Tadeusz Rydzyk (Father Director)
2007-10-07 @ 20:12:01
The Reverend Tadeusz Rydzyk, also known as Father Director and Father Founder (Polish: Ojciec Dyrektor, Ojciec Założyciel), born May 3, 1945 in Olkusz, is an influential Roman Catholic priest and Redemptorist, creator and head of the controversial Radio Maryja station, and a grand leader of the Radio Maryja Family nationalistic-clerical movement in Poland. Although Father Director holds a position of authority, his status among the Catholic clergy is an ordinary priest.

Born to a poor family Tadeusz Rydzyk spent his childhood in Olkusz. He studied at the Higher Spiritual Seminar of Redemptorists in Tuchow, and later at the Catholic Theology Academy in Warsaw. He was ordained a priest in 1971 and taught religion in Torun, Szczecinek and Krakow. In 1986 Father Rydzyk left for Germany where he contacted with a xenophobic radio station Radio Maria International in Balderschwang (later closed by the Catholic Church). His tenure in Germany was opposed by the Church but he remained abroad for 5 years.

Following his return in 1991, the Reverend Rydzyk made a spectacular career. He started Radio Maryja, a radio station marked by arousing controversies. He initiated the nationalist newspaper Nasz Dziennik ('Our Daily') and the television station "Trwam" Trwam ('I Persist'). Father Director has gathered a large group of committed followers, the Radio Maryja Family, to which he is an unquestionable charismatic authority.

He opened The College of Social and Media Culture in Toruń, in which he educates future Polish journalists in the spirit of his teachings and socio-political views. On 9.07.2007 Wprost magazine published a lecture where Reverend Rydzyk called the president's wife Maria Kaczyńska a witch, that should perform euthanasia on herself. He also claimed that the president has cheated him. Reverend Rydzyk refused to apologize saying that the sound recording was "a manipulation" and a result of a "fight of spirits".

For information on Father Director's alleged antisemitism see Radio Maryja.

Reverend Rydzyk and his team actively supported the victorious Law and Justice party during the 2005 election. [3] Asked whether Father Rydzyk would form a political party, bishop Tadeusz Pieronek, the former secretary general of the Episcopate of Poland, replied that he could not imagine a priest starting a political organization.

When Self-Defence, League of Polish Families, and Law and Justice parties paraphed an important document (a "stabilization pact"), the only media allowed in the room were those run by Father Director.

In January 2006, a journalist from the Polish tabloid Fakt phoned the minister for agriculture Krzysztof Jurgiel, claiming to be Father Director's assistant, and told Jurgiel that Father Director's car had broken down. The minister immediately sent a government limousine for Reverend Rydzyk. The reporter said he had carried out the provocation to check Rydzyk's influence in the government.

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