Czech lawmaker says Catholic Church approved Nazi murders of Jews

(JTA) — A Czech lawmaker who said the Catholic Church collaborated with the Nazis is being called on to apologize.

“The Catholic Church did not suffer during World War II; it was one of the biggest allies of Nazi Germany,” Igor Jakubcik of the Social Democrat Party said during a debate June 20 in the Chamber of Deputies. “The Catholic Church approved of the transfers and murders of Jews.”

Jakubcik also said the church helped Nazi war criminals leave for South America after World War II, the Prague Post reported.

His statements came a day after the Chamber of Deputies recommended to Czech Republic President Milos Zeman to award the Medal for Heroism to Lidice priest Josef Stemberk, who was executed by the Nazis on June 10, 1942, along with many of the males of Lidice.

Lawmakers from opposition parties who called on Jakubcik to apologize said his statements were “unfortunate and ill-advised,” and “not corresponding with historical fact.”

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