Pope to deliver Christmas message on British radio

22nd December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Pope Benedict XVI will deliver a brief message for BBC radio's "Thought for the Day" programme on the morning of Christmas Eve, the British broadcaster said Wednesday.

In what is believed to be his first personally scripted broadcast, the pope will address listeners in the short slot which traditionally goes out during the corporation's flagship Today programme.

Benedict recorded the message in Rome on Wednesday.

Gwyneth Williams, the controller of BBC Radio 4, said he was "delighted Pope Benedict is sharing his Christmas message with the Radio 4 audience.

"It's significant that the Pope has chosen Thought for the Day to give his first personally scripted broadcast -- and what better time to do so than on the eve of one of the biggest celebrations on the Christian calendar."

"Thought for the Day" consists of some five minutes of personal reflection from faith leaders and believers from other denominations.

The pope's broadcast comes three months after he made a state visit to Britain.

Britain's National Secular Society attacked the BBC's move.

"The BBC is giving the Pope an unquestioned slot to continue whitewashing his Church's disgraceful record on covering up child abuse by its priests," said the group's president, Terry Sanderson.

© 2010 AFP

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