“I’m being treated like a criminal” for speaking out against antisemitism

Polish Catholic priest

A Polish Catholic priest faces a disciplinary hearing at one of Poland’s leading universities for his comments attacking a colleague who promoted the infamous anti-Semitic “blood libel.”

Fr Alfred Wierzbicki, a professor at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, will appear before a university disciplinary committee on Friday. He will answer the allegation that he “violated the duties of a teacher in the church faculty of a Catholic university”.

Wierzbicki is accused of vociferously condemning anti-Semitism, homophobia and racism in a series of interviews with the Polish media.

One of the six charges brought against Wierzbicki concerns his scathing criticisms of his colleague Fr Tadeusz Guz, a professor of philosophy. Guz endorsed the anti-Semitic “blood libel” in a 2018 public lecture.

Fr Guz is also known for comparing mass vaccination programs to counter the COVID-19 pandemic to the Nazi regime’s crimes against humanity.

“We know, dear people, that the facts of ritual murder cannot be erased from history,” Guz told an audience in Warsaw during a 2018 public lecture.

“Why? Because we, the Polish state, in our archives, in the surviving documents, have had over the centuries, when Jews lived together with our Polish nation, we have legally valid sentences for ritual murders.”

Asked about the stances taken by Guz in an interview last April, Wierzbicki responded: “You can be a university professor, but you can also be a total fool.”

Wierzbicki declared it “scandalous” that the calumny underlying the medieval “blood libel” — that Jews use the blood of Christian victims in their religious rituals — had been deemed worthy of “scientific discussion.”

Fr Wierzbicki then charged that the university’s disciplinary committee had similarly promoted “outrageous anti-Semitic slurs. As if its members really believed that ritual murders had taken place at one time.”

In its ruling on Guz, the disciplinary committee decided that his views were based not on “slander or lies, but knowledge gained as a result of scientific analyses based on the available source materials.”

Such views “may be difficult for Jewish communities to accept,” the committee added.

In an interview with Polish broadcaster Tok FM this week, Wierzbicki said that he was being “treated like a criminal” by the same university authorities.

“I love the Catholic University of Lublin a great deal; it has given me so much,” Wierzbicki reflected. “But at the moment, it’s difficult for me to identify with it. My university has become alien to me.”


The Algemeiner


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