Although he believes the Pope's father was an ethnic Pole, he thinks that John Paul's mother Emilia Kaczorowski - Emily Katz in English - was Jewish and that she was the daughter of Feliks Kaczowski, a businessman from Biala-Bielsko in Poland. Katz is a common surname amongst East European Jewish families.Source: Manchester Metronews Nov. 28, 2005.
Emilia's mother, the Pope's grandmother, was Maria Anna Scholz. Scholz, or Schulze, is also a common surname among Jews, as is Rybicka, or Ryback, which is the surname of the Pope's great-grandmother Zuzanna.
All the names or their variations appear on gravestones in the old Biala Jewish cemetery, as does the surname of Felik's mother Urszula Maklinowska. Mr Wise said: "The Pope's ancestry has been researched by an American historian.
"But nobody has traced the family name through the Jewish community and, as Jewish historian, I have access to information that a non-Jewish historian wouldn't know about.
"I'm not making any firm conclusions, but what I'm saying is that there is a lot of circumstantial evidence to say that he was Jewish.
Jewish ancestry! Horrors! -- Somebody alert Thomas Herron and Culture Wars.
Who knows if it's true, but I'd consider it a privilege to be related to our Savior in such a manner. Link via Patrick Sweeney.