65 Countries to See Papal Easter Blessing

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 14, 2006 (Zenit.org).- At least 102 television networks in 65 countries will be linked by satellite for Benedict XVI’s Easter message and blessing on Sunday at noon Rome time.

It will mark the first time the German Pope presides over the annual Easter celebrations, including the Mass in St. Peter’s Square beginning at 10:30 a.m. The Easter Mass will also be telecast to a global audience.

According to a press release of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, a total of 62 networks in 42 countries were expected to broadcast the Good Friday Way of the Cross at the Roman Colosseum led by the Holy Father.

The seasonal telecasts at Christmas and Easter are made freely available through a network of satellites from which TV networks relay the events to their own local, national or even international audiences.

Satellite uplink fees and downlink fees for countries requiring economic help are covered by a grant from the Knights of Columbus.

The Holy Week events in the Vatican are a co-production of the Vatican Television Center and Italy’s state television network, RAI. The Pontifical Council for Social Communications coordinates the international transmissions.