TO THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS AND EMPLOYEES
OF THE ITALIAN RADIO-TELEVISION NETWORK (RAI)
Paul VI Hall
Dear Madam President,
Dear Executive Directors and Employees of the RAI,
I extend my welcome to you all! Thank you for having come in such great numbers;
And ‘thank you’ to the President for her words, which I appreciated very much.
This meeting is taking place within the context of the 90th anniversary of
first radio broadcast and its 60th in television; and it is significant that
there are representatives present here from several public radio-television
networks, and from associations in the field from other countries. The two
anniversaries offer an occasion to reflect on the relationship which has existed
between the RAI and the Holy See over the past decades, and on the value and
demands of public service.
The key word that I would like immediately to highlight is collaboration.
Both in radio and television, the Italian people have always been
able to access the words and, subsequently, the images of the Pope
and the events of the Church in Italy, through RAI’s public service. This cooperation is realized with
two Vatican entities: Vatican Radio and the Vatican Television Centre.
In this way, the RAI has offered and still offers the users of its public
service the possibility of following both extraordinary and ordinary events. We
think of the Second Vatican Council, the elections of the Popes, or of the
funeral of Bl.
Pope John Paul II; but we think also of the many events that took
place during the Jubilee Year 2000, the various celebrations as well as the
Pope’s pastoral visits in Italy.
The 1950s and 1960s were an age of great development and growth for the
is good to remember a few steps: in those decades the RAI’s broadcasts covered
the entire country; in addition, the state-owned corporation undertook to train
its directors also abroad; lastly, they increased their productions, including
those of a religious nature: we recall, for example, the film Francesco
produced by Liliana Cavani in 1966, and the Acts of the Apostles by
Roberto Rossellini in 1969, the latter in collaboration with Fr Carlo Maria
The RAI, therefore, also through many other initiatives, has been a witness to
the process of change in Italian society in its rapid transformation, and has
contributed in a special way to the process of the linguistic and cultural
unification of Italy.
Therefore, we thank the Lord for all of this and we carry forward the style of
collaboration. However, recalling a past rich in achievements calls us to a
renewed sense of responsibility for today and for tomorrow. The past is the
root, history becomes the root for new initiatives, the root for present
challenges, and the root of a future, of a movement forward! May the future not
find us without the responsibility of our identity. May it find us with the root
of our history and always going forward. I remind all of you who are present
here, and all those who for various reasons could not attend our meeting, that
your profession, beyond being informative, is formative, it is a public service,
a service to the common good. A service to truth, a service to goodness and a
service to beauty. All of the professionals who make up the RAI, the executive
board, journalists, artists, clerks, technicians and workers know that they
belong to a corporation that produces culture and education, that provides
information and entertainment, reaching a great number of Italians every moment
of the day. It is a responsibility that the proprietor of a public service
cannot abdicate for any reason.
In the end, the ethical quality of communication is the result of conscientious
— not superficial — attention, always respectful of people, both those who are
the subject of information and the recipients of the message. Each, in his own
role and with his own responsibility, is called to be vigilant in maintaining a
high level of ethics in communication.
I send my warmest wishes for the year that has just begun to you, executive
directors and employees of RAI and to your families, as well as to the
distinguished guests of this meeting. My hope is that you will work well, and do
your work with trust and hope, in order to be able to transmit it: there is such
great need of this!
To the RAI, and to the other networks and associations represented here, I
address my hope that in following their aims with determination and constancy,
that they may always know how to place themselves at the service of society’s
human, cultural and civil growth.