Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rydzykland


Boy do I wish I were a kid today. Not only is there the internet (heh, heh, heh) but in the future there will be Rydzykland. Radical Polish Priest Tadeusz Rydzyk, a Catholic media mogul (yes, really) frowned upon but tolerated by the local Church, has announced he will build a theme park near his HQ in Torun, north-central Poland.

Rydzykland's real name will be the very catchy Polonia in Tertio Millennio Centre, roughly translating as Give Me Money. According to the Polish state news agency's website, it will be an, er, religious theme park with a fairyland-style church (shown), hotels, huge aqua park, thermal water spa, sports hall, conference hall, shops, restaurants, a marina, and an amphitheatre. Euro-Disney, eat your heart out, er, I mean, turn the other cheek . . .so I can hit them both!

Father Director, as Rydzyk is known, is no stranger to ambition. Already a master of radio and TV, Rydzyk wants the theme park to be Poland's top Catholic destination. He wants it thus to draw visitors away from Czestochowa and its Black Madonna, a 600-year-old icon that is believed to have stopped Sweden (they weren't always so nice) during a 17th century invasion. Easy pickings. He also takes a dim view of the new giant Jesus erected in Swiebodzin in south-western Poland.

As always, money might be the catch. At an estimated cost of several million zloty, one less familiar with Rydzyk's Empire might ask how a priest would find enough money left over for such an outlay after he has helped the needy and the deserving. I'll give you a hint: get on the phone and pledge a little, just a little, and Rydzykland will soon be a reality.

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