The Argentine Jewish umbrella organization DAIA has filed charges against a priest for his “racist, anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic” public statements.
Manuel Quintas Barreiro, a parish priest and high school teacher, said in an interview for a local magazine that he admired Mussolini and thought that Hitler “was a great statesman.”
In the same interview, Barreiro said, “I hate Jews, I would like to see them all gone to their own country.”
Barreiro said he did not believe that “there were 6 million dead in the Holocaust. Had it been that many, there would be no Jews left, and there’s plenty of them around.”
In papers filed before a federal court, DAIA charged that Barreiro had broken Argentina’s anti-discrimination laws by uttering hate speech against a religious minority.
Earlier in December, the Argentine office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center publicly denounced Barreiro after he repeated his statements on national television.
Wiesenthal Center representative Sergio Widder sent a letter to Santiago Bishop Gerardo Sueldo, asking him to “reconsider Barreiro’s position in the church” and to make sure that the church “does not support his racist positions.”
Barreiro was reportedly not disciplined in any way by his superiors for his comments.