Be a herald of truth amid persecution, lies, Radio Veritas urged

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(Photo by Mary Jazmin D. Tabuena/The Varsitarian)

POPE FRANCIS has bestowed his apostolic blessing to Radio Veritas, with a call to renew its commitment to spread the truth, during the radio station’s 50th anniversary at the UST Medicine Auditorium last April 10.

In a letter read by Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, the Pope called on the radio station to unite people in “bonds of evangelical love,” and promote a just society centered on the poor.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said Radio Veritas must continue to be a key figure in the evangelization of Asia.

“The truth…must not be kept but shared so that the darkness of ignorance, what they call in the documents ‘illiteracy,’ may be wiped out, and that values coming from the word of God may be shared by Christians all over Asia,” Tagle said.

Tagle also warned against spreading lies for political motives, which impedes freedom.

“It is a truth that defines the whole of human existence, and what is the opposite of the truth, what is enslavement? It is not just ignorance. For Jesus, it is sin… [T]he test of freedom in truth comes when you are persecuted,” he said.

Delegates of the Southeast Asian Bishops’ Conference established Radio Veritas Asia on April 11, 1969 “as an instrument of evangelization and information in Eastern Asia and Oceania.”

Radio Veritas 846 President Fr. Anton Pascual said the station still appeals to the youth through music and counseling.

Radio Veritas 846, which became a separate commercial radio station in 1991, is a “community-based radio” that promotes pastoral programs to reach the marginalized and engage in political, economic, cultural and environmental discussions, he said.

“On board and ating mga bishops at [experts] in different fields upang lagumin ang mga social issues in the context of faith and morals. Doon talaga malakas ‘yung ating advocacies and radio veritas,” Pascual added.

Pascual also stressed the importance of partnerships between Catholic schools and other organizations in promoting Catholic journalism for communication of faith and morals.

Fr. Franz Josef Eilers of the UST Graduate School said the Philippines was a strategic location for the radio station, since it was then the only Catholic nation in Asia.

The radio station’s office was first located in UST. Its name was changed from DZST (Santo Tomas) to DZRV (Radio Vertias) in 1964.

In 1969, the Radio Veritas studio in Fairview, Quezon City was inaugurated by Archbishop Antonio Cardinal Samore and Manila Archbishop Rufino Cardinal Santos.

Pope Paul VI went to Radio Veritas and delivered a message broadcast to all of Asia during his visit to the Philippines in November 1970.

Radio Veritas also played a key role in toppling the Marcos dictatorship, as former Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin used it to urge Filipinos to join the People Power Revolution in 1986.

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