Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Radio Veritas - windows to the world

April 13, 2009, 6:32pm

After 40 years of having been in the service of the country, mention of Radio Veritas today still conjures of a restrictive communication facility through which official statements of the Catholic church are issued.

That may be true but Radio Veritas is not just a communication outlet of the country's Catholic church: It is the only continental short wave radio station of the Catholic church that opens its windows to the world.

To be sure, Radio Veritas has a long history that started in 1969 when its first regular overseas broadcast began.

But probably more compelling were the ideals and circumstances that inspired and brought about its fulfillment.

All this will be discussed when a symposium on "Catholic Radio Broadcasting in Asia" is held Wednesday starting at 8 in the morning at the Pope Paul VI Auditorium, Radio Veritas Asia Compound in Fairview Park, Quezon City.

Fr. Roberto Ebisa, svd, Radio Veritas Asia general manager, said participants in the convocation are eminent persons who have been involved or related to the development of Radio Veritas Asia from the start and to what it is today.

Significantly, the establishment of Radio Veritas was the result of a common aspiration of no less than the Vatican, the German government and the Catholic Bishops of Germany, and Catholic Bishops of the Philippines led at the time by Rufino Cardinal Santos, among others.

"The German government provided since 1962 on my initiative and at the special request of Cardinal Agagianian, the special Papal delegate, with the approval of then Federal Chancellor Dr. Konrad Adenauer, a total of 13.5 million German marks for the establishment of the Church station Radio Veritas in Manila," Msgr. Wilhem Wissing of the Catholic Bishops
Conference of Germany, said.

It must be mentioned that the decision to establish Radio Veritas in Manila was a consequential reaction to the threat of communism that at the time was spreading in Asian countries such as China, North Korea, Burma, and North Vietnam.

It is said that Cardinal Santos took up the idea of Radio Veritas because as the only Catholic country in Asia - and being at the doorsteps of China - it was in the best position to spread Catholic faith and thus prevent the spread of communism in the region.

News and information released through Radio Veritas are heard in Asian countries and around the world in various languages - assuredly demonstrating its importance as a pervasive influence in the intensification of the Catholic faith.

"The advent of the Internet that allows webcasting, news streaming, and podcasting," according to Fr. Ebisa who has been RadioVeritas' general manager since 2007, "has led to many changes in the listening habits of radio listeners," - and so did in the new episode of Radio Veritas history: The launch of digital recording and broadcast automation and the creation of the Information System Office.

Participating in tomorrow's symposium include Bishop Berdardino C. Cortez, D.D., chairman, commission on social communications and mass media, CBCP; Sr. Angela Liu, MMB, coordinator, Mandarin service (China); Rev. Fr. Sebastian Perianan, Ph. D., Rector, St. Peter's Seminary of Banglore, India; Rev. Fr. John La Raw, Kachin service (Myanmar); Dr. Chainarong Monthienvichienchai, president, St. John's University of Bangkok, Thailand; Ms. Irmgard Icking, MISSIO-Aachen, Germany; and Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, D.D., president, Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Vatican City, Rome.
(Zacharias Lianges, Greece/HCDX)