Thursday, April 13, 2006

Just how sorry are they?

BBC News has the following report:

A Polish Roman Catholic radio station has apologised for broadcasting comments widely viewed as anti-Semitic.

Radio Maryja, founded by an outspoken priest, was criticised for broadcasting claims that Jews made a business out of Holocaust compensation payments.

The station's Rev Tadeusz Rydzyk said he was sorry if anyone was offended, adding that the views of one columnist were not those of the entire station.

This is hardly the first time I’ve heard of this radio station showing themselves to be anti-Semitic and Rydzyk’s response is hardly a proper apology. After all, if this was to be a sincere apology, Rydzyk should have said that he was sorry that (not if) his actions (not some unidentified cause) hurt (not just offended) Holocaust survivors specifically and the Jews in general (not some impersonal ‘anyone’). Rydzyk’s excuse for a justification was the kicker. He said “Our commentators are responsible for what they say and we can't subject them to censorship or force them to censor themselves, as was done under totalitarianism.” First of all, the commentators are obviously not too responsible as the report carries no information about the commentator being fired. Secondly, Rydzyk’s comparison of the situation to that under totalitarian rule is totally obnoxious and completely undermines any apology. It is also completely false as any commentator who said on Radio Maryja that Rydzyk is a disgusting, bigoted excuse for a human being who befouls the finer ideals of Christianity with everything he says and does would not be a commentator there five seconds later. What is more, as Ratzinger has absolute authority over everything that happens within the Church, he becomes responsible for the sort of hate-speech that the likes of Radio Maryja propagate and, therefore, ought to be judged in much the same category as Rydzyk and his ilk. With power comes responsibility, isn’t that what the Church was supposed to be teaching?


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