Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Vatican increases the pressure on the Polish Catholic Church

Warsaw, Poland April 7, 2006 - The Vatican representative in Poland has sent to the leaders of the Polish Catholic Church a letter that advises the leaders of the Polish Catholic Church who are responsible for the supervision of the millionaire Roman Catholic priest father Tadeusz Rydzyk to exercise that responsibility. The convent to which the priest belongs and the bishops that make up the Polish episcopate are told to take action.

This letter is a follow-up to a letter that was presented to Father Rydzyk previously. On February 15, 2006 the Polish Catholic Church gave Father Rydzyk a private letter that advised him to remove himself and his radio station, Radio Maria, from Polish politics.

Since that time Father Rydzyk does not seem to have changed his approach to Polish politics and he continues to be the platform for the broadcast of anti EU and antisemitic information.

Father Rydzyk and his radio station have come under fire recently for some particularly anti-Semitic radiobroadcast. As he becomes more important in Polish politics he is getting more press coverage that discuss his activities.

Polish television coverage on April 6, 2006 of the Vatican letter to the Polish Catholic Church included a sound bite of the last leader of the uprising in the Jewish ghetto which sound bite had him comparing the broadcasts on Radio Maria to the newspapers coming out of Nazi Germany that discussed the final solution for the Jews in Europe. The TV coverage was definitely not flattering for the Polish Catholic Church.

The ruling Polish political party, Law and Justice, has seen many of its members go to Father Rydzyk ' s radio station Radio Maria and discuss Polish politics on this Catholic radio station. When questioned by reporters about the affect of the Vatican letter on their activities, a couple of Law and Justice parliament members indicated that discussing politics on Radio Maria did not mean that Radio Maria was involved in politics. They seemed to indicate that the Vatican letter would have no real effect on their activities with Radio Maria and they would continue to broadcast their political message on the Catholic radio station.

The letter from the Vatican seems to indicate that not only is the Vatican concerned about the activities of Father Rydzyk, but it is also concerned about the churches failure to control Father Rydzyk and how his involvement in politics may affect the church itself. It may also indicate that the church is not a happy with the current administration of the Polish Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict has somewhat of a reputation of being a disciplinarian. He is coming to Poland on official visit that starts May 25, 2006. One would expect that the Polish Catholic Church must be ready to show that it is in fact exercising its responsibilities with regard to Radio Maria and that it is not involving itself in Polish politics.

This new letter may be a final warning before Pope Benedict takes action