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Rome Reports

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Vatican Radio celebrates 80 years

Fr. Federico LombardiDirector, Vatican Radio “To talk freely across borders in an age in which totalitarianism was spreading, there was Bolshevism in the East, there was Nazism on the horizon, there was Fascism and so on. Being able to speak freely with people around the world, also in particular, churches that were experiencing difficulty or being persecuted, was ; absolutely vital.” From then on, Vatican Radio was able to spread its voice and the Pope?s message to everyone around the globe in total autonomy. This also allowed them to deliver sensitive messages, even to those in the most desperate situations. During World War II, Vatican Radio transmitted 250,000 messages to prisoners of war from their families. It also did this during the war in Kosovo to demonstrate their solidarity with the victim?s of this conflict. It is still a great comfort for those who are not able to freely practice their faith. Fr. Federico LombardiDirector, Vatican Radio “Today there are many countries for example in the Middle East that are mostly Muslim nations, where there are foreign Catholic workers that don?t even have the possibility to go to mass or listen to religious messages. The transmission of the mass is aired in english every week, in a language that they can understand. It?s a great service.” Vatican Radio is aired in 38 languages, including even the most exotic ones, like Urdu, the official language of Pakistan, The tigrinya language of Eritrea and even Somali. This allows the radio station to show Catholics in even the most remote areas that the Pope is with them. Fr. Federico LombardiDirector, Vatican Radio “Vatican Radio is a place in which many people prepare the news and information in different languages, to give the Pope and the Church a voice in today?s world, for the different cultures and seek the best technology to spread this message.” To celebrate its 80th anniversary, the Pope?s radio is preparing an exhibition in the Vatican Museum, and will unite the most important consortium of European radio stations and will publish a book on the most imporant historical moments of one of the most widely-listened to radio stations in the world. JMB/SCFFJM-PR