Archbishop regrets abortion Holocaust remark

10th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

10 January 2005, COLOGNE - Cologne Archbishop Cardinal Joachim Meisner has issued an apology for remarks made in a sermon comparing abortion to the mass-murder crimes of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. Meisner, under pressure after his remarks stirred sharp criticism by the Central Council of Jews in Germany and other groups, said he regretted that his words could be misunderstood and had he thought they would be, then he would not have made them. "I am sorry that it has come to

10 January 2005

COLOGNE - Cologne Archbishop Cardinal Joachim Meisner has issued an apology for remarks made in a sermon comparing abortion to the mass-murder crimes of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

Meisner, under pressure after his remarks stirred sharp criticism by the Central Council of Jews in Germany and other groups, said he regretted that his words could be misunderstood and had he thought they would be, then he would not have made them.

"I am sorry that it has come to this," the Catholic archbishop said about the controversy surrounding his 6 January Epiphany Day sermon in the Cologne Cathedral.

In his sermon, Meisner said "first it was Herod who had the children of Bethlehem killed, then Hitler and Stalin let millions of people be destroyed, and today, in our times, millions of unborn children are being killed".

Paul Spiegel, the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, sharply criticised the sermon, saying that equating abortion to the genocide carried out by the Nazis was an insult to the millions of Holocaust victims. He called on Meisner to apologize.

Others to criticise Meisner were the Green Party in Berlin, an ecumenical group and the liberal Free Democratic Party of the state of North Rhine-Westfalia, where Cologne is located.

DPA

Subject: German news

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