Vatican to broadcast across the H2O

Days after Pope Benedict slammed the "destructive" influence of the internet and other media, the Holy See has announced that the Vatican will launch its own news and entertainment TV network, H2O, by the end of the year.

The New Scotsman reports that while details remain sketchy, H2O will broadcast news and original entertainment programming worldwide in seven languages, according to a Holy See announcement.

According to the National Catholic Reporter, although not formally associated with Zenit, H2O is headed by the Rome-based agency's founder and is modelled on its editorial format.

Zenit is a popular online news service launched in 1998 with ties to Regnum Christi, the lay branch of the Legionaries of Christ.

The Scotsman says that over the years, the Vatican has been quick to adopt new technologies in its efforts to communicate with the world's more than 1 billion Catholics.

In 1996, the Vatican introduced its web portal nearly three years before the Italian state unveiled its own website. And it has embraced digital and satellite technology.

In a speech to the Vatican's communications department last Friday, the Pope called on the media to promote family values, human dignity and the common good.

"Undoubtedly, much of great benefit to civilisation is contributed by the various components of the mass media," he said.

"On the other hand, it is also readily apparent that much of what is transmitted in various forms to the homes of millions of families around the world is destructive."

Vatican plans new TV network (Scotsman, 13/3/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
H2O News
The Holy See
ZENIT News Agency

Pope Appeals to Media to Promote Beauty (Zenit, 11/3/07)
News agency with ties to Legionaries to launch video service (National Catholic Reporter, 7/12/06)

14 Mar 2007

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