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Last Updated: Friday, 7 April 2006, 09:41 GMT 10:41 UK
'Anti-Semitic' radio irks Vatican
Church cross and candle
The Church has refrained from acting against the radio station
The Vatican has voiced concern about a Roman Catholic radio station in Poland that has been accused of anti-Semitism.

The papal representative in Warsaw, Monsignor Jozef Kowalczyk, wrote to Polish bishops urging them to deal with the station, Radio Maryja.

The radio, founded by an outspoken priest, has been criticised for broadcasting claims that Jews made a business out of Holocaust reparations.

A Holocaust survivor likened the radio's broadcasts to Nazi propaganda.

'Political' agenda

Polish newspapers on Thursday published a letter from Marek Edelman, the last surviving leader of the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising, in which he urged the government to close down the radio station because of its "xenophobia, chauvinism and anti-Semitism".

Meanwhile, Monsignor Kowalczyk complained about the radio's broadcasts in a letter to Polish bishops, saying it should steer clear of politics.

"The Holy See expresses its deep concern about Radio Maryja's political commitments," he said.

He urged the bishops to "overcome the difficulties caused by some of the radio's broadcasts and activities".

During a broadcast on 27 March the radio's commentator Stanislaw Michalkiewicz accused Jews of "trying to force our government to pay extortion money disguised as 'compensation payments'" for property lost during and after World War II.

He poured scorn on what he called Jewish groups' "Holocaust business".

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