Prelate Retracts Controversial Allegation

From Religious News Service

Polish Cardinal Jozef Glemp has retracted a controversial allegation he made two years ago when he implied that a group of Jewish demonstrators was trying to kill nuns in a convent at the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

The Polish primate was widely denounced by Jewish leaders and some other cardinals for comments he made in a homily delivered at Czestochowa in August, 1989. He told Jews not to “talk with us from the position of a people raised above all others” and said of the demonstrators at the convent that “it did not happen that the sisters were killed or the convent destroyed because they were apprehended.”

Rabbi Avi Weiss of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, N.Y., had led the demonstration protesting the failure of the nuns to relocate their convent as had been agreed by Catholic and Jewish leaders two years earlier.

“I understand that seven members of the Jewish community who disturbed the peace of the Carmelite sisters in July, 1989, to which I reacted in my homily on Aug. 26, 1989, did not intend to kill the sisters or to destroy the convent,” Glemp said in a letter to Archbishop Adam Maida of Detroit.