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Vatican asked to censure Polish priest

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Jewish groups called on the Vatican to discipline a Roman Catholic priest for making anti-Semitic remarks.

The Rev. Tadeusz Rydzyk, a Polish clergyman who met Sunday with Pope Benedict XVI in Rome, allegedly called Jewish Holocaust restitution efforts greedy and condemned Polish President Lech Kaczynski for supporting the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, scheduled to open in 2009. Rydzyk apparently made the remarks at a university, according to a tape obtained last month by the Polish magazine Wprost.

Rydzyk, a member of the Redemptorist order, for years has been accused of running anti-Semitic commentaries on his Radio Maryja and other media outlets he owns.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Los Angeles-based Wiesenthal Center, said he hoped the pope used Sunday’s meeting to rebuke Rydzyk. Without such a public statement from the Vatican, Hier said, “I’m afraid the Vatican would be sullying its reputation by granting legitimacy to an unrepentant bigot who will claim that rather than being admonished, he was honored to receive the pope’s blessing.”

The European Jewish Congress and Israel’s ambassador to Poland also called for Rydzyk to be disciplined. The Vatican has not commented on the meeting.

Rydzyk has told the Polish media that his statements were manipulated and that he never meant to offend anyone.

 

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