Page 2, 2nd August 1946

2nd August 1946
Page 2
Page 2, 2nd August 1946 — ANTI-SEMITLSM IN POLAND

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Locations: Manchester


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Your editorial and the report of your Polish Correspondent in last week's CATHOLIC 'JERALD would at first sight seem to dispose of the points raised by our ktter in the same issue. We do not, however, think that these Points have been really met. May we. therefore, attempt to clarify them, and be forgiven for our insistence; 1. You say that " In fact the Cardinal's condemnation of the outrages is full and explicit." If this is so a. Why is the condemnation phrased In entirely abstract and general Leill1S, without specific reference to the Kielce pogroms except, later, in referring to their " causes " (as if anyone had ever doubted that " The Catholic Church, always and everywhere, condemns murders of all kinds "I) whereas the political accusation regarding the presence of Jews in an unpopular Government are highly specific?

I,. Why has the Cardinal made a statement only to the Foreign Press, with a request not to publish it in Poland? This gives it a marked appearances of a political excuse for the outrages especially since, to our knowledge, the specific condemnation asked for by the Polish League to Combat Racialism for the immediate practical purpose of preventing any such excesses in the future, has still riot been forthcoming.

The point at issue is not whether the Primate is an anti-Semite or no (and his private record is thus quite irrelevant); It is hardly worth stating that no Christian can be. But has he not failed in his duty in not doing his utmost to prevent such barbaric offences against the human person?

2. We are unable to see how the political accusations against the Jews at the Government arc relevant to the problem

s. Not only is there only one Jew in the Cabinet (Minister of Industry) and two holdiug minor offices in a Government of about filly, but b. Even if there were many more, Jews as such could no more be held responsible for their actions than could the Polish people for the actions of their fellow-countrymen.

C. Your own Polish correspondent, moreover, in describing how the pogrom in question was the direct result of a rumour of ritual murder (this is how pogroms usually begin!), confirms that the real cause was antiSemitIon. The conclusion implied by both the Cardinal's and your own account for this " regrettable incident," namely, that it was in fact due not to any anti-Semitism but to political considerations, is therefore rather disingenuous, 3. The fact that the Polish Press is making political capital out of Cardinal Hiond's attitude hardly affects the validity of our accusations. On the contrary, there is strong evidence to show that his behaviour in face of a simple moral issue is distorted by psimanly political considerations (however admirable his political ends may have been). This seems to be a case in which a member of the Hierarchy is playing into the hands of opponents of the Church who would in any case be only too ready to condemn her for betraying her Christian principles in favour of political expediency.

We apologise for the length of this letter. We consider the importance of this matter to have been vastly underestimated so far, and that our specific points demand specific treatment. " Cardinals," as you say, Sir, " are Princes of the Church, not Commissars in a totalitarian system "; it is Precisely for this reason that you and the laity at large have not merely a right but an obligation to speak when the ostartacdig.htforward moral principles which the Church has always upheld are abro

JOHN f. McCene, R. MARKUS,


University Union, Manchester, 15.

[This is obviously a difficult sublees about which the outsider has too little information. Believing that Cardinal Mond was likely to act an prudently and helpfully as possible in the circumstances, we sought to follow his mind. Clearly it fs possible to argue efilleYell4 C,13.4

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