A prominent Roman Catholic priest in Poland who is a close friend of outgoing President Lech Walesa reportedly has again made anti-Semitic statements in his Gdansk church.
The Rev. Henryk Jankowski created a furor in June, when he made anti-Semitic remarks during a service at the church while Walesa was in attendance.
The Warsaw daily Gazeta Wyborcza reported last week that on Dec. 3, Jankowski said, “Why shouldn’t we talk about such things as the murder of Germans by Jews? Why may we not talk about the Jewish-Communist administration that governs Poland today? The reason is that they have banks, and everything, in their hands.
“I have nothing to repent for and none to whom I should apologize for my words,” Jankowski added.
Jankowski made his latest remarks during a meeting in his church to mark the publication of a new book praising his controversial statements in June, according to Gazeta Wyborcza.
The book, titled “Father Jankowski Has Nothing to Apologize For,” was written by Peter Raina, a Hindu who studied in Poland in the early 19960s and who now lives in Berlin.
Stanislaw Krajewski, a consultant for the American Jewish Committee in Warsaw, said in a telephone interview that in recent years, Raina “has been increasingly adopting an extreme Polish nationalist Catholic line and an explicit anti-Semitism.”
Raina’s new book reportedly claims that the original text of the controversial sermon Jankowski delivered June 11 was manipulated by Gazeta Wyborcza in order “to discredit the church and the nation.”
In that sermon, Jankowski said, “Poles, bestir yourselves. We can no longer tolerate being governed by people who have not declared whether they come from Moscow or Israel.”
“The Star of David is implicated in the swastika as well as the hammer and sickle,” Jankowski said.
Jewish organizations in Poland immediately condemned the priest’s remarks and expressed surprise that Walesa had not opposed Jankowski’s statements on the spot.
Three days after the sermon, Jankowski reiterated his statements in even stronger language.
Krajewski rejected Raina’s claim that Gazeta Wyborcza had misquoted Jankowski’s sermon, noting that the full text was published soon after the event “and it is clear that Gazeta gave an accurate account.”
Gdansk Archbishop Tadeusz Goclawski, interviewed by Gazeta Wyborcza about the latest incident involving Jankowski, called Raina’s book “profoundly bad,” adding that it was written by someone who “does not understand Polish conditions.”
“I regret that Father Jankowski allows rallies in the church,” the archbishop added.