ADL Calls on Polish Church to Bar Anti-Semitic Priest
New York, NY, August 16, 2005 – The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has urged the Catholic Church in Poland to bar Father Henryk Jankowski, a vitriolic anti-Semite, from further public preaching following anti-Jewish remarks he made at a rally on August 14 to mark the 25th anniversary of the "Solidarity" trade union.
At the rally, Jankowski went into a tirade against "Jewish bankers" whom he claimed were threatening Poland. Jankowski is well-known for his obsessive anti-Semitism. In 1997, the Church banned him from preaching for a year after he stated that Jews had no place in the Polish government. In 2004, he reacted to allegations of involvement in the sexual abuse of children by alleging a "Judeo-communist plot".
In a letter to Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, ADL National Director, Abraham H. Foxman called on the Church "to officially sanction Father Jankowski and bar him from public preaching." Mr. Foxman said, "An event that was intended to mark a key moment in Poland's courageous struggle for democracy was sullied by Father Jankowski's contemptible statement about 'Jewish bankers' threatening Poland.
Mr. Foxman went on to say, "It should now be clear that Father Jankowski is a vicious anti-Semite who has no intention of changing his ways or expressing remorse. It is also clear that he is out of step with the modern Catholic Church which, particularly under the inspired leadership of the late Pope John Paul II, has made such important strides in the reconciliation between Catholics and Jews.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.