Government Seen as Discriminating Against Catholic TV
By Antonio Gaspari
ROME, JAN. 30, 2012 (SOURCE: Zenit.org).- Attempts are being made in Poland to deny Trwam, a Catholic TV station, the possibility to broadcast.
The controversy began when the National Council of Polish Radio and Television refused a license for Trwan to broadcast on digital multiplex. Trwam is the country's only Catholic broadcasting station.
This means that Trwam will only be able to air its programs via satellite and those who wish to see them will have to pay for a subscription.
Given this decision, the Permanent Council of the Polish bishops issued a communique Jan. 16, "earnestly exhorting the National Council of Polish Radio and Television to assign the license on digital multiplex to Trwam TV."
The Polish bishops explain that "the exclusion of a Catholic TV station violates the principles of pluralism and equality before the law."
The statement points out that the great majority of Poles are Catholic and that they have the right to have free access to Trwam's television programs.
Trwam TV station has been broadcasting for more than eight years and it has a well-established reporting staff and a widespread public following. The members of the bishops' Permanent Council are asking that it be "inserted in the digital television system in Poland."
In this connection, Archbishop Jozef Michalik, president of the Polish Episcopal Conference, issued a statement to the Catholic weekly newspaper "Niedziela," in which he stressed the work done by Trwam for the community.
Trwam is concerned about the condition of the poor and of those who suffer injustices and illnesses, he said.
Archbishop Michalik also said that it makes a singular contribution through it programs about the life of the Church, the activities and trips of the Pope, the work of charitable agencies, etc.
According to the president of the Polish Episcopal Conference, these are events that are ignored by other television broadcasting stations and that if it were not for Trwam TV, they would not be covered.
[The translation from Polish into Italian of the communiques and statements was made by Father Mariusz Frukacz]