ADL Asks Pope To Publicly Denounce Polish Priest's Anti-Semitism
New York, NY, August 8, 2007 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has called on Pope Benedict XVI to publicly denounce the continued anti-Semitic statements being espoused by a controversial priest and radio personality in Poland.
ADL, which has long protested about Radio Maryja, the Catholic radio station known for its anti-Semitic broadcasts, wrote to the Pope following the pontiff's private meeting with Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, founder and director of Radio Maryja.
In a letter to Benedict XVI, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, expressed deep concerns that by meeting with Rydzyk and keeping silent about the issue of anti-Semitism "you have unfortunately lent him the priceless credibility of your office and integrity in the eyes of the world."
Foxman noted that, "As the founder and director of Radio Maryja, Father Rydzyk is responsible for the anti-Semitic comments and concepts the station regularly broadcasts to millions of Polish Catholic faithful," and "Father Rydzyk himself has on several occasions made anti-Semitic statements on the air. These are despicable anti-Semitic remarks that must be strongly and publicly condemned by all leaders and people of good will.
"We respectfully request that you publicly condemn the anti-Semitism that is being spouted by Father Rydzyk and other Catholic leaders in Poland."
In his most recent diatribe against Jews, Father Rydzyk reportedly accused Jews of greed in a potential government compensation deal on confiscated property, and denounced Poland's President, Lech Kaczynski as a "fraudster who is in the pockets of the Jewish lobby."
In a macabre coincidence, the Pope's meeting with Rydzyk took place at the same time that hundreds of gravestones were being desecrated and defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti in one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in Poland, in Czestochowa.
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.