ADL Deeply Disturbed by Archbishop's Remarks Likening Politicians in Trinidad and Tobago to Jews

New York, NY, October 25, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today said it was deeply disturbed by disparaging remarks about Judaism from Archbishop Edward Gilbert, the leader of the Catholic Church in the Port of Spain, who reportedly likened politicians in Trinidad and Tobago to Jews and suggested that, "...they have the mindset of the original Jewish people."

Archbishop Gilbert was reported to have made the remarks during a Jubilee Mass held October 24 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church in San Fernando to celebrate the 225thanniversary of the Roman Catholic mission there.

"The Jews were compassionate and caring for their own, they were compassionate and caring to the people of their nation, to the people of their race, to the people of their ethnic communities. However, that wasn't enough for Jesus. Jesus took that teaching and universalized it," Archbishop Gilbert told his congregation, according to a news report. "In many cases in this country, there are people who love one another, who are compassionate, but they have the mindset of the original Jewish people. They are good to their own ... but they have not universalized the concept of love."

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said the archbishop's statements as reported were "a disturbing repackaging of ancient anti-Jewish canards and supersessionist beliefs."

"Archbishop Gilbert devalues Judaism over and against Christianity," said Mr. Foxman. "The false notion that Jews only care about themselves and don't care enough about others is one of the major pillars of classical anti-Semitism."

"While the Catholic Church has made tremendous strides in countering anti-Jewish notions such as the belief that the advent of Christianity superseded Judaism, Archbishop Gilbert's statements show that he has not internalized the important reforms of Vatican II."

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

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