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Anti-Semitism is Not a Christian Value

We condemn all discriminatory measures against any religious or racial group. We proclaim with Pope Pius XI that "it is not possible for Christians to have any part in anti-Semitism." By attacking a people from whom Christ was born, anti-Semitism is manifestly anti-Christian in its roots. Every doctrine is contrary to Christianity that mistakenly or out of hatred prevents men from exercising their natural rights by reason of their ethnic or religious affiliation. If individuals or established social and religious groups harm the common good, punishment for such acts should be meted out according to the responsibilities of the persons involved. Preventative measures cannot deprive any individual of his natural rights and of the conditions of a free, dignified, and humane life-that the state by reason of its existence ought to guarantee to each person. Every exceptional or discriminatory law is unjust. We know moreover that Christians ought not only care for themselves and their interests but also for the good of their brothers and the future of justice and law. The abominable racial, religious, and political persecutions which today bloody the word wound the health of each of us who belong to Christ.

Jacques Maritain, Oeuvres Completes, vol. 7, 1224.Quoted in: Jacques Maritain and the Jews, ed. by Robert Royal (Notre Dame 1994).


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