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Priest offended Holocaust victims in speech

PRIEST Emil Floriš said during a mass in the town of Čadca (Žilina Region) that Jews in the whole of Europe were transported to concentration camps because they faced public hatred and many times drew that hatred upon them themselves, according to video published by the Sme daily webpage on September 5.

PRIEST Emil Floriš said during a mass in the town of Čadca (Žilina Region) that Jews in the whole of Europe were transported to concentration camps because they faced public hatred and many times drew that hatred upon them themselves, according to video published by the Sme daily webpage on September 5.

During the mass held in connection with the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising (SNP), Floriš also warned that the same might happen to the Roma, Sme reported.

Representatives of the Central Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Slovakia (UZŽNO) labelled the speech anti-Semitic, saying it downplayed the suffering of Jews during the Slovak wartime state. It also violated the official doctrine of the Catholic Church, UZŽNO spokesperson Lucia Kollárová told Sme.

During the mass Floriš focused on the history of the parish, particularly the period of World War II. He pointed to the bad relationship between local Slovaks and Jews, which resulted in the pointless and cruel holocaust, according to a spokesperson of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Žilina, Zdeno Pupík.

“The words of dean Floriš could be seen as inappropriately formulated,” Pupík said, as quoted by Sme. “We distance ourselves from any anti-Semitic expressions.”

Floriš further defended Jozef Tiso, the controversial leader of the wartime Slovak state, which sent its own Jewish citizens to death camps. Tiso, according to Floriš, did not know about the deportations of Jews.

Jaroslav Franek, writer and former spokesman of the Jewish community, perceives the sermon as having been influenced by prejudice. He adds that the argument about an unwitting Tiso is nonsensical and that he had hoped that representatives of this profession, who often held such views in the past, would have changed them since that time.

The Slovak Bishops Conference (KBS) has not publicly condemned the statements of Floriš, Sme reported on September 9.

(Source: Sme)

Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
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