Polish bishop delivers sermon with alleged thinly veiled antisemitism

Polish bishop delivers sermon with alleged thinly veiled antisemitism

Chief rabbi of Poland says comments made by top Catholic figure, Andrzej Jeż, about 'a certain nation', underscores the tension in the Church about its approach to antisemitism

Screenshot of Andrzej Jeż
Screenshot of Andrzej Jeż

A Polish bishop said that “a certain nation” plotted in 1937 to divide and slander the Catholic Church by controlling the media.

Andrzej Jeż, the top Catholic spiritual leader in the city of Tarnow, near Krakow, appeared to be referring to Jews last month in his Easter sermon, which was filmed.

The video aired Thursday in an article by the Israel Broadcasting Corp., or Kan.

“A certain nation, I can’t name it because I would be attacked from all sides immediately, said this: ‘Our natural enemy is the Catholic Church. We need to slander them and sow hatred against them, we have to create scandals about their private lives to incite hatred and ridicule against them. We must strengthen our media because then our control will be strong and secure’,” Jez said.

Michael Schudrich, the chief rabbi of Poland, said the remarks underscore an internal fight within the Catholic Church between supporters and opponents of that institution’s reform about 50 years ago of its antisemitic tenets.

“I’ve never heard anything like this said,” Schudrich told Kan. “What the bishop said goes against modern-day Catholic faith.”

Schudrich also said that the sermon shows “there is a problem that needs addressing inside the Catholic Church” in Poland, one of the European countries where the Catholic Church enjoys the highest levels of influence.

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