Authors: James Carroll
Tags: #Religion, #Christianity, #Catholic, #History
The Church and the Jews
Table of Contents
A Mariner Book
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
BOSTON • NEW YORK
First Mariner Books edition 2002
Copyright © 2001 by James Carroll
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
For information about permission to reproduce selections from
this book, write to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Company,
215 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10003.
Visit our Web site:
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Carroll, James, date.
Constantine's sword : the church and the Jews : a
history / James Carroll.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
1. Christianity and antisemitism—History. 2. Catholic
Church—Relations—Judaism. 3. Judaism—Relations—
Catholic Church. I. Title.
Printed in the United States of America
Book design by Robert Overholtzer
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Portions of this book appeared, in different form, in
The New Yorker
The Atlantic Monthly.
Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following authors and publishers for kind permission to
reproduce material in this book:
by Saint Augustine. Translated by R. S. Pine-Coffin.
Copyright © 1961 by R. S. Pine-Coffin. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Books Ltd.
The City of God
Saint Augustine. Translated by Henry Bettenson. Copyright O 1972 by Henry Bettenson. Reprinted by
permission of Penguin Books Ltd.
by Neil Asher Silberman. Copyright © 1998 by Neil
Asher Silberman. Reprinted by permission of Grosset and Dunlap (Putnam).
Inquisition and Society in
by Henry Kamen. Reprinted by permission of Weidenfeld 8c Nicolson.
Blackbourn. Reprinted by permission of the author.
Toward a Sew Council of Florence
by Nicolaus of Cusa.
Translated by William F. Wertz, Ir. Reprinted by permission of the Schiller Institute, Inc.
by Ian Willem Drijvers. Reprinted with the kind permission of C Koninklijke Brill N.V., Leiden. The
The Jews and the Crusades
by Shlomo Eidelberg. Reprinted by permission of the author and
the University of Wisconsin Press.
Ideology and Experience
by Stephen Wilson. Reprinted by permission of
the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, Oxford, U.K.
A Social and Religious History of the Jews
Wittmayer Baron. Copyright © 1969 Columbia University Press. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
European Jewry and the First Crusade
by Robert Chazen. Copyright © 1987 The Regents of the University of
California. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
Dreyfus: A Family Affair
by Michael Bums. Reprinted
by permission of the author.
Héloise and Abelard
by Étienne Gilson. Copyright 1950, C 1978 by the Pontifical
Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto. Reprinted by permission of the copyright owner.
Diplomacy and the Jews During the Holocaust, 1939–1943
by John F. Morley. Reprinted by permission of Ktav
Publishing House, Inc.
FOR BILL AND MARGARET
AND FOR DON
For it is the bitter grief of theology and its blessed task, too, always to have to seek (because it does not clearly have present to it at the time) what in a true sense—in its historical memory—it has always known ... always providing that one has the courage to ask questions, to be dissatisfied, to think with the mind and heart one actually has, and not with the mind and heart one is supposed to have.
—Karl Rahner, S.J.
The Cross at Auschwitz
1. Sign of Folly
2. Stumbling Block to Jews
3. The Journey
4. My Mother's Clock
5. Passion Play
6. My Rabbi
7. Between Past and Future
New Testament Origins of Jew Hatred
8. My Great-Uncle
9. Jesus, a Jew?
10. The Threshold Stone
11. Destroy This Temple
12. The Healing Circle
13. Paul, the Martyr of Shalom
14. Parting of the Ways
15. The Lachrymose Tradition: A Cautionary Note
Constantine, Augustine, and the Jews
16. The Heart of This Story Is a Place
17. The Story of Constantine
18. The Cross and the Religious Imagination
19. The Vision of Constantine
20. The True Cross
21. Augustine Trembling
22. The Seamless Robe
23. The Danger of Ambivalence
From Crusades to Conversionism
24. The War of the Cross
25. The Incident in Trier
26. Mainz Anonymous
27. The Blood Libel
28. Anselm: Why God Became Man
29. Abelard and Héloïse
30. Thomas Aquinas: Reason Against the Jews
The Inquisition: Enter Racism
31. One Road
32. My Inquisition
34. Convert-Making: The Failure of Success
35. Expulsion in 1492
36. The Roman Ghetto
37. The Religious Response of the Jews
38. Shema Yisrael!
Emancipation, Revolution, and a New Fear of Jews
39. Karl Marx, Second Son of Trier
40. Spinoza: From Rabbis to Revolution
41. Voltaire and the False Promise of Emancipation
42. Jew as Revolutionary, Jew as Financier
43. Revolution in Rome: The Pope's Jews
44. Alfred Dreyfus and
45. The Uses of Antisemitism
46. Lucie and Madeleine
The Church and Hitler
47. From Christian Anti-Judaism to Eliminationist Antisemitism
48. Setting a Standard: The Church Against Bismarck
49. Eugenio Pacelli and the Surrender of German Catholicism
50. The Seamless Robe in 1933
51. Maria Laach and
52. Pius XII: Last Days of the Roman Ghetto
53. Edith Stein and Catholic Memory
A Call for Vatican III
54. The Broad Relevance of Catholic Reform
55. Agenda for a New Reformation
56. Agenda Item 1: Anti-Judaism in the New Testament
57. Agenda Item 2: The Church and Power
58. Agenda Item 3: A New Christology
59. Agenda Item 4: The Holiness of Democracy
60. Agenda Item 5: Repentance
Epilogue: The Faith of a Catholic
THE CROSS AT AUSCHWITZ
1. Sign of Folly
HE CROSS IS MADE
of stout beams, an intersection of railroad ties. It stands in a field of weeds that slopes down from the road. The field is abutted on one side by the old theater, where gas canisters were stored, also looted gold; where, much later, Carmelite nuns accomplished cloistered works of expiation, sparking fury; and where, now, a municipal archive is housed. On another side, the field runs up against the brick wall, the eastern limit of the main camp.
At more than twenty feet, the cross nearly matches the height of the wall, although not the wall's rusted thistle of barbed wire. Immediately beyond are the camp barracks, the peaked roofs visible against the gray morning sky. The nearest building, close enough to hit with a stone thrown from the foot of the cross, is Barracks 13, also known as the death bunker or the starvation bunker. In one of its cells the Franciscan priest Maximilian Kolbe was martyred. He is now a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. Kolbe is the reason for this cross.
In 1979, Karol Wojtyla came home to nearby Krakow as Pope John Paul II. He celebrated Mass in an open field for a million of his countrymen, and on the makeshift altar this same cross had been mounted—hence its size, large enough to prompt obeisance from the farthest member of the throng. Visiting the death camp, the pope prayed for and to Father Kolbe, who had voluntarily taken the place of a fellow inmate in the death bunker. The pope prayed for and to Edith Stein, the convert who had also died in the camp, and whom he would declare a Catholic saint in 1998. She was a Carmelite nun known as Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, but the Nazis murdered her for being a Jew. In his sermon that day, the pope called Auschwitz the "Golgotha of the modern world."
As he had at other times, John Paul II expressed the wish that a place of prayer and penance could be built at the site of the death camp to honor the Catholic martyrs and to atone for the murders: at Auschwitz and its subcamp, Birkenau, the Nazis killed perhaps as many as a quarter of a million non-Jewish Poles and something like a million and a half Jews. Fulfilling the pontiff's hope, a group of Carmelite nuns moved into the old theater in the autumn of 1984. They intended especially to offer prayers in memory of their sister Teresa Benedicta. The mother superior of this group was herself named Teresa.