Monday, 29 October 2012

Secret Jews in the Spanish Church and Nobility

"But then he [a learned Jew] returns upon the Christians, and says, that since the Idolatry of the Church of Rome , multitudes of the Jews have, to avoid Persecution, embrac’d the Popish Idolatry in divers Countries: And even in our own times (says he) we have fresh experiences of it: He names the whole Neapolitan Synagogue of Barcelona, and all the others in Catalonia, who turn’d to the Church of Rome: And in Spain and Portugal they have turn’d so fast, that he says, Ex Judæis apostatis fere omnes & Principes, Nobiles, & Populares, originem ducunt: Quod in iis Regionibus adeo notum, ut nemo dubitaverit; i.e. that almost all of them, Princes, Nobles, and Commons, are sprung from apostate Jews: Which is so well known in those Countries, as that none doubt of it: Notwithstanding (as he says) for the obtaining of great places and honours, especially ecclesiastical, they are oblig’d to renounce Judaism, and to bring certificates that they are not descended of the Jews: Which (as we may easily believe him) are attainable at that as well as other Courts, where Money is not wanting. This indeed does plainly shew the suspicion, at least, that they are descended of the Jewish race. He says moreover, that many of their Clergy, Bishops, and even of the Inquisitors themselves, are Jews in their hearts; and dissemble Christianity for the avoiding of Persecution, and to gain Honours and Preferments; of whom (he says) some do repent and fly, as they can: And that there are in Spain both Bishops and the gravest of their Monks, whose Parents, Brothers, and Sisters, do fly into this Countreys (that is, into Holland) that they may freely profess Judaism. That many of the Fryars, Augustins, Franciscans, Jesuits, Dominicans, have there, and in several other Countries, renounc’d their Idolatry, i.e. of the Church of Rome."

Charles Leslie. The Theological Works: In Two Volumes, Volume 1. 1721.

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