Czarist Documents Show Pope Supported Blood Ritual Libel Against Jews in Beilis Case

Sensational documents revealing that the during the famous Beilis blood ritual trial of 1913 in Kiev the Cardinal of Rome supported the belief that Jews use Christian blood for ritual purposes are published in today’s number of the Isvestzia, the official organ of the Soviet government. The correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency is officially informed that the documents have recently been found in old ex-Czarist diplomatic archives.

The whole Jewish and liberal world was aroused in 1911 when Mendel Bei###, a Jewish watchman at a brick factory, in Kiev was arrested charged with the murder of a 13 year old Christian boy whose blood he was supposed to have sought for ritual puposes. For two years he languished in jail while an aroused Jewish public opinion sought to get him an unprejudiced trial. The trial which lasted from September 25 to October 26, 1913, resulted in a complete vindication for Beilis. He is now in New York.

One of the documents, dated Rome, November 18, 1913, shortly after the trial, is the original of a report sent to the Russian foreign minister, M. Sazanov by D. Nelidov, the Russian representative at the Vatican. This report said that Lord Rothschild of Great Britain had sent a letter to the Vatican asking for a denial of the assertions made by Father Pranaitises, a priest who was a witness at the Beilis trial, to the effect that the Roman Catholic Church always believed that the Jews practiced ritual murder.

Together with this letter Lord Rothschild included copies of two ancient Catholic Church documents proving that the Roman Catholic high priests had always denied the ritual tale. In reply to Lord Rothschild’s letter, Cardinal Merdel Val limited himself to a statement, admitting that the contents of the two documents were correct.

Since this might have an effect upon Czarist justice in connection with the Beilis trial Nelidov inquired at the Vatican as to Lord Rothschild’s letter to which the Vatican replied that “verifying the contents of the ancient church documents does not mean denying that Jews kill or torture to death Christians. This could never be denied by our Church”.

Nelidov also saw Cardinal Ferrata who was a candidate for the Papacy. The Cardinal assured him as to the existence of ritual murder among the Jews, asserting that he had made a scientific study that proved it. This was then reported to the Czarist foreign secretary, M. Sazano by Nelidov who emphasized the importance of these statements for justifying the Beilis trial.

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