100 Channels to Broadcast Papal Message

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 24, 2006 (Zenit.org).- About 100 television networks in 61 countries will broadcast Benedict XVI's imparting of the traditional papal blessing on Christmas Day.

An estimated 82 stations in 42 countries will also broadcast tonight's Midnight Mass presided over by the Holy Father, reported the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

"Satellite uplink fees and downlink fees for countries requiring economic help are covered by a grant from the Knights of Columbus -- a Catholic men's fraternal society with members throughout Canada, the
United States, Mexico and the Philippines," said the Vatican dicastery.

The television coverage of the Christmas ceremonies in the Vatican are a produced jointly by the Vatican Television Center and Italy's public television network RAI.

The Pontifical Council for Social Communications provides commentary in five languages, including an English commentary by Archbishop John Foley, president of the media dicastery.