We need righteous people to work in the media

Katarzyna Cegielska talks to Fr Tadeusz Rydzyk, CSRS, director of Radio Maryja and the founder of the Higher School of Social and Media Culture in Torun.

Katarzyna Cegielska: - How do you evaluate from the perspective of time the educational activities of the School you founded in 2001?

Fr Tadeusz Rydzyk: - The School has existed for six years. At first, there was the idea to found an institution of higher education that would educate young journalists since one could see certain lack in Poland as far as journalists were concerned, that would educate people in media culture and that would educate righteous people to be involved in politics. Those were not isolated opinions. During his visit to our school Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski presented the same opinion. I often hear that our School is a great success. We have a saying ‘The one who thinks a year ahead sows grain, ten years ahead - plants a forest, distant future - educates children and youth.’ After the changes of the 1980s in Poland we can see how much we need journalists. We can notice what happens in the media in the situation when we, Catholics, have few people to work in the media. Moreover, we have too few Catholic and Polish media. In 1995, over 90% of the press in Poland were not Polish media. After 13 years only a small percentage of the media was left. Therefore, we need such a school. The media are above all the people who stand behind film cameras, the people who write articles and the reporters. They should be witnesses of the truth and this is what we want to do: to educate witnesses of the truth. This is the task of our School - to proclaim the truth. Now the time belongs to neo-Marxism, the new left wing, post-modernism. It is proclaimed that the only truth is that there is no truth. That’s why, we need such a school as the Higher School of Social and Media Culture.

- The School has developed dynamically within a short time - within the shortest possible period it received the permission to organise master’s studies. But it has met difficulties from the present Polish authorities and the decision-making bodies in the European Union ...

- I would not say Polish authorities but the authorities in Poland since it is more and more visible that not all activities lead to Poland’s good; on the contrary, they aim at the interests of some groups. Before the elections a certain party promoted its motto ‘So that we could have better lives’. And people believed that all of them would live better lives but the motto did not say ‘all’. It is very sad that such things have happened. All people, both believers and non-believers, should care for the common good, which is called Poland, our Homeland, which has been built for over one thousand years.

- Why does it happen, where does this dogged determination, for example to change the criteria so that the School could not receive the EU subsidies?

- I observe various projects, which receive the EU money, the money that Poland contributed to the EU budget. The distribution of the grants shows that it is an attempt to stop development, to give those that are politically correct. Such an action aims at destroying the School. And it is also an action against the truth. It reminds me of the NKWD activities. They said, ‘Arrest them and we will find a law for it. The same is in this case. All things met the criteria, the projects were perfectly prepared and a preliminary agreement was signed. Then, against the rule that the law is not retroactive, the criteria were changed and we had to do it again. Those actions were taken by the people who had been educated in that system, even those who were involved in the communist and at the same time atheistic system. And they are ready to help those clergymen who will be politically correct.

- Despite the difficulties you do not give up your activities to proclaim the truth ...

- We cannot give up. Difficulties are part of our ministry, in service of the truth. One should quietly proclaim the truth and if we revile some evil we condemn evil but not man. We rather say: think it over, control yourselves, never do any evil, let us build good. We all are to build our Homeland; we all are to seek the truth and to proclaim the truth, believers and non-believers. Only being together we can build great things. ‘Homeland is a common duty’, Norwid said. But as Catholics we should work even more since Catholics are the people who have discovered the Truth, the Summit of all truth that is Jesus Christ. And they should follow this Truth even more faithfully.

By assuring high quality teaching, Catholic schools present a Christian vision of man and of the world that offers young people the chance for a fruitful dialogue between faith and reason. Likewise, it is their duty to transmit values to be assimilated and values to be discovered.
From the address of John Paul II to the participants in the International Congress of the Catholic Schools of Europe in 2001.

The Catholic schools in Europe are thus called to be dynamic communities of faith and evangelization... By being at the service of the dialogue between the Church and the community, undertaking to promote man as a whole, they remind the people of God of the central point of their mission.
From the address of John Paul II to the participants in the International Congress of the Catholic Schools of Europe in 2001.

"Niedziela" 7/2008

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl