COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A suburban Cleveland church where the father of pop star Katy Perry delivered a sermon that drew accusations of anti-Semitism has released an apology in which he says he regrets his “hurtful and ugly language.”
Pastor Paul Endrei of the Church on the Rise in Westlake said Wednesday that Perry’s father, the Rev. Keith Hudson, meant to compliment Jewish people’s prosperity when he said having money is what it takes to make Jews jealous. Endrei says the visiting Hudson was blessing businesspeople during the Jan. 5 sermon and “just went too far.”
“Even though this is wrong and it was not a right comment, he wasn’t preaching about Jews, neither was he ranting against Jews,” Endrei said, adding that he received only one complaint from among the roughly 300 people who heard the sermon.
He said Hudson had referred to God telling Abraham, considered the father of Judaism, that he was to be blessed. “And then he started talked about being blessed so much that you would make a Jew jealous,” Endrei said.
In the apology released this week, Hudson said he is not an anti-Semite.
“I deeply regret the hurtful and ugly language I used in my message in Ohio,” the statement said.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization based in Los Angeles, earlier in the week denounced Hudson’s remarks as anti-Semitic.
Endrei said the church would be open to welcoming Hudson back, not immediately but after some time has passed.
In his apology, Hudson says that with the help of God, he won’t again make such comments.
“We can do lots of harm even to those we love simply by using words irresponsibly. … I apologize for the hurt that I caused my Jewish friends,” he said.
Katy Perry’s agent told The Associated Press the singer does not comment on her personal life.
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