Vatican TV Turns 30

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Pope Francis

The world's most far-reaching religious broadcaster was founded in October of 1983 by Pope John Paul II.

ROME – Vatican TV, the world's most extensive and far-reaching church-owned broadcast network, will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Friday with a series of specially planned events highlighted by recorded video messages from Pope Francis and Giorgio Napolitano, Italy's president.

Founded by Pope John Paul II in 1983, Vatican TV is broadcast at least occasionally in an array of languages, though most programming is in English, Spanish and French. It reaches tens of millions of viewers worldwide either directly or indirectly, through feeds to other broadcasters.

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To mark Friday's anniversary, the Vatican will host a special symposium at Rome's Foreign Press Center that will feature commentary from experts about the broadcaster's impacts, and also including the taped messages from Pope Francis and Napolitano.

Vatican TV broadcasts about 130 Vatican events live each year, along with coverage of the pope's travels abroad and the production of documentaries. It also maintains massive archives of papal activities dating to its founding.

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