Catholic, Jewish leaders in Poland seek to reduce tensions

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Catholic and Jewish leaders in Poland have taken steps to try to rebuild dialogue and fight prejudice in their communities after a Polish-Israeli dispute sparked expressions of mutual hostility.

The Polish Bishops’ Conference reacted to an eruption of anti-Jewish rhetoric in Poland by describing anti-Semitism in a statement Wednesday as being “contradictory to the principles of Christian love of one’s neighbor.”

A group of rabbis in Poland replied Thursday to the bishops, saying they “deeply appreciate” their condemnation of anti-Semitism. They also vowed to “continue to speak out against analogous attitudes among Jews,” referring to expressions of anti-Polish sentiment voiced by Israelis and American Jews recently.

Bad feelings erupted in late January over a new Polish lawn that criminalizes blaming Poland for Germany’s Holocaust crimes.

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