The Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it a newfound appreciation for the various alternative means of communication at the disposal of the Church, notably social media and livestream services. Vatican Radio is one of the oldest media platforms that has been utilised by the Church for decades. This year marks 90 years since its commissioning by Pius XI. During Covid-19, the Pope’s radio broadcaster has created networks and connected people isolated by the lockdown.

A particularly poignant testimony, that of Father Luigi Maccalli, that encapsulates the essence of Church broadcasting means. For two years Father Maccalli was a prisoner of jihadists between Niger and Mali. Using a small radio while in captivity, the missionary said, “Every Saturday I was able to listen to the commentary on the Sunday Gospel on Vatican Radio. Once, even the live Mass…it was the Pope’s Mass of Pentecost 2020.”

The technicians and staff of Vatican Radio who broadcast daily span 69 different countries. Pope Francis spoke in 2019 of the kind of communication he envisioned for the Church. He said, “But what should communication be like? One of the things you must not do is advertising, mere advertising. You must not do what human businesses do, that try to attract more people…I would like our communication to be Christian and not an element of proselytism.”

In light of this mission, Vatican Radio continues to bring the message of the Pope to those such as Father Maccalli and many more across the globe.

Source: Vatican News

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