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Vatican Says It Has Not Condemned Polish Pogroms to Avoid Participation in Politics

The Vatican has not condemned the anti-Jewish pogrom in Kielce. Poland, because such a condemnation would have had a “partisan and political flavor,” a Vatican spokesman said today.

The Vatican declaration, which was given to a correspondent of the Overseas News Agency, followed publication in Ari, unofficial Vatican newsletter, of charges that the “Kielce pogrom is merely a screen for political maneuvers” and cannot be viewed as an act of racial violence

“The Catholic Church,” the Vatican spokesman was quoted as stating, “has been very careful, more than ever during these last difficult years, to have an attitude, not of arid neutrality, but of detachment from any particular political credo. It is only in this way, keeping above the competitions which continually divide not only nations but even one single nation or one single people, that the Catholic Church can intervene, like an attentive mother, to say a word of justice and pacification.

“During the last war, many and not always innocent were the pressures that Nazis and Fascists brought to bear on the Holy See to make it talk to the world in favor of the war they had roused against Russia, calling it a ‘holy war.’ And the Holy See, notwithstanding the many and grave reasons of opposition it had against materialistic and atheistic Communism, did not let itself be moved either by promises or threat, and never gave up its attitude of impartiality in the tragic conflict.

“This amply explains how the Vatican, even faced by the recent anti-Jewish pogroms in Poland, did not want to take part through the local bishopric in a direct declaration against the pogroms because this declaration had a prevalent political and partisan flavor,” the Vatican spokesman declared.

“Notwithstanding this,” he concluded, “Bishop Teodor Kubina has made a proclamation to the citizens of Czenstochowa in which he says that ‘the moral and material authors of the crime must absolutely be condemned as criminals.”

The unofficial Vatican newsletter, Ari, in discussing the Kielce pogrom, charged that it was an anti-Jewish reaction which “resulted exclusively from the political passions provoked by measures adopted by responsible Jewish authorities and cannot be viewed in the light of racial violence as the (Polish) Government would have it, thus justifying abroad the persecution of its political opponents and especially of the Mikolajczyk Peasante Party.”

The Polish Government, the newsletter continued, has attempted “to extort from the Bishops a statement defining as racial violence measures in reaction adopted against the Jews, thus implicitly condemning the political currents responsible for them. The Catholic Church has refused to countenance such an evident maneuver and refuses to allow its moral authority to be exploited for political ends.”

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