This was put forth as a "really great article" especially suited for those who are "unfamiliar with historic accounts." Yet, when I looked up the historic accounts, I found a few errors. Here are a few points I would like to correct.
Up until as recently as the early 1960's a prayer that cursed the
Jews was read aloud by priests annually on Good Friday.
What exactly is this person's definition of cursing? It is a prayer
for conversion, not a curse. The prayer states:
"Let us pray also for the faithless Jews: that Almighty God may remove
the veil from their hearts [2 Corinthians 3:13-16]; so that they too
may acknowledge Jesus Christ our Lord. ('Amen' is not responded, nor
is said 'Let us pray', or 'Let us kneel', or 'Arise', but immediately
is said:) Almighty and eternal God, who dost not exclude from thy
mercy even the faithless Jews: hear our prayers, which we offer for
the blindness of that people; that acknowledging the light of thy
Truth, which is Christ, they may be delivered from their darkness.
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with thee in
the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen."
Another problematic passage:
Convening the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215, Pope Innocent III
reinstituted all the dreaded anti-Semitic laws that the Christianized
Roman Empire had formulated almost a millennium earlier. For example,
• Jews were ordered to separate from Christians; they could no longer
even live near one another.
• Jewish holy books were torched. Rabbinical schools were closed,
again reinforcing the Jewish home as the center for learning and
• All Jews were required to wear a badge of distinction, a yellow
circle. (This would be the precursor of the yellow Star of David to be
worn by all Jews under Nazi tyranny.)
This is the only canon that seemed relevant to those charges from the
Fourth Lateran Council:
"In some provinces a difference in dress distinguishes the Jews or
Saracens from the Christians, but in certain others such a confusion
has grown up that they cannot be distinguished by any difference. Thus
it happens at times that through error Christians have relations with
the women of Jews or Saracens, and Jews and Saracens with Christian
women. Therefore, that they may not, under pretext of error of this
sort, excuse themselves in the future for the excesses of such
prohibited intercourse, we decree that such Jews and Saracens of both
sexes in every Christian province and at all times shall be marked off
in the eyes of the public from other peoples through the character of
their dress. Particularly, since it may be read in the writings of
Moses [Numbers 15:37-41], that this very law has been enjoined upon
Moreover, during the last three days before Easter and especially on
Good Friday, they shall not go forth in public at all, for the reason
that some of them on these very days, as we hear, do not blush to go
forth better dressed and are not afraid to mock the Christians who
maintain the memory of the most holy Passion by wearing signs of
This, however, we forbid most severely, that any one should presume at
all to break forth in insult to the Redeemer. And since we ought not
to ignore any insult to Him who blotted out our disgraceful deeds, we
command that such impudent fellows be checked by the secular princes
by imposing them proper punishment so that they shall not at all
presume to blaspheme Him who was crucified for us."
I see special dress, but no yellow circles, ghettos, or burning
holy books mentioned in the canons. It is possible that these things did happen, but you cannot say that they were legislated through the Fourth Lateran Council, because it isn't there.
Now, Christians and Jews share the same "Holy Books" because their scriptures are our Old Testament. This is a flag to me, because why would the Church forbid study of books that they consider canonical? The simple answer is that they didn't. I believe this article is referring to the Talmud, which is the Jewish oral Law in written form.
The Jewish Virtual Library gives an account of persecution of the Talmud, and it is successive, not all at one time or specifically related to the Forth Lateran Council. They list Pope Gregory IV as ordering the burning of the Talmud in 1239, and Pope Eugenius IV prohibited the study of the Talmud following the Council of Basle in the early 1430's.
The Talmud in particular was targeted because of some passages which
Christians felt related to the death of Jesus. It said that he was
stoned because he practiced sorcery and seduced Israel away from God.
You can read the passages here.
So, I don't think whoever wrote this really great article actually WAS
very familiar with historical accounts. Certainly, books have been written on the treatment of Jews in the Middle Ages. However, blaming everything on Pope Innocent and the Fourth Lateran council is, at best, an oversimplification.