership made note of the fact and, armed with this
foreknowledge, made strenuous and largely successful efforts to insure Jewish
safety during the subsequent crusading ventures. The bloodbath of 1096 was not

Jews were well aware of the protective stance of the Church and often
appealed to high ecclesiastical authorities for support in the face of danger. For
example, as increasingly irrational charges about Jews evolved during the twelfth
and thirteenth centuries, Jew approached Church leadership with pleas for
assistance. In part, these efforts were successful. The mid-thirteenth-century
allegation that Jews use Christian blood in their Passover rituals was decisively
rejected by the papacy. On the other hand, when the charge of host desecration by
Jews surfaced in Paris in 1290, the leadership of the Church proclaimed the sanctity
of the site of an alleged host desecration and consequent miracle, in effect
endorsing the dangerous new claim.