25 years of Radio Maryja
The Polish religious radio station Radio Maryja is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its launch. Pope Francis and Polish President Andrzej Duda have sent their congratulations while opponents gathered in the city of Torun to protest against the station, which sometimes broadcasts anti-Semitic and xenophobic content. The commentary sections in Polish media also highlight how controversial the Catholic station is.
An embarrassing pseudo-religious radio station
Radio Maryja does not represent Christianity, philosopher Jan Hartman scoffs on his blog with Polityka:
“For your own sake I hope that you will one day truly concern yourselves with Jesus and his country. True Christians will tell you: Jerusalem and Galilee are more important for them than all of the sites dedicated to the Virgin Mary put together. You represent a nationalistic sectarianism that appeals to a sense of community but arrogantly puts itself above others and paints a false and chauvinistic picture of the mother of God. The way you go on, one would think she were Polish, Catholic, or even one of your own. What's more, you adore her the way the Greeks adored their gods. Absolutely ridiculous! And if it weren't so ridiculous it would be blasphemy. For Catholics across the world you are a pathetic throwback to the Middle Ages - an embarrassment.”
Radio Maryja finally no longer frowned upon
Radio Maryja has finally become socially acceptable, national-conservative poet Lech Makowiecki writes in a commentary for the pro-government daily Gazeta Polska Codziennie:
“If you had told me two years ago that Radio Maryja's 25th anniversary celebration would be attended by Poland's president and the most important state representatives, and that on top of that it would be broadcast by the [main news programme] Wiadomości, I would have tapped my forehead in disbelief. Back then everything [the priest and media entrepreneur] Rydzyk did - Radio Maryja, the daily Nasz Dziennik, [the media school] WSKSim - was strongly condemned by the so-called mainstream. ... Now that we are honouring the founders of this independent medium, we should also thank listeners in particular for their loyalty and support.”