Priest denies anti-Semitism charges


A Polish Roman Catholic priest accused of making anti-Semitic statements rebuffed the charges.

Tadeusz Rydzyk, founder of the controversial Catholic Radio Station Radio Maryja, was quoted by Wprost magazine earlier this month calling Jews greedy because some are seeking restitution of property stolen by the Nazis and the communist regime. Rydzyk, a member of the Rome-based Redemptorist order, also allegedly criticized Polish President Lech Kaczynski for supporting the establishment of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, scheduled to open in Warsaw in 2009.

Rydzyk’s comments were widely condemned by Polish and Jewish leaders. However, the priest issued a statement Monday through a newspaper he runs, Nasz Dziennik daily.

“I stress that I never speak against people, especially because of their religious affiliation, race, society,” he said. Rydzyk added later, “Moreover, one cannot say that the actions of Radio Maryja, mine included, were or are anti-Semitic.”

Radio Maryja has aired segments in which Jews were accused of engaging in “Holocaust business.”

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