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Literally the killing (cidium) of God (Deus), and applied to those responsible for the crucifixion of Christ. this refers especially to the Jewish Scribes and Pharisees in first-century Palestine, Judas, Pilate, Annas and Caiphas, and the Roman executioners. The Second Vatican Council cautions, however, that "neither all Hews indiscriminately at that time, nor Jews today, can be charged with the crimes committed during his passion" (Nostra Aetate, 4). The term is permissible because, though God certainly cannot die, those who killed Christ (who is God) implicitly aimed their murderous intent against the Deity. (Etym. Latin deicida: deus, god + cidium, killing.)
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.