Oh he’s really done it now. Janusz Palikot, PO (Civic Platform) politician known for his outspokenness has likened Tadeusz Rydzyk to Beelzebub and the Devil.
Beelzebub or more accurately Ba‘al Zebûb was worshipped in the ancient city of Ekron and was later taken up by Judaism and Christianity to refer to the original big bad baddie Satan aka ‘the Adversary’, ‘the Accuser’, Lucifer. More commonly known in English as the Devil.
Not only did Palikot call Rydzyk “a/the Beelzebub from Toruń” (the city where he and his Radio Maryja is based), but also called him “a/the devil” the very next day wishing to confirm his opinion of this pseudo-priest. This was most obviously not a mistake and he meant to say what he said.
It is common knowledge that Rydzyk is the driving force behind the hard-right, nationalist, intolerant, racist wing of PiS. When he so much as sneezes, Jarosław Kaczyński jumps. And by the rhetoric and style of Lech Kaczyński’s recent speech (see news article) it seems that the President is also at the beck and call of the Polish Richelieu.
In fact, Rydzyk’s power within the Polish Catholic Church is so powerful that many claim (for example, see here) that the Toruń-based Radio Maryja crowd may actually force a schism in the Polish Church taking a large number of followers with them. Commentators, politicians and popular clergymen alike are all befuddled as to why the Catholic Church has not excommunicated Rydzyk and his merry band of racists.
Devil or Not?
Palikot maintains that Rydzyk fulfils all the necessary requirements to actually be termed “a devil” implying of course that Rydzyk’s work is unecumenical and far from Christian, rather anti-Christian (if we follow his ‘devil’ line of argumentation). However, Rydzyk is not a devil and is very much human. The question that really needs to be posited here is not whether he is a devil, or if Palikot should have said what he said but what on earth is the Catholic Church doing letting a person like Rydzyk run loose.