July 8, 2006
A story in the June 26 City & Region section on parishes closing in Brighton and Lynn referred to a ``Polish concentration camp." The concentration camps in Poland, which was occupied by Germany during the war, were created and controlled by Nazis. The Globe welcomes information about errors that call for corrections. Information may be e-mailed to email@example.com , or left in a message at 617-929-8230. A listing of other Globe contacts can be found on Page
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Dear Deputy Consul Skulimowski:
I will raise this with those who oversee our copy desk. Just as it's possible that within the Polish government not everyone adheres strictly to all written policy provisions every day and in every instance, it's possible for missteps to occur within our newsroom, with a sizable staff, as well. Thousands of words appear in our paper every day. Stories originate in a variety of ways, and are edited by different editors at different times of the day. Unfortunately, errors are made. Writing something into a stylebook, or even running a correction, does not always preclude the possibility of similar error in the future. While I reject your unwarranted allegation that there is a "deeply rooted" problem at the Globe or that policies are openly ignored, we will do our best to make sure this phrasing is not repeated.
The Boston Globe
July 07, 2006
To: Martin D. Baron
The Boston Globe
Dear Mr. Baron
Reading The Boston Globe makes me feel that this mainstream newspaper stubbornly misinterprets or even manipulates with the tragic history of
Holocaust. I was appalled to read the second time within barely two months an article including the erroneous phrase “Polish concentration camp” in historically unrelated text by Matt Viser and Shawntaye Hopkins, Globe staff and correspondent, published on June 26th 2006, titled: “Brighton, Lynn parishes close -Shutterings met with protest, tears” - see below. Since the problem seems to be deeply rooted in the Globe’ editorial staff's practices, or perhaps openly ignored, I do insist on making a proper entry in the Boston Globe’s style book, and once and for all incorporating into your internal guidelines and editors' advisories a directive that the phrase "Polish death/concentration camps" is unacceptable and to be avoided.
Frankly speaking, your valuable readers deserve the truth, but not mistaken or misinterpreted history of the second world war, I would appreciate publishing an appropriate correction.
Deputy Consul General of the Republic of Poland
233 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
phone (646) 237-2110, fax (646) 237-2105
1. copy the article "Brighton, Lynn parishes close, Shutterings met with protest, tears" - June 26th 2006
2. copy of the previous article" Files uncover Nazis' trail of death, Entries cast horrors in mundane detail" May 7th 2006
3. Consul General's letter to the editor-in-chief May 9th 2006
Brighton, Lynn parishes close Shutterings met with protest, tears
By Matt Viser and Shawntaye Hopkins, Globe Staff and Globe
Correspondent | June 26, 2006
LYNN -- After an emotional 90-minute service yesterday, about two dozen parishioners at Saint Michael the Archangel Parish staged an impromptu protest, refusing for four hours to leave the sanctuary as they sat in pews and prayed. After the air conditioning was turned off, and with a half-dozen police officers standing guard so no one could enter the church or deliver food to protesters, the sit-in ended.
The 100-year-old church, which had become a second home to many Polish-Americans, was one of two churches the Archdiocese of Boston closed yesterday as a late part of the contentious parish closings process that began in 2004 and that has included 64 parishes. The closings have prompted numerous vigils and church occupations, several of which are ongoing.
Yesterday's protest, for which the Council of Parishes provided advice and a few protesters, had the makings of another long-term protest, but was short-circuited by poor planning, members acknowleged. The protesters in Lynn began organizing late last week, but there was no organized signup lists or food set aside, as there had been at other such vigils.
The involvement of the Council of Parishes, an alliance of people who are unhappy with the closings, who have been involved extensively in other protests, led archdiocesan officials to criticize it as having been staged from the outside. ``As far as we are concerned, this entire closure process has been a disgrace, and we stand ready to assist any parishioners who wish to resist," Peter Borre , a cochairman of the Council of Parishes, said in a telephone interview. ``If that makes us outside agitators, so be it."
But with police officers standing guard at the door, no one could enter the building to bring food. In addition, if parishioners left, they would not be let back in. The Rev. Alfonse Ferreira , who has been overseeing St. Michael's for the past year after their longtime pastor died, prayed with the parishioners and encouraged them to stop their protest. Over the four hours, parishioners and protesters slowly filtered out.
``When you recite the Lord's Prayer six times and say, `Thy will be done, ' well, then let [God's] will be done, " said Edward Koza , who was parish organist for 18 years and who was among the protesters for about two hours. ``If this is God's will, so be it." In Brighton, about 300 people filed out of St. Gabriel Church, weeping and hugging one another as their church also closed.
``I was married here, " said Katie Maye , 48, of Andover. ``I thought it was going to stay here forever." The Rev. John L. Doyle , who led the church's Spanish-language Mass and learned of the closing only last week, said the timing had surprised many parish members. St. Gabriel, owned by and located adjacent to Caritas St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, had been on the brink of closing for months, but parishioners learned only last week that it would close yesterday. ``It's very difficult and very challenging for parishioners to see their church close, " Kevin Shea , a spokesman for the archdiocese, said in a telephone interview. ``However, the important thing is that the parish will continue in their new homes."
Parishioners from St. Gabriel are encouraged to attend St. Columbkille Parish, the last surviving Catholic church in Brighton. A Spanish-language Mass will also be said at St. Columbkille. Parishioners from St. Michael are encouraged to attend nearby Sacred Heart Parish, though many said they would attend Polish-language
services in Salem or in South Boston. Throughout the service at St. Michael's, women took out well-worn tissues and men removed their glasses to wipe their eyes.
Some stared straight ahead, with jaws clenched and stern looks on their faces. Many parishioners pinned red-and-white ribbons, symbolizing the
colors of the Polish flag, on their lapels. ``I got married here. My kids were baptized here, " said John Kuks , a 49-year-old plumber from Wakefield. ``It's very sad, but what can you do?" When Kuks immigrated from Poland in 1983, the pastor of St. Michael's met him at Logan International Airport. The church provided an apartment for him to live in for six months. Church members helped him find his first job. They helped him learn English. And his children learned about Polish culture at the church's school. Tears came to his eyes as he said that now that he knows English, he will begin attending Mass at a nearby parish, and will go to a Polish Mass in South Boston only on special holidays.
``When you move away from home, this is the most comfortable place, " said Dorota Kazimierczyk , a 31-year-old resident of Lynn who immigrated from Poland eight years ago and who still says all her prayers in Polish.
``This was a home away from home, "Kazimierczyk said of her lost parish. After the service, several items were removed from the parish, including the birth, death, and marriage records, a painting of Mary, and a small container of soil from a Polish concentration camp. ``Now in Poland, they're building churches, they're growing, " said Malqorzata Perkowska , a 40-year-old Topsfield resident who immigrated from Poland 12 years ago. ``We come here, and they're closing." The archdiocese has announced that on June 30, it is closing St. Mary in Georgetown and St. Mary in Rowley. It will replace them with one parish, also called St. Mary. In Newton, the archdiocese is replacing two parishes, Corpus Christi and St.
Bernard, with one, Corpus Christi-St. Bernard, on July 1. Matt Viser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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