(JTA) — The Archdiocese of Bucharest replaced a former senior spokesperson who was accused of equating Jews to a virus.
Tarcizio-Hristofor Șerban on Thursday replaced Francisc Dobos as spokesman for the archdiocese, the spokesperson’s department said in a statement.
The statement did not say why Dobos, who had been spokesperson since 2011, was replaced. On Facebook, Dobos said only that his “assignment has ended.”
On April 9, in a filmed greeting ahead of Easter, Dobos spoke about how the disciples of Jesus “feared the Jews,” adding: “And here in the bracket we should read: feared the virus.”
Dobos rejected criticism from the MCA Romania Center for Monitoring and Combatting Antisemitism, which said in a statement that his reference to the virus risked equating it with Jews.
“Someone interpreted my words as equating Jews with a virus. I was shocked that some made such an association. Then a wave of virulent reactions broke out against me,” Dobos wrote on April 13 on Facebook.
The archbishop of Bucharest, to whom the spokesperson answers, was replaced in January when Aurel Percă took over from Ioan Robu.