Nigeria’s Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of Oyo Diocese, the Bishop-President of the Pan-African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS) has described Vatican Radio as a jewel of pastoral communication.
The voice of the Church in Africa
In his message to the Prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication, Dr Paolo Ruffini, Bishop Badejo reflected on Vatican Radio’s relationship with Africa.
“I am proud to say that of these 90 fruitful years, the Church in Africa has enjoyed first-hand the services of this jewel of pastoral communication and evangelisation for over 70 years,” Bishop Badejo said. He added, “During those years, not only has the voice and acts of the Holy Father and the universal Church been broadcast to millions of Africans, but it is also remarkable that the voice and experience of the Church in Africa has been disseminated to a worldwide audience,” affirmed the Nigerian prelate.
SIGNIS Africa: The voice of the Pope in our homes
For its part, the association of Catholic communicators through the SIGNIS Africa President, Father Professor Walter Ihejirika, based in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, also sent a message to Dr Paolo Ruffini. Father Walter reaffirmed the African continent’s resolve to promote the work of communications in the Church.
“For close to a century, Vatican Radio has been a great tool of evangelisation and the African Continent is a beneficiary of this communicative endeavour. Last year, we celebrated with you the 70th anniversary of Vatican Radio’s broadcasts in English to Africa. As we noted then, through Vatican Radio, the voice of the Pope continues to be heard in the homes of many African families with the soothing tones of the good shepherd, giving encouragement and hope, and most importantly inviting all human beings to build an interconnected world. All of us, the Catholic communication practitioners, and professionals in Africa, join you to celebrate the 90th Birthday of Vatican Radio. We reiterate our firm commitment to use our talents, time and treasures to promote the work of communication both within the Church and the larger African society,” said Father Walter.
Radio Maria re-transmits Vatican Radio’s programs
Continental Coordinator of the World Family of Radio Maria in Africa, Jean-Paul Kayihura based in Como, Italy said, “For Africa, it is always a great joy, for many Catholics and non-Catholics alike, to follow the Catechesis and news of Vatican Radio via Radio Maria in French, English, Portuguese, Spanish and KiSwahili. In the programme schedule of every Radio Maria broadcast in Africa, attention to Vatican Radio programmes is a priority because Radio Maria’s African listeners always enjoy following the Holy Father’s activities. So, I would say that Vatican Radio creates a pastoral bridge between the Holy Father and every Radio Maria listener in African cities and suburbs. Radio Maria in Africa has developed the pastoral strategy of establishing itself in rural areas, far away from the big cities. Hence, the collaboration between Vatican Radio and Radio Maria is beneficial because the faithful living in the outskirts where there is neither television nor electricity can listen to the Holy Father, his prayers, his intentions, his pastoral priorities and his encouragement in difficult times. In the end, they feel the closeness of the successor of St. Peter to them,” said Kayihura.