In the defence of Television TRWAM
Grzegorz Kaszak, Bishop of Sosnowiec
An unusual situation, close to a scandal is a fact that Television Trwam has not received place on the multiplex so far. It became even more obvious when we saw what channels were approved in the eyes of the members of the National Broadcasting Council - a regulator of electronic media in our country and received their place on the multiplex.
It might seem that it is impossible that in a democratic country the television station, which has existed for nearly 10 years, which a vast number of Poles want, and over 2.5 million people are sending letters of support, in whose defence crowds of a few thousand people come out into streets of Polish cities, did not receive a place on the multiplex, because this was the decision of politicians. But impossible became possible in our eyes. So what does the service of the National Broadcasting Council look like towards the polish society? One of the basic duties of this body is - under the act of 1992 - providing pluralism in radio and television and being on guard the 'interests of viewers and listeners'. Which of these tasks was realized? The decision of the National Broadcasting Council restricts pluralism in media and is aimed against the interest of a very big group of viewers and listeners, paying taxes of citizens of the Polish Republic.
Recently there have been voices from the National Broadcasting Council that one place in another contest will be granted to a station of 'social-religious' character. In relation to this strange announcement and the activity of centres unfriendly to the Church, raised concern that the place would be granted to somebody else. I would like to remind that the Catholic public opinion expressed its view in this issue definitely and clearly, with the voice of people writing letters of support and manifesting in streets, also in the diocese of Sosnowiec - one should mention Olkusz and Sosnowiec. Polish Catholics want this television station not another one.
Last June and October Polish bishops during two other meetings of the Polish Episcopal Conference expressed their opinions similarly clearly and precisely. Polish bishops did not demand any privileges for the Television Trwam, but only its equal treating with other broadcasters, which means a necessity of granting a place on the digital multiplex. In an official statement of 359th meeting of the Polish Episcopal Conference we read: 'Bishops, according to the earlier expressed attitude in the issue of the Television Trwam, are appealing again for the right of treating ecclesiastical broadcasters equally with other broadcasters'. There is no other official attitude of Polish bishops, and speaking that a mysterious project is popular among bishops and supported by them, is a game and may be a smokescreen for prepared decisions blocking the entrance of the Television Trwam into the multiplex.
Jesus knows how much good was sowed in hearts of listeners through a common prayer, proclaiming the Gospel, catechesis, information about the life of the Church or direct reports of celebrations and papal journeys' - said the secretary of the State of the Holy See and the closest collaborator of the Holy Father, cardinal Tarcisio Bertone during a pilgrimage of Radio Maryja and Television Trwam. We do not need a more credible testimony about the Catholicism of the media work done by the Order of the Redemptorist Fathers. It was a kind of imprimatur confirming that it is the Catholic television station and Polish Catholics, citizens of the Polish country, have a right to expect that their voice will be listened to. I do not imagine a different situation.
Sosnowiec, 9 January 2013