ritual murder

A false accusation frequently made against the Jews, that at the time of the Passover they sometimes kidnap a Christian male child and, after torture, put him to death in derision of the Passion of Our Lord. The incident to which the foundation of this charge may be attributed was the murder of Saint William of Norwich in 1144, a crime for which Jews were tried and which was popularly attributed to them. The charge of ritual murder has been discredited by papal Bulls, including those of Pope Innocent IV, Pope Gregory I, Pope Martin V, and Pope Paul III, and the Inquisition refused to give credence to such a charge when a case was referred to it by Pope Benedict XIV. In a report to that body Pope Clement XIV declared that only two cases of so-called ritual murder had ever been proved, those of Andrew of Rinn in 1462 and Simon of Trent in 1475, and these had been motivated by hatred of Christianity, not by ritual requirements. Father Elphage Vacandard states that "ritual murder has never been proved in a single instance of the cases that have been examined." An unfounded charge of this nature was made in New York State in 1929, and almost immediately withdrawn.

New Catholic Dictionary

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