following suit, both accept “the ignorance” of the Jews of Jerusalem
and even of their leaders.
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.
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.
All sinners were the authors of Christ’s Passion
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
Taking into account the fact that our sins
affect Christ himself,
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
Nor did demons crucify him; it is you who have crucified
him and crucify him still, when you delight in your vices and
I, 5, 11; cf.
I, 5, 11; cf.
392 St. Francis of Assisi,