ASIAN bishops are set to meet in Manila this week to mark the 50th anniversary of Radio Veritas, the Catholic Church-run radio station instrumental to the 1986 “people power” revolt and efforts to fight communism in Asia through evangelization.
The three-day commemoration of the golden anniversary of the twin entities Radio Veritas Asia and of Radio Veritas 846 will open on April 10 with members of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) Office of Social Communication meeting at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila.
A thanksgiving Mass will be led by the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, with Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle as homilist.
The event marks the conception of Radio Veritas Asia at the UST Central Seminary during an assembly of 100 bishops from Asia and Australia in 1958, five years before the Second Vatican Council that proclaimed the Church’s openness to the use of mass media for evangelization.
On April 11, 1969, with support from German Catholics, the Radio Veritas facility in Fairview, Quezon City was inaugurated by Antonio Cardinal Samore, a Vatican official, and the then Manila archbishop, Rufino Cardinal Santos.
Church officials will unveil the 50th anniversary commemorative marker on April 11 at the Radio Veritas compound in Quezon City.
Activities include the inauguration and blessing of the Radio Veritas Asia Museum and the awarding of 50 individuals and institutions who have supported Radio Veritas Asia and Radio Veritas 846.
A Mass will be presided by the archbishop of Freiburg, Germany, Stephan Burger, with the FABC chairman, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Myanmar.
On April 21, Cardinal Tagle will lead Mass, followed by a thanksgiving fellowship of Radio Veritas Asia and Radio Veritas 846 anchors, listeners and benefactors.
“Celebrating our golden anniversary highlights our continued dedication to stand for the truth much like the same way Radio Veritas carried the message of Jaime Cardinal Sin who urged the public to go to EDSA in what became the 1986 People Power Revolution,” said Fr. Anton Pascual, Radio Veritas president.
Radio Veritas received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communication Arts for its coverage of the 1983 assassination of senator Benigno Aquino Jr. and the 1986 revolt, with organizers citing “its crucial role in using truth to depose an oppressive and corrupt regime and restore Filipino faith in the electoral process.”
In 1991, Radio Veritas became a commercial radio station, while Radio Veritas Asia continued its short-wave broadcasts to the Asian continent. The latter shifted to a digital format in 2007 and more recently, to streaming and social media.