Via Media

First via American Papist, and other places – a Tonight Show spoof commericial of our IPope. (And to Leno’s amused credulity that there’s such a thing as Vatican Radio – yeah, since 1931, with the groundwork begun in 1925. From an account of the first transmission written in 1966, the 35th anniversary:

It is a cold clear day, with a light wind coming from the mountains in the north…at exactly 3:00 p.m. a Papal gendarme orders the evacuation of the premises. Two Papal banners suspended from each side of the building flutter in the wind. Inside everything is prepared and ready for the first broadcast. The transmitters have been tested for the last time. At 3:30 p.m. the Marquis Marconi arrives; the illustrious inventor goes directly to the Amplification Studio, places the earphones on his head, and begins the transcontinental conversations. The voice arrives clearly in New York, Melbourne, and Quebec. Fr. Gianfranceschi works with his usual conentration in preparing the final arrangements for the broadcast of the Pope. Although beseiged with many questions he responds with his characteristic smile and kindness. His manner serves to reduce the commotion and nervousness of the day. After several moments the equipment is shut down and will be reactived only after the arrival of the Pontiff.

Now, the Station is immersed in a profound silence: the powerful machinery awaits in silence; the lamps on the control panel are switched off; the entire world nervously waits. In just a few moments the spark will be struck which will send out the signal to the entire world. This will be the miraculous moment that will give glory to God and to His Church.

It’s now 4:20 p.m. The trumpets sound the arrival of the Holy Father. He arrives in the automobile, and makes his way to the Radio Transmission Station. As the Pope moves past the small party, all genuflect in reverence to the Successor of Peter. At the entrance of the building, Fr. Gianfranceshi and Guglielmo Marconi stand to greet Pius XI. The Pope is then accompanied to the Generator Room where, with a steady and definite manner, he moves the controls which activate the power. First a whirring is heard, then the sound of the powerful vibration of the motors takes over the room. His Holiness accomplishes several other maneuvers which will complete the opening of the circuits necessary to initate the transmission. Now everything is ready; the Pope has completed the operations necessary for the first transmission of Vatican Radio.

The first signal to be sent out is in Morse code. The technician types the words, In nomine Domini, Amen, that is In the Name of the Lord, amen! At this very instant radio stations, ships, and anyone who has the equipment to receive the signal hears this benediction and invitation. After a brief introduction of the Pope by Marconi, Pius XI takes the microphone and inaugurates the first world-wide radio message ever given by a Pope.

Marvelous – another time, filled with such hope!

105 Live – one of the Vatican Radio sites

And then, from yesterday’s WSJ on the Pope, Prada, and product placement

(turns out the Prada thing is untrue)

The most widely publicized papal branding event appears to have been the result of mistaken identity.

Over the past few months, scores of media reports have dubbed Benedict XVI the "Prada Pope," crediting the Italian fashion house with having made the pope’s eye-catching red loafers.

The senior Vatican official says the loafers were actually made by the pope’s personal cobbler. But Prada has refused to confirm or deny the reports, allowing the press speculation to continue. A spokesman for Prada said the fashion house lacked "the necessary elements" to make an accurate determination.

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