Jews and Heretics in Catholic Poland: A Beleaguered Church by Magda Teter

By Magda Teter

Opposite to the typical competition that the Catholic Church triumphed in Counter-Reformation Poland, this research unearths that from the increase of the Reformation and the speedy dissemination of its new principles, the Catholic Church used to be conquer with a robust experience of lack of confidence. The beleaguered Church sought to split Catholics from non-Catholics: Jews and heretics. This approach helped shape a Polish id that resulted in racial anti-Semitism and to the exclusion of even such a lot assimilated Jews from the class of Poles. The publication portrays Jews not just as sufferers of Church persecution yet as lively influential individuals in Polish society.

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Extra info for Jews and Heretics in Catholic Poland: A Beleaguered Church in the Post-Reformation Era

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63 The Church was threatened more by heresy than by the Jews, who did not intend to “take away” the Church’s spiritual authority, although they did polemicize against it. ”64 The threats of heresy became the more acute the more theological orthodoxy developed within the Church itself. Such threats prompted the Church to commit itself more forcefully to ideas the heterodoxy was challenging, thereby solidifying the orthodoxy itself. In the first centuries of Christianity, and before Christian doctrines were defined, there had existed a fluidity of theological opinions.

The ideal of Church hierocracy proved unattainable, but the Church never ceased to strive to fulfill the ideal of its supreme power in the world of the spirit and in the world of flesh. 12 As the Roman Empire was transformed in the West into separate independent principalities, and in the East into Byzantium, the Christian Church began to assume a stronger position of authority – especially in the fragmented West, where the office of the emperor disappeared. In the East, in the Byzantine Empire, where the imperial presence survived, the legacy of the emperor as source of both temporal and spiritual authority persisted.

For both Wyclif and Hus, preaching and reading the Bible in the vernacular were critical. 78 Wyclif wrote to Pope Urban VI that “the gospel of Christ [is] the heart of the corps of God’s law. . 81 But the ideas themselves were not entirely suppressed. Education, access to sacred texts, and critique of the clergy, of tithing, and of indulgences returned during the Reformation, sounding alarms in the Catholic Church. The Church needed temporal powers to assist in implementing its policies, whether by eradicating heresy or by forcing Jews into a position of subservience more in line with the Church’s social ideal.

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