February 12, 1931, Vatican Radio began its social networking capabilities for Pope Pius XI who had a particular interest in evangelization, especially in the foreign lands. Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937), the physics Nobel Prize laureate became the father of wireless communication. Quoting Marconi, the Vatican Press Director Jesuit Father Frederico Lombardi recalled, “My inventions are to save humanity, not to destroy it.”
Read a few ideas on the founding of Vatican Radio
Pope Pius XI exhorted his first listeners said, “Listen and hear, O Peoples of distant lands.”
Today, Vatican Radio broadcasts in 47 languages and hosts a webpage. There are about 300 people from 60 countries using 15 alphabets.
2011 is also the 150th anniversary of the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, the daily semi-official newspaper of the Holy See.
Whereas Vatican Radio is contemporary with the founding of Vatican City State, L’Osservatore Romano is contemporaneous with Italian state and the famous Roman Question.
The Tulsa, OK, third ranking official in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State Monsignor Peter Bryan Wells gave an address on February 10, 2011 celebrating Vatican Radio’s 80th. Wells is the supervisor of the Holy See’s communication program of Vatican Press Office, Vatican Radio and TV, the Vatican Internet and L’Osservatore Romano.
Monsignor Wells’ address can be read here
. In his speech Wells asks: “Is not the Catholic Church the first global social network?” His answer is perfect to these liturgical ears: “Long before the new media existed, the Church’s liturgical language, values, and way of thinking about the human person have bound together Catholics from around the world, whatever their culture, language, age, race or economic status. The globalization of the media cannot frighten us, because we were the phenomenon’s first authors.”