We express our outrage and protest against the decision of the Disciplinary Commission for Employees of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (KUL) to free Fr. Prof. Tadeusz Gruz from any responsibility for his outrageous statement on the alleged blood libels. We protest not only against the decision, but also against its justification, which confirmed Gruz’s statements.
Let’s recall the history of this case. On 26 May, 2018 in a public lecture Fr. Tadeusz Gruz, a professor at KUL, said:
“Dear ladies and gentleman, we know, that those facts – blood libels – cannot be erased from the history. Why? Because, we, the Polish state, in our archives, in the documents which survived, throughout the ages – when Jews lived alongside the Polish nation – have final verdicts on the blood libels.”
After this outrageous statement, the Polish Council of Christians and Jews asked KUL chancellor, Fr. Archbishop Stanisław Budzik and a provost at that time, Fr. Prof. Antoni Dębiński, to take a stand and to “take disciplinary steps against a person stating those anti-Jewish and anti-Christian claims.”
They responded quickly, unambiguously and strongly. They both stated that Fr. Guz’s claims are unacceptable, against the Catholic Church’s teaching, and untrue. This did not change Fr. Guz’s actions. He continued to spread his claims publicly, and – what is more – he urged an “academic discussion” on his thesis.
His case was referred to the disciplinary advocate of KUL who dismissed it. His decision was contested and referred further to the Disciplinary Commission. Not only did the Commission clear Fr. Guz of all the allegations, but it also confirmed his disgusting claims. In their statement they said:
“In his lectures he expressed his own interpretation of the historical facts based on the sources and with a professional attention.”
The last paragraph of the commission’s statement hides the most outrageous sentence: “The said issue is part of a pending academic discussion […] The detailed verification of the issue – in the Commission’s opinion – is possible through the academic debate proposed by Fr. Guz”.
The body, speaking on behalf of the academic institution states that a criminal superstition damned by the Holy See, researched and academically discredited, a superstition that took hundreds, maybe thousands lives throughout ages, can still be a topic for the “academic debate.”
From the Middle Ages until the Kielce pogrom in 1946, the blood libels led to torture and death of hundreds, maybe thousands. This superstition comes back in various forms and can still lead to new forms of crime. Making it alive and popular is harmful, if not criminal, and offends the memory of the innocent victims, to whom we owe remembrance and respect.
Board of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland:
Piotr Wiślicki, President
Marian Turski, Vice President
Marek Nowakowski, Treasurer of the Board
Joanna Fikus, Secretary of the Board
Kamila Dąbrowska, Member of the Board
Zuzanna Hertzberg, Member of the Board
Maciej Kozłowski, Member of the Board
Agnieszka Milbrandt, Member of the Board
Alicja Mroczkowska, Member of the Board
Dariusz Stola, Member of the Board
Jolanta Żyndul, Member of the Board