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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 April 2006, 11:00 GMT 12:00 UK
Polish radio 'sorry for offence'
Church cross and candle
The radio says its respects all humans, of all races and religions
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.

The Vatican expressed deep concern about the accusations of anti-Semitism.

During the 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.

'Propaganda'

It prompted condemnation from a Polish media watchdog and Holocaust survivors, who likened it to Nazi propaganda.

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

But Rev Rydzyk told his listeners on Wednesday: "We're sorry if anyone felt offended by the words of one of Poland's better-known columnists. No one here wanted to harm or offend anyone.

"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."


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