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Pope urges Radio Veritas to be voice of the poor

Pope urges Radio Veritas to be voice of the poor

Cardinals, bishops and priests pose for a group photo after a Mass to mark the 50th anniversary of Radio Veritas Asia at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila April 10. CBCPNEWS

By Roy Lagarde

April 10, 2019

Manila, Philippines

Pope Francis felicitated the Radio Veritas Asia on its 50th anniversary on Wednesday, encouraging the radio station to be a channel of love by being the voice of the poor.

The pope said he hopes the milestone will “revitalize” the station’s commitment to echo Christ’s teachings and contribute to “a more just and united society”.

Sending his apostolic blessing to people behind RVA and Radio Veritas 846, the pontiff prayed that they continue “to raise the hearts of the listeners to the God of love and truth”.

He also urged them to knit “the bonds of evangelical love” for their listeners to be conscious not just of the joys and hopes, but also the griefs and anxieties of other people, especially the poor.

The pontiff’s message was read by Papal nuncio Archbishop Gabriele Caccia during a Mass at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.

Present were several bishops led by Myanmar’s Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon, president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences and Bishop Roberto Mallari of San Jose, head of the FABC Office on Social Communications.

Also in attendance were Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila and Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu and Vice Chairman of the Philippine Radio Educational and Information Center (PREIC).

Archbishop Stephan Burger of Freiburg also graced the occasion for the German Bishops’ Conference who have been supporting RVA since its birth.

In his homily, Cardinal Tagle recounted the history of RVA, which according to him, had existed before FABC was established.

The dream for a radio facility in Manila for Asian Catholics was brought before an assembly of 100 bishops from Asia and Australia at the UST in 1958, five years before the Second Vatican Council.

The idea was eventually approved by the Vatican amidst the challenges of communism to the Church in Asia.

In 1961, the PREIC was created and provided the legal status for RVA. In the same year, the UST franchise to operate a radio station was transferred to PREIC.

The PREIC in 1963 agreed that the radio station will have medium wave transmission for the Philippines, which is the Radio Veritas 846, and short wave transmission for the overseas.

On April 11, 1969, the RVA facility was inaugurated in Quezon City by Cardinal Antonio Samore, a Vatican official, and Cardinal Rufino Santos, the then Manila archbishop.

In 1970, the meeting of Asian bishops in Manila gave birth to the FABC.

“So FABC somehow was midwifed into birth by Radio Veritas. What a wonderful history,” said Cardinal Tagle.

Archbishop Caccia said the idea for Radio Veritas Asia was successful because it was “well grounded”.

“The goal was to spread the Good News, the truth. The Church is missionary… this initiative was under the sign of the mission, to spread the Gospel,” he said.

The nuncio also attributed RVA’s success to “unity and communion”.

“There will be no good results if we are not going to work together and we cannot celebrate the Eucharist if we are not united,” Caccia said.