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Trevor Jones wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have kind of a historical question of Catholic Christian behavior towards Jewish people.

  • Throughout history, the Jews are blamed for the death of Christ but since it was necessary for Jesus to die for our sins, why are they hated for doing such a thing?
  • Jesus had to die for our sins in order for us to be saved, so why were they blamed for doing what they did.
  • Shouldn't they be "rewarded" or commended for this?

I know that's probably the wrong way of saying it: That they should be rewarded for killing a man, but it was necessary.

  • Was Jesus supposed to live a full life and die of old age for our sins or was he supposed to be "murdered" for such a gift to be given to mankind?

I'm sorry if this ruffles some feathers, but I would like to have a Catholic's view on this question.

I know that through Vatican II, the Jews were forgiven for the death of Christ, but it seems the people of the Church aren't as forgiving, or see it that way.

Thank you and God Bless.


  { Why are the Jewish people hated for the death of Jesus, when His death was necessary? }

Mike replied:

Hi Trevor,

Thanks for the question although with a little study and research, I think you could have answered your own questions.

It was right in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. You can get a low cost one here.

You said:
I know that's probably the wrong way of saying it: That they should be rewarded for killing a man, but it was necessary.

Jesus was not a mere man, He was God-incarnate — God in the flesh. That said, patting an individual or group of people on the back for deicide is not a good idea. : )

Every breathe you are currently taking is only due to the love of God and his hope that you will follow His call for you in your life. As Catholic Christians we should radiate real, sacrificial love, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and those principles that are based on the Gospels.

What I would say is:

Out of the great possible evil that could be committed by mankind, was pulled the greatest possible good in human history.

The Church echoes similar sediments in its liturgical book, for example: "O happy fall of Adam!"

Why? Because without Adam's fall we would not have the possibility of being Sons of God, with Our Lord, Himself.

The key is the second line below from paragraph 597 from the Catechism:

The personal sin of the participants (Judas, the Sanhedrin, Pilate) is known to God alone.

As Nostra Aetate states:

True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ; still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today.

Make sure you read everything below for a good understanding.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Jews are not collectively responsible for Jesus' death

597 The historical complexity of Jesus' trial is apparent in the Gospel accounts. The personal sin of the participants (Judas, the Sanhedrin, Pilate) is known to God alone. Hence we cannot lay responsibility for the trial on the Jews in Jerusalem as a whole, despite the outcry of a manipulated crowd and the global reproaches contained in the apostles' calls to conversion after Pentecost. (Cf. Mark 15:11; Acts 2:23, 36; 3:13-14; 4:10; 5:30; 7:52; 10:39; 13:27-28; 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15.) Jesus himself, in forgiving them on the cross, and Peter in following suit, both accept "the ignorance" of the Jews of Jerusalem and even of their leaders. (Cf. Luke 23:34; Acts 3:17) Still less can we extend responsibility to other Jews of different times and places, based merely on the crowd's cry: "His blood be on us and on our children!", a formula for ratifying a judicial sentence. (Matthew 27:25; cf. Acts 5:28; 18:6.) As the Church declared at the Second Vatican Council:

. . . [N]either all Jews indiscriminately at that time, nor Jews today, can be charged with the crimes committed during his Passion. . . [T]he Jews should not be spoken of as rejected or accursed as if this followed from holy Scripture.
(Vatican II, Nostra Aetate 4)

All sinners were the authors of Christ's Passion

598 In her Magisterial teaching of the faith and in the witness of her saints, the Church has never forgotten that "sinners were the authors and the ministers of all the sufferings that the divine Redeemer endured." (Roman Catechism I, 5, 11; cf. Hebrews 12:3.) Taking into account the fact that our sins affect Christ himself, (Cf. Matthew 25:45; Acts 9:4-5) the Church does not hesitate to impute to Christians the gravest responsibility for the torments inflicted upon Jesus, a responsibility with which they have all too often burdened the Jews alone:

We must regard as guilty all those who continue to relapse into their sins. Since our sins made the Lord Christ suffer the torment of the cross, those who plunge themselves into disorders and crimes crucify the Son of God anew in their hearts (for he is in them) and hold him up to contempt. And it can be seen that our crime in this case is greater in us than in the Jews. As for them, according to the witness of the Apostle, "None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." We, however, profess to know him. And when we deny him by our deeds, we in some way seem to lay violent hands on him. (Roman Catechism I, 5, 11; cf. Hebrews 6:6; 1 Corinthians 2:8.)

Nor did demons crucify him; it is you who have crucified him and crucify him still, when you delight in your vices and sins. (St. Francis of Assisi, Admonitio 5, 3.)

II. Christ's Redemptive Death In God's Plan Of Salvation

"Jesus handed over according to the definite plan of God"

599 Jesus' violent death was not the result of chance in an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances, but is part of the mystery of God's plan, as St. Peter explains to the Jews of Jerusalem in his first sermon on Pentecost: "This Jesus [was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God." (Acts 2:23) This Biblical language does not mean that those who handed him over were merely passive players in a scenario written in advance by God. (Cf. Acts 3:13)

600 To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of "predestination", he includes in it each person's free response to his grace: "In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place." (Acts 4:27-28; cf. Psalm 2:1-2.) For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness. (Cf. Matthew 26:54; John 18:36; 19:11; Acts 3:17-18)

"He died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures"

601 The Scriptures had foretold this divine plan of salvation through the putting to death of "the righteous one, my Servant" as a mystery of universal redemption, that is, as the ransom that would free men from the slavery of sin. (Isaiah 53:11; cf. 53:12; John 8:34-36; Acts 3:14) Citing a confession of faith that he himself had "received", St. Paul professes that "Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures." (1 Corinthians 15:3; cf. also Acts 3:18; 7:52; 13:29; 26:22-23.) In particular Jesus' redemptive death fulfills Isaiah's prophecy of the suffering Servant. (Cf. Isaiah 53:7-8 and Acts 8:32-35) Indeed Jesus himself explained the meaning of his life and death in the light of God's suffering Servant. (Cf. Matthew 20:28) After his Resurrection he gave this interpretation of the Scriptures to the disciples at Emmaus, and then to the apostles. (Cf. Luke 24:25-27, 44-45.)

"For our sake God made him to be sin"

602 Consequently, St. Peter can formulate the apostolic faith in the divine plan of salvation in this way: "You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers. . . with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake." (1 Peter 1:18-20) Man's sins, following on original sin, are punishable by death. (Cf. Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:56) By sending his own Son in the form of a slave, in the form of a fallen humanity, on account of sin, God "made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21; cf. Philippians 2:7; Romans 8:3)

603 Jesus did not experience reprobation as if he himself had sinned. (Cf. John 8:46) But in the redeeming love that always united him to the Father, he assumed us in the state of our waywardness of sin, to the point that he could say in our name from the cross: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34; Psalm 22:2; cf. John 8:29) Having thus established him in solidarity with us sinners, God "did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all", so that we might be "reconciled to God by the death of his Son". (Romans 8:32; 5:10)

Hope this helps,


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