Polish Solidarity priest wants Gibson to direct

A former top chaplain to Poland's Solidarity trade union movement, Fr Henryk Jankowski, wants Mel Gibson to direct a movie of the controversial cleric's life.

In an interview published in the right-wing daily Dziennik, 70-year-old Jankowski said Gibson was well-placed to direct his biopic, the Herald-Sun reports.

Gibson is "a great man and an honest Catholic", Jankowski said.

"He's also a distinguished artist. His (film) Passion was a real masterpiece," Jankowski added, noting that he planned a meeting with Gibson in September.

"We have never met face to face, but the opportunity is coming up."

The Henryk Jankowski Institute, founded and run by the cleric's colleagues, plans to launch a range of Jankowski T-shirts, cigarette-lighters and other gadgets to help finance a potential film.

Jankowski, who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the opposition Solidarity movement in the 1980s, has regularly sparked controversy over the past two decades with his violently anti-communist rhetoric and what critics charge are anti-Semitic remarks.

He is also known as a lover of luxury, and for his commercial interests.

Jankowski markets a brand of wine called Monsignore - he is pictured on its label - and is planning to open a chain of bars across Poland.

His views and lifestyle led the archbishop of Gdansk, the northern port which is Jankowski's stamping ground, to fire him in 2004 from his longstanding position as rector of the city's renowned St Brigid's parish.

Controversial priest wants Mel Gibson film (Herald-Sun, 3/7/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Henryk Jankowski (Wikipedia)
Solidarity Poland

Vatican reins in Poland's clerical free spirits (CathNews, 12/1/06)

4 Jul 2007