THE TRUTH MOVES ON VARIOUS ROADS
In the name of what are restrictive telecommunication provisions adopted which impede the presence in the public space of Radio Maryja and the Television ‘Trwam’? The tendency to push faith into the sphere of privacy opposes to the very nature of faith and is discriminating – thinks archbishop Wacław Depo.
The Family of Radio Maryja made a pilgrimage to Rome by three special trains which got their names: ‘Radio Maryja’, ’Television Trwam’ and ‘Our Journal’, in order to meet with Benedict XVI. It was an answer to the call of the Holy Father to visit the places in the Year of Faith where Christianity was born, that is, Rome and Holy Land.
Polish wake-up for the Eternal City
Special passengers were going to Vatican for 7 November this year, but also trains by which they were travelling, were special because filled in a prayer. The voices of people who were leading the Rosary prayer, ‘Angelus’ prayer, Chaplet of Divine Mercy were heard through loudspeakers, as well as the voices of passengers chairing together the prayer of Liturgy of the Hours. Beside individual pilgrims one could notice parents with their children, grandparents with their grandchildren and young people who were taking care of less physically capable older members of the family.
A dozen of people went to the Eternal City from the Warsaw airplane by chartered airplanes. They filled in the space between the land and the sky with the improvised radio program of Radio Maryja, conducted by Fathers from the radio in Toruń, which was making a pilgrimage by airplane. The rest of pilgrims were travelling also by other means of transport. On 7 November, in the early morning, everybody reached the destination. So they had an untypical occasion to make wake-up for the residents of the Eternal City.
Together in the heart of the Church
In the number of about 10 thousand, the pilgrims participated in the Holy Mass chaired at the confession of St. Peter in the Vatican Basilica, which was a great distinction. In addition the Eucharist was presided by cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the closest collaborator of the Holy Father. The Secretary of the State for the Holy See was accompanied in the celebration of the Holy Mass by among the others: cardinal Zenon Grocholewski – prefect of the Vatican Congregation of Catholic Education, archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski – the chairman of the Papal Council for Priestly Ministry among the Health Service, archbishop Wacław Depo – the Metropolitan of Częstochowa, the chairman of the Council for Mass Media of the Polish Episcopal Conference, archbishop Szczepan Wesoły from Rome and also the Metropolitan of Gdańsk archbishop Sławoj Leszek Głódź, the Metropolitan of Szczecin archbishop Andrzej Dziega, bishop of Toruń Andrzej Suski, bishop of Drohiczyn Antoni Pacyfik Dydycz, bishop of Świdnica Ignacy Dec, bishop of Sosnowiec Grzegorz Kaszak, bishop of Ełk Jerzy Mazur, bishop of Kalisz Edward Janiak and bishop Stanisław Napierała from Kalisz, bishop of Zielon Góra and Gorzów Stefan Regmunt, bishop Wiesław Lechowicz from Tarnów, bishop Edward Frankowski from Sandomierz, bishop Stanisław Stefanek and bishop Tadeusz Bronakowski from Łomża and Father Janusz Sok CSsR – a provincial of the Warsaw Province of Redemptorists and Father Tadeusz Rydzyk CSsR – the founder and director of Radio Maryja. The Liturgy was attended among the others by MPs and senators of the Polish Republic, professors of Polish universities and compatriots from Polonia.
The words of greetings were addressed to the pilgrims gathered at the altar by bishop Andrzej Suski. – We are bringing as a great prayer of the God’s People a gift to the Holy Father – he said – It is an expression of our adoration and love to the Pastor of the General Church. Thousands of people from the Family of Radio Maryja committed to support the Holy Father Benedict XVI all the time through their prayer and suffering.
Gratitude for people of new evangelization
The words of cardinal Tarcisia Bertone concerning Radio Maryja and the Television Trwam were accepted with great joy: - Lord knows how much good was sowed in the hearts of listeners by the common prayer, proclaiming the Gospel, catechesis, information about the life of the Church or direct reports on papal celebrations and journeys. I join your thanksgiving with my whole heart! Cardinal Bertone noted that mass media had become serious tools of the new evangelization, that is, proclaiming Christ in a way adjusted to culture, requirements and sensitivity of today’s man. – In order to fulfill this mission effectively, they need people engaged in media like – management, editors and listeners – to be inspired by the Holy Spirit faithful followers of Christ, who are ready to testify about Him with love towards everybody, both brothers in faith and those who do not share the same beliefs – he said.
In mass media with the Gospel
In the homily addressed to the Family of Radio Maryja archbishop Wacław Depo stated clearly that believers should have a right to proclaim the Gospel in the public space. He said: - As a community of faith in Christ Redeemer and led by Maryja, we believe that in the very centre of struggles for the truth there is human conscience and its sensitivity to good and bad. Moreover, as Poles, we have an evidence for it in the history of our homeland. The roads on which the truth moves are various. And, thinking in a human way, where all entrances were closed very often to it, the truth is making its way, calling a lie and evil by their names. So, it is a natural thing and understandable that as the Christians and as Poles, citizens of the earthly homeland, we should have a right to form the social and political life in the light of our faith and beliefs. We should have a right to proclaim the truth of the Gospel and the picture transmitted in media. Why are restrictive telecommunication provisions adopted which will impede the presence of the Radio Maryja and the Television Trwam in the public space? The tendency to push away faith into the sphere of privacy, contradicts with the very nature of faith and is discriminatory.
Thanks were addressed to the pilgrims gathered during the Holy Mass by the provincial of the Warsaw Province of Redemptorists Father Janusz Sok. He noted that the life of the man is a pilgrimage. However, it is a skill to recognize in which direction we are to go, which roads to avoid, which guides to follow and where to stop in order to get strengths. He explained that the Family of Radio Maryja had arrived in Vatican to thank for faith which is a road sign and joy, and in order to testify the unity with the Holy Father Benedict XVI, to whom the Family had brought the gift of prayer and support.
In the end of the Eucharist Father Tadeusz Rydzyk said – We are grateful to God and the Blessed Mother that we can be here, at the feet of the Apostles and to the call of the Holy Father, in order to express faith here with Peter of our times in the Year of Faith.
A gift of prayer and Toruń gingerbread
The Family of Radio Maryja participated in the Wednesday general audience with the Holy Father. – I cordially greet Polish pilgrims, and especially the Family of Radio Maryja with bishops – said Benedict XVI to the pilgrims. Father Rydzyk gave Pope four volumes of books containing many thousands of surnames of people who had declared their prayer, suffering and good deeds in the intention for the Pope. The director of the Radio Maryja explained: - We would like to bring joy to the Holy Father and say that millions of Poles pray for him. We also gave him Toruń gingerbread. It was a friendly gesture. We brought two great joys to the Holy Father.
They left their testimony of faith
The Family of Radio Maryja were also praying at the relics of blessed John Paul II who once said: ‘I thank to God every day that in Poland there is such a radio which is called Radio Maryja’ (Rome, 29 March 1995).
Before going to stations, car parks and airports, in order to set off back to Poland, pilgrims were also gathering under the windows of Benedict XVI, giving their Polish signal of prayer that they remember and are in vigil. In the heart of Christianity they also left a sign of their carefulnes about the future of the Radio Maryja and the Television Trwam whose existence is endangered at present.
The pilgrimage of the Radio Maryja and the Television Trwam was noticed by important Catholic media of international range – the Vatican Journal ‘L’Osservatore Romano’ and the agency Zenit. Polish public media did not register this event. The Polish Television promised that it would deal with the issue at the later time.