Controversial Catholic radio station in Poland files for TV license

Posted: Friday, December 13, 2002

WARSAW, Poland (AP) -- Poland's controversial Roman Catholic radio station has filed with authorities to launch a satellite TV channel, the head of the nation's broadcasting board said Sunday.

Founded in 1991 and run by Redemptorist monks, Radio Maryja has repeatedly attracted attention for mixing religion with ultraconservative politics and anti-Semitic undertones.

Prominent Catholics have expressed concern that the station's message and aggressive style tarnish the church's image. Poland's bishops have praised its work but they have no direct influence on the company, which reports to its own religious superiors.

The Rev. Tadeusz Rydzyk told radio listeners that TV plans are in the final stages. ''We just need one signature,'' he said.

Juliusz Braun, broadcasting board chairman, told the PAP news agency his agency has never refused a satellite channel permit and was likely to approve the application for the Catholic outlet.

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