Normally I do not reply to readers’ comments, but the comments on my post earlier today are frankly shocking.
Thomas Peters, Communications Director of the American Principles Project, chose to speak at an event hosted by the leading promoters of anti-Semitism in Poland. The "college" that hosted him is attached to, and founded by, Father Tadeusz Rydsyk. Father Rysdyk not only also founded Radio Marija, it is clear that the college is an arm of the station and Mr. Peters reports that he got a tour of the station’s studios ("The Elders of Zion" goes hi-tech!). So there is no "guilt by association" here except for the association Mr. Peters chose: He decided to go to an event hosted by these notorious anti-Semites who dabble in Holocaust denial and have been denounced by the papal nuncio, Lech Walesa and many of Poland’s bishops. He shouldn’t have.
Mind you, I don’t think anyone should attend an event sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute but that has more to do with the allocation of that precious commodity of time than any moral concern. Choosing to associate with anti-Semites is different, it shows moral stupidity or coarseness or both, and the fact that Father Fessio was there too is hardly exculpatory.
Mr. Peters, of course, has a boss who presumably approved his taking time off to attend this conference and should have warned him against it. If Mr. Peters’ moral compass is off, he at least can plead youth. His boss, Professor Robert George, knows, or should have known, of Radio Marija’s anti-Semitism which has been a stain on Catholicism for many years, not least because it was so at odds with the obvious, determined effort of Pope John Paul II to eradicate anti-Semitism from his homeland and his Church. Professor George should explain why he thought his subordinate should attend such a conference. Or, that he did not know about it. A person in executive authority is expected to give an account of the activities of their staff, and that is not guilt by association either. That is being responsible.
Most importantly, I cannot help but detect in some of the comments posted something I have noticed before, both in the Church and outside of it, that disturbs me greatly. People, good people, smart people, sometimes forget that we need to get outraged, and outraged easily, by anti-Semitism. It is a pernicious cancer in our civilization and we must not only refuse to have anything to do with it, we must call out those who do.