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Newsweek Polska is a Polish-language weekly published in Warsaw. Although affiliated to Newsweek, it is owned by German publisher Axel Springer SE. It holds a liberal editorial stance.
Fr. Tadeusz Rydzyk celebrating the 27th anniversary of his radio station, Radio Maryja
Katarzyna Skiba

Rydzyk Reigns: How Poland's Controversial Televangelist Has Wielded Power For 30 Years

Tadeusz Rydzyk, Poland's "father director," has commanded enormous political power through his Catholic media empire, despite his controversial support for priests entangled in the church's child sexual abuse scandals — as well as support for Russia. Is his era finally coming to an end?


“When I first became a priest, what I wished for most was media — for the church, for Catholics, for Poland,” Catholic leader Tadeusz Rydzyk told Nasz Dziennik in June.

“Without media, we have no voice at all,” he continued, comparing the church without the arm of the press to “a mute person."

Over time, Rydzyk's radio station has amassed 1.2 million active daily listeners and he has also created a Catholic television channel. He receives generous state funding for his media ventures and private foundation.

He’s been called everything from “the most important unelected man in Poland” to a “colonizer” of his followers’ minds. His TV channel “Trwam,” part of his Catholic media empire, just celebrated its 20-year anniversary.

But does Poland’s “father director” still hold an iron grip on the nation’s faithful?

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two guards in red square
Cameron Manley

Regime Change Inside Russia? What It Would Take To Push Putin Out

A perfect storm must come together of deepening troubles on the battlefield in Ukraine, Kremlin insiders turning on Putin, popular opposition and (not least of all) ideas for what comes after. More and more signs of all these factors are starting to show up.


White House officials were quick to clarify that Joe Biden’s words were not, in fact, exactly what they sounded like. “For God’s sake,” the U.S. President said of Russia's Vladimir Putin, "this man cannot remain in power." No, the apparently ad-libbed line in a momentous speech in Warsaw on Saturday was not a call for regime change, but rather a message that Putin “cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region.”

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Of course, most of those neighbors in the region, along with much of the international community would like to see someone else take power in Moscow — starting with Ukrainians who are suffering one month into Putin’s unprovoked invasion.

Yet, experts agree, it is only Russians who would have the power to remove the strongman from power.

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During June's LGBT Equality rally in Warsaw

Poland, Five Brave Couples Demand Same-Sex Marriage

WARSAW — Even as change spreads from such historically Catholic countries as Ireland and Mexico, same-sex marriage rights still look to be years away in Poland, home to a diehard traditional Catholicism that some say was even too pious for Pope Francis.

The 2015 Eurobarometer survery found that just 28% of Poles favored same-sex marriage, with 61% against. Still, Newsweek Polska reports this month on five gay and lesbian couples in Poland who have decided to publicly fight for their right to get married. All five couples were rejected by their local city administrations and later lost their appeals to city officials.

Krzysztof �oś and Grzegorz Lepianka have been together for 13 years. "Having to explain why I want to get married with somebody that I love is itself an insult," Lepianka told Newsweek Polska. "What could be the reason after 13 years together, apart from the fact that I love him? We really love each other and we want the country to acknowledge it."

The couples have established the Coalition in Aid of Civil Partnerships and Marriage Equality, and are taking their cases to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Indeed Italy, another country with a close relationship with the Catholic Church, also took a European path to finally recognize same-sex unions earlier this year — though that path began way back in 2002.

Still, change has been accelerating, and today only six EU countries do not have any laws allowing for same-sex marriage or civil partnerships: Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Poland. But in Poland, at least, the ball is now rolling.

Same-Sex Marriage Goes Globalby Worldcrunch