Harvard University’s Alan Dershowitz’s Feb. 15 letter characterized Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga as a “notorious anti-Semite” because of some unfortunate and imprudent remarks that he made to a reporter in an impromptu and unscripted interview in 2002.
Shortly after the remarks appeared in print, the Anti-Defamation League called him to account. He immediately apologized and said that he never meant for his remarks to be taken as a perpetuation of an anti-Semite conspiracy theory about alleged Jewish control of the media. He promised never to repeat those remarks. To my knowledge, he never has.
The cardinal is among many other public figures who have said things publicly they have regretted, things that aren’t reflective of their views or their public actions. To label Cardinal Rodriguez a “notorious anti-Semite” is more than a bit of an overreach. Dershowitz’s overwrought hyperbole undermines the efforts of those of all faiths who work to expose real anti-Semitism which unfortunately still threatens Jews as well as world peace.
Thomas Wenski, Archbishop, Archdiocese of Miami