Friday, June 06, 2008

Polish Politician Takes on Radio Maryja

A member of the Polish parliament faces temporary suspension from his party's group after calling the founder of the controversial and ultraconservative Catholic broadcaster Radio Maryja the "personification of Satan."

A member of Poland's ruling Civic Platform may soon be temporarily suspended from his party's parliamentary group because of critical comments he made about the controversial founder of ultraconservative Catholic radio station Radio Maryja.

In an interview with the Polish daily Polska earlier this month, member of parliament Janusz Palikot accused Father Tadeusz Rydzyk of stealing money and "sowing hatred in human hearts" and being the "personification of Satan."

Radio Maryja, a nationalist Catholic radio station that wields significant influence in Poland, has been accused in the past of broadcasting anti-Semitic statements (more...) and it has openly lobbied against gays and lesbians, which it commentators depict as "sick exhibitionists."

Palikot, a proponent of gay rights, is expected to be suspended from his party group for up to three months, the Polish daily Dziennik is reporting. The head of the Civic Platform caucus, Zbigniew Chlebowski, called Palikot's statements "scandalous" and said disciplinary measures would be taken against him.

The politician reportedly said he was willing to change the wording of his remarks about Rydzyk to make them less offensive. "I was, am and hope to be proud of being a member of the Civic Platform," he told the daily Rzeczpospolita, according to the English-language Web site "I would like to remain in the party and avoid being suspended."