There seems to be an idea around that St Bernard said that we needn’t seek to evangelise the Jews because they will only be converted at the end of the world. The pope emeritus, writing in his private capacity, seems to have give credence to this idea in the second volume of his trilogy Jesus of Nazareth. It’s worth looking at the relevant passage in De Consideratione, where he is writing to Pope Eugenius III about the duty of evangelisation:-

We perceive then that you must strive to the utmost that they who have not faith may be turned to faith, that they who have turned may not turn aside, that they who have thus turned may turn back; moreover, you must see that the perverse ones be set in the paths of uprightness, and the subverted recalled to truth ; that the subverters of men’s souls may be convinced by invincible reason, so that they themselves if possible, may either be cured of their errors, or, if that may not be, they may lose their authority, and the power of subverting other men. You must certainly not allow yourself to be imposed upon by the worst sort of foolish men, I mean heretics and schismatics ; for these are they who are subverted, and subvert ; they are dogs to tear, foxes to deceive. Men, I say, of this sort must be corrected with special care lest they perish, or must be restrained that they may not do damage. As regards the Jews, I grant time may be your excuse {esto, de Iudaeis excusat te tempus}; they have their fixed limit, which cannot be anticipated. The fullness of the Gentiles must first come in. But as regards the Gentiles themselves, what answer do you make ? Nay rather, what is the verdict of your consideration on this long delay? Why did the fathers resolve to set bounds to the Gospel, and to check the word of faith, while men’s hearts are hardening in unbelief? Why, do we suppose, the word running very swiftly suddenly stopped ? Who was the first to forbid its life-giving progress ? Some unknown cause perhaps hindered them; perhaps necessity compelled them.

Clearly, there is no suggestion here of a general policy of refusing to evangelise Jews, but simply a recognition that there can be an ‘excuse’ if evangelisation is not generally successful in their regard; namely that it has been divinely foretold that the ‘fullness’ of the Jews will only come in when the times of the Gentiles have been fulfilled.

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