Jewish groups ask Vatican to punish priest

Jewish groups are urging the Vatican to sanction a prominent Polish priest who they say uses his radio station to foment anti-Semitism.

Jewish leaders spoke out after the Rev. Tadeusz Rydzyk caused an uproar in Poland by calling his country a totalitarian state that “hasn’t been ruled by Poles since 1939” — a statement many interpret as code for saying Jews are secretly running the country.

A Vatican spokesman said June 27 that Rydzyk must assume responsibility for his own remarks, but he did not raise the possibility of sanctions.

The World Jewish Congress said the Vatican should expel Rydzyk from his order. The Simon Wiesenthal Center said he should be excommunicated. — jta