German cardinal apologises over Nazi term furore
Cologne's Cardinal Joachim Meisner has expressed regret over his use of the word "degenerate", which has Nazi era overtones.
Associated Press reports the cardinal addressed the concerns of critics, who objected to his use of the term in a sermon at the opening of a museum.
He had said: "Where culture is uncoupled from ... the worship of God, religion becomes moribund in rituals and culture degenerates."
In German, the phrase "degenerate art" carries deep associations with the Nazis' efforts to ban art that they viewed as running counter to their ideals. In 1937, they staged a notorious exhibit of art works that were deemed unacceptable.
Among other critics, Germany's main Jewish group said the cardinal's remarks went too far.
Meisner said: "I regret that this word, in the shortened form of the quotation removed from its context, gave grounds for misunderstanding."
German cardinal regrets 'misunderstanding' of use of Nazi-associated word (International Herald Tribune, 19/9/07)/A>
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20 Sep 2007