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The Pope's radio

· Cardinal Bertone to the staff of the Vatican broadcasting station ·

Audite caeli quae loquor, audiat terra verba oris mei (“Listen, heavens and earth to the words on my lips”). The words spoken by Pius xi which rang out for the first time over the air on 12 February 1931 and at the same time could be heard live from one end of the earth to the other, were presented anew on Thursday morning, 29 September by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, at the Mass for the patronal feast of Vatican Radio, celebrated at the Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican Gardens.

It was a true “family celebration” that concluded the festivities for the 80th anniversary of the radio station whose members gathered “round the altar”, the Cardinal said, “to be nourished by the Body of Jesus”. After briefly outlining its history, he expressed the hope that Vatican Radio might “continue to be a typically ecclesial means of communication, that is, linked vitally to the Church, in the same way that the branch is one with the vine that nourishes it”. Moreover it is well known that “public opinion”, he added, “views our radio station as the ‘Pope's Radio’”, and considers what it broadcasts as “an especially authoritative summary”. To be understood and accepted this announcement must be “translated” into the language of our time and into the various languages of humankind”. This is not always an easy task and entails a cultural mediation for which the concepts worked out in one language must be rendered comprehensible and usable, in accordance with the different mindsets and cultures. “To be able to carry out this service”, the Cardinal said further, “an appropriate training is necessary, but it is also necessary to be able to initiate a dialogue with the world, to learn how to speak its languages, to enter into empathy with the thirst for the truth of people today”.

This does not mean that it is not necessary to stay faithful to the Gospel message, in order, the Cardinal admonished, “that in this dialogue mediation not be ‘made worldly’, in the sense of a watering down or emptying out of the deepest and truest content of this message. Indeed in the areopagus of the media it often happens that a relativistic culture dominates that is sceptical of the possibility of identifying an absolute truth, careful rather than making room for all opinions, considered as many truths that can exist simultaneously and are equally legitimate.

Lastly, Fr Federico Lombardi, the Director of Vatican Radio, presented Cardinal Bertone with the first copy of the work in two volumes: Ottant'anni della Radio del Papa [Eighty years of the Pope’ s Radio ](Città del Vaticano, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2011), subsequently the book launch was held on 4 October.

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