Episcopalians Absolve Jews of Deicide, Condemn Anti-semitism

The House of Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church declared here yesterday that the charge of deicide against Jews was wrong, and that anti-Semitism was a “direct contradiction of Christian doctrine.” The statement by the 150 bishops was considered the strongest on the subject ever issued by a major Protestant body in this country.

The statement said the deicide charge involved a “tragic misunderstanding of the inner significance of the crucifixion.” While it is a fact that “Jesus was crucified by some Roman soldiers at the instigation of some Jews,” the statement asserted, this “cannot be construed as imputing corporate guilt to every Jew in Jesus’ day, much less the Jewish people in subsequent generations. Simple justice alone proclaims the charge of a corporate and inherited curse on the Jewish people to be false.”

In denouncing anti-Semitism as un-Christian, the bishops declared that Jesus was a Jew “and, since the Christian church is rooted in Israel, spiritually we are Semites.”

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