Reverend Oscar Belli of Argentina quoted as saying during sermon, ‘Jews are such liars that they have their souls rotten to the bones’
Reverend Oscar Belli, a well-known and respected Argentinean priest, is in hot water these days after making some anti-Semitic comments during his sermon at the September 25 mass at his Itati Church.
A Jewish woman, Rita Arcusin, who happened to be at the mass only to help her ill friend attend, was shocked to hear Reverend Belli’s comments, which included, “Jews are such liars that they have their souls rotten to the bones.”
Following the mass, Arcusin reported the incident to the Human Rights Provincial Secretary.
Fernando Kohon, chairman of the local Jewish Association, who stated “we did not have any kind of problems with (Belli) before,” said he would meet with the bishop of the diocese to discuss the unfortunate events.
A statement from DAIA, (Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas), the umbrella organization of the Argentinean community, said that Belli’s comments had “a clear Judeophobic tone.”
“This kind of discriminatory speech does nothing but generate prejudice and calls for intolerance and hatred among Argentineans, preventing the development of full citizenship, respectful of pluralism and diversity,” the DAIA statement said.
The findings of a recent poll organized by DAIA and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) shows an overall disturbing anti-Semitic trend in Argentina, with 45% of those who responded indicating that they would never marry a Jew,” while 30% “would not live in a neighborhood with a large presence of Jews.”