Polish church apologises for war crimes and anti-Semitism


 Cardinal Joseph Glemp, primate of Poland, has made an official apology, on behalf of the church, for a wartime massacre of Jews. He also expressed sorrow for anti-Semitism in the Polish church. More than 100 bishops attended the historic service yesterday, at All Saints cathedral in Warsaw. Poland has been rocked recently by the revelation that Poles as well as Nazi troops, took part in a massacre of up to 1,600 Jews in the town of Jedwabne, in the north east of the country, in 1941. Bishop Stanislaw Gadecki told the packed congregation: "We want to stand in truth before God and people, but mainly before our Jewish brothers and sisters, referring with regret and repentance to the crime that took place in Jedwabne and in other places. He said: "We are in deep sorrow over the actions of those who historically, but particularly in Jedwabne and in other places, have inflicted suffering on Jews, and even death. We condemn all signs of intolerance, racism and anti-Semitism, which are sinful." The Polish church said it was "following the call and the example of John Paul II," who has sought to bring his church closer to Judaism and other faiths by confessing past sins of Catholics. The chief rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich, welcomed the apology although he declined an invitation to join the ceremony, because it took place at the beginning of the Jewish festival of Shavuot. An investigation is currently underway into the massacre, and criminal charges may be filed if any suspects are still alive.

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