August 11, 2007

Pope in private audience with head of anti-Semitic radio station

Very disconcerting. From WJC:

Pope Benedict XVI has received members of a Polish delegation that included Tadeusz Rydzyk, the owner of the controversial Polish radio station "Radio Maryja". The Redemptionist priest has repeatedly come under fire for anti-Semitic broadcasts and a recent attack on Polish president Kacynski and his wife.

According to a report in a Polish newspaper that is part of Rydzyk's media group, the group of Polish pilgrims was received by the Pope at his summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, near Rome. The paper "Nasz Dziennik" reports that the Pope thanked the listeners of Radio Maryja for their prayers for him and gave his blessing to the radio station and its work. The Vatican confirmed the meeting, but refused to comment on its meaning. The Pope was free to receive whoever he wanted in private audience, a Vatican spokesman told journalists in Rome.

Last year, anti-Semitic broadcasts by Radio Maryja caused considerable concern in the Vatican, which demanded the intervention of Polish church officials. The church set up a supervisory committee but has since failed to significantly alter the programming of the ultra-conservative broadcaster. In his most recent outburst, Rydzyk attacked the Polish government led by the twin Kacynski brothers of "selling out to Jews"� and called the Polish first lady a "witch".