For the first time in its 78-year history, it seems that the popular 'Vatican Radio' will bow to the advertising age in order to meet rising costs.
Vatican Radio is to start broadcasting advertisements from July 6 to meet the increasing operations costs, according to Director Federico Lombardi. The voice of Pope and Church on the airwaves costs some 19 million pounds a year to run.
"The advertising revenue will bring in between 175000- 260,000 pounds a year, which will be used for new initiatives, new programmes," Lombardi was quoted by British newspaper 'The Daily Telegraph' as saying.
Renato Boccardo, the Church's Finance Chief, said the policy change came about amid concerns from administrators of the Vatican state.
However, an advertising agency will vet all the advertisements to ensure they are in keeping with the Roman Catholic Church's moral standards, according to a official Vatican spokesman.
Enel, the Italian electricity company, will be the first brand name to be carried on the station, with its advert transmitted in Italian, English, Spanish, French and German. But Vatican Radio hopes to attract advertisers from around the world, the spokesperson said.