Jewish group questions sainthood for WWII-era cardinal

May 23, 2018 - 10:42 am
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VATICAN CITY (AP) — A leading Jewish organization has criticized the Vatican's decision to move World War II-era Cardinal August Hlond along the path to possible sainthood, saying he was "extremely" hostile to Poland's Jews and failed to condemn a 1946 pogrom.

In a letter to top Vatican officials released Wednesday, the American Jewish Committee said it was "profoundly" concerned that Pope Francis had approved a decree recognizing Hlond's "heroic virtues," the first main step in the sainthood process.

AJC's director of interreligious affairs, Rabbi David Rosen, cited a 1936 pastoral letter Hlond wrote in which he urged Poles to stay away from the "harmful moral influence of Jews."

Hlond is highly respected in overwhelmingly Catholic Poland for having kept the faith strong and protected the church's independence during World War II.

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