“The new information service is another milestone for the Urdu-language service of the Episcopal Commission for Catholic Social Communications and for the apostolate of Radio Veritas Asia (RVA) in Pakistan, which is already broadcasting in Urdu. I congratulate the RVA staff in Pakistan, and I hope that our listeners will appreciate this service which will give news on the events that affect the Catholic Church and Christian communities across the country”: this is what Archbishop Joseph Arshad, chairman of the National Commission for Social Communications, in the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan told Agenzia Fides Fides. Archbishop Arshad blessed the newsroom at Rabita Manzil, the National Catholic Social Communication Center in Lahore, officially announcing the launch of Urdu news service on Saturday 26 July 2020. The staff will create and broadcast a newsletter that will deal with the life of the Church, society, culture, human rights.
The Archbishop also said: “After moving RVA services online, we have achieved many positive results and launched several programs. This Urdu News Service is an initiative that continues in this direction. We hope that the public will appreciate this news service and will share our message of hope and peace”.
Fr. Qaisar Feroz OFM Cap, Executive Secretary of the Commission for Social Communications and Director of RVA Urdu Service speaking with Fides, said: “The 20-minute weekly news bulletin in Urdu, the national language of Pakistan, wants to reach our faithful but also all the listeners, with a message of truth, hope, peace, and unity”. And adds: “Talking about the good works of the Christian community in Pakistan and what happens in the Catholic Church, we will deal with news related to social and religious activities, including topics such as justice and peace, interreligious harmony, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, ecumenism, social service, ecology, environment. We will always do so with a view to giving news that strengthens unity and peace in society”.
Fr. Qaisar Feroz OFM Cap, the only priest in Pakistan who graduated in media communication sciences, also said: “Thanks to teamwork in recent months, we are now able to launch this news service. The extraordinary cooperation and support of Archbishop Joseph Arshad, Chairman of the Commission, has allowed all RVA staff to work with more zeal and dedication”.
Radio Veritas Pakistan, after having moved what was a shortwave radio service to the web, has been broadcasting 14 programs of various kinds weekly, especially for reflection and spiritual deepening, with daily reading and commentary on the Gospel, Sunday mass, catechesis for children. The service was very important and was followed in a time of pandemic and lockdown.