NEW YORK, Sept. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC is dismayed that former presidential candidate and Congressman Ron Paul will deliver the keynote address to the Fatima Center gala dinner on Wednesday, September 11. The Fatima Center "Path to Peace" conference takes place in Niagara Falls, Canada, from September 8 to 13.
The Fatima Center is a fringe, schismatic Catholic group, whose leader Father Nicholas Gruner was suspended by the Roman Catholic Church in 1996. He rejects the teachings of Nostra Aetate, the Second Vatican Council's historic decision that ushered in an entirely new era in Catholic-Jewish relations, and he promotes anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.
"[H]ow can you have six million die, and have 13 million left, when you only had 13 million to start with?" Father Gruner said about Jews during the Holocaust in a recent interview.
"For Ron Paul to associate himself with such a disreputable, hateful religious movement is simply beyond comprehension," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "By doing so, he is conferring legitimacy on what ought to be beyond the pale. His name and photo are plastered all over the conference's marketing materials."
AJC praised Canadian Senator and retired general Romeo Dallaire, who pulled out of the conference as soon as he realized the hatred of the sponsoring group, saying he was "embarrassed" and "very unhappy."
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Fatima Center is part of a movement that is "perhaps the single largest group of hard-core anti-Semites in North America."
"Congressman Paul, please reconsider, follow Senator Dallaire's example, and stay away," Harris added. "Surely, there are better ways to spend the 12th anniversary date of the 9/11 tragedy than among those who promote enmity and division."
SOURCE American Jewish Committee