Father Tadeusz Rydzyk (Polish pronunciation: [taˈdɛuʂ ˈrɨdzɨk]), born 3 May 1945 in Olkusz, Poland, is a Roman Catholic priest and Redemptorist, founder and director of the conservative Radio Maryja station, and founder of the University of Social and Medial Culture in Toruń.
Life and career
Tadeusz Rydzyk spent his childhood in Olkusz. He studied at the Higher Spiritual Seminary of Redemptorists in Tuchów, and later at the Catholic Theology Academy in Warsaw. He was ordained a priest in 1971 and taught religion in Toruń, Szczecinek and Kraków. In 1986 Fr. Rydzyk left for West Germany where he was involved with a radio station Radio Maria International in Balderschwang (later closed by the Catholic Church authorities for moving away from Catholic doctrine) .
Following his return to Poland in 1991, Fr. Rydzyk started Radio Maryja, the second worldwide Catholic radio station (the first being Vatican Radio). He established the nationalist newspaper Nasz Dziennik ('Our Daily') and the television station Trwam ('I Persist').
On 8 October 2009, Fr. Rydzyk earned a PhD in Theology from the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw.
Fr. Rydzyk applied for the funds of the European Union allotted to boost Polish businesses and researchers from 2007-2013 on the grounds that his school is an "incubator for modern technology in the service of civil society."
During XIX International Catholic Film Festival Niepokalanów 2004 for the first time awards Multimedia in service of a Gospel were given and recipients were fr. Tadeusz Rydzyk i Mel Gibson.
On 15 September 2007 he was awarded Mater Verbi catholic weekly „Niedziela” prize on Jasna Góra. The prize is given to people who contributed to "Niedziela" from Poland and abroad.
On 28 June 2009 fr. Tadeusz Rydzyk received św. Stanisław Medal in appreciation of works that he has inspired.
On 26 October 2009 he received medal „Zło dobrem zwyciężaj” for his work for the Church and for Poland and for promoting teachings of Jerzy Popiełuszko.
In 2010 Tadeusz Rydzyk received Award of the Blessed Jerzy Ciesielski.
In September 2010 he received "Sursum Corda" prize of the weekly "Niedziela".
In December 2013 he received Cross „Tibi Mater Polonia”.
In February 2011, Fr. Rydzyk was fined 3500 zlotys after the local district court in Toruń found that he broke the law by using Radio Maryja to call for donations to TV Trwam, the University of Social and Media Culture and the geothermal drilling conducted by the Lux Veritatis Foundation.
In June 2011, while meeting members of the European Parliament, he called Poland "an uncivilized country" and "a totalitarian regime", as well saying that it was not ruled by Poles. The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs protested against these statements and sent a diplomatic note to the Holy See, to which Catholic religious orders, including the Redemptorists, are subject.