Lublin's archbishop heralds new era of Polish openness to Jews

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Archbishop of Lublin, Josef Zycinski, said this week ahead of a visit to Israel that there was a "new era" of Polish openness to Jews and defended controversial Holocaust-era Pope Pius XII as a "pragmatist."

"I would say that the situation has changed in free Poland," said the archbishop in a telephone interview from Lublin.

"In the late 1970s it was impossible to have access to the parts of Auschwitz that showed the enormity of the Jewish Holocaust," said Zycinski, who will participate Monday in a symposium entitled "Confronting a New Reality: The Polish Catholic Church, the Jews, and Israel."

"Poles were out of touch with the long Jewish history in Poland. But today a younger, more open generation of Poles is growing up with a more nuanced understanding of Jewish reality."

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