A NEWS RELEASE
From the Office of the Bishop
Winnipeg, December 19, 2002 (ELCIC) -- The National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Rev. Raymond L. Schultz, has added his voice to the growing number of people who have repudiated comments recently made by David Ahenakew.
Ahenakew, a former chief of the Assembly of First Nations, made the comments in a profanity-laced, anti-Semitic interview with a reporter last week. He said the Nazis "were trying to clean up the world" and attacked Jewish ownership of corporate interests.
In a December 19 letter to the Canadian Jewish Congress, Bishop Schultz wrote:
I write to assure you of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada’s denunciation of the recent statements made by Mr. David Ahenakew, as I read them reported in the Winnipeg Free Press.
As I wrote in my last correspondence with you, this church publicly distanced itself from Martin Luther’s anti-Jewish writings and remains clear in its rejection of all forms of anti-Jewish ideology.
I think it is regrettable that a public leader has abused his position in this way and made it ever more difficult for Canadians of Jewish heritage to engage in constructive and respectful discourse of the many constructive issues requiring our attention.
Please forgive my delay in conveying this assurance to you. It in no way reflects any reluctance to do so.