Vatican Radio a Voice Serving Truth, Says Pope

Visits Headquarters on its 75th Anniversary

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 3, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI visited Vatican Radio on its 75th anniversary, describing it as a voice at the service of the truth and reconciliation.



The Pope began his tour of the station today with a visit to a studio that was transmitting live. He sat down between three journalists and greeted the radio's listeners in Italian.

After wishing those who were listening "the peace and joy of the Lord," the Bishop of Rome recalled that Pope Pius XI founded that radio to give "a voice to the Holy See, beyond that, to the Church and to the Lord."

"A voice with which to truly apply the Lord's commandment: 'Proclaim the Gospel to all creatures to the ends of the earth,'" he said.

The Holy Father acknowledged that modern technology offers a new dimension of connectedness.

In this way, he said, "today the voice of Vatican Radio can reach all parts of the world, and many homes."

"There is also a beautiful reciprocity," the Pope said, "not only in speaking about, but also in receiving answers, in an authentic dialogue to understand, respond to and build the family of God."

"It seems to me that this is the meaning of a means of communication such as this one: To help build this great family which has no borders, in which all feel themselves brothers and sisters in the multiplicity of cultures and languages, and in this way represent a force for peace," he said.

Serving the truth

The Holy Father appealed to the listeners of the papal broadcasting station to "feel really involved in this great dialogue of truth."

"In the media world, as we know," he said, "there is no lack of opposing voices. It is, therefore, particularly important that this voice exist, which really wishes to be at the service of truth, of Christ, and in this way, at the service of peace and reconciliation in the world."

After his address, Benedict XVI toured the offices of the station which broadcasts in 45 languages.

He greeted the staff personally and had photographs taken with them: 384 members of 59 nationalities.

On visiting the chapel, he took part for a moment in community prayer, accompanied by the Vatican Radio choir.

At the end of the visit, the Holy Father met with the staff in the Marconi Room. The room is named in honor of Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of the radio, to whom Pius XI entrusted the construction of the papal broadcasting station.

New connections

After the greeting of a member of staff, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, program director, said: "We are happy to work for the Pope's radio. This is the task that has been entrusted to us in the Lord's vineyards."

"We are convinced that our time and energies are well spent communicating what the Pope says, what the Church proclaims for the good of so many brothers and sisters, in obedience to the Gospel of Jesus," he said.

Then the Successor of Peter read an address in Italian in which he highlighted the great moments of Vatican Radio's history and encouraged the new avenues that it is opening on the Internet.

Before concluding, Benedict XVI left personal advice to all those working for the station: "Cultivate incessantly in yourselves a spirit of prayer and faithful adherence to the teachings of Christ and his Church."