Vatican loses in power play

Emission missionaries

First the Vatican sends out a puff of white smoke — now it’s accused of sending out electromagnetic waves.

And while Vatican Radio admits its emissions, the results are in dispute. Some have claimed these emissions cause leukemia; others complain that they creep into doorbell electronics and cause them to start playing Hail Marys.

Last week, Father Pasquale Borgomeo, the Vatican Radio director, and Cardinal Roberto Tucci, a former chairman of the broadcaster’s board, were convicted of polluting the environment with waves beamed worldwide by the official Roman Catholic radio station.

Italo environmentalists say Vatican Radio’s signal is a health and safety hazard. Following the May 9 court verdict, consumer protection group Codacons is pushing for $337 million in damages.

Vatican Radio is appealing, calling the verdict “unjustified.” It asserts that as a sovereign nation, the Vatican shouldn’t be subject to Italo laws. It adds that the broadcasts meet more liberal European safety standards anyway.

Residents of Cesano, the Rome suburb where Vatican Radio’s 34 transmission towers are located, filed complaints about high rates of leukemia that they attribute to the radio signals.

Under Italian law, broadcasters are limited to an output standard of six volts per meter. But prosecutors said Vatican Radio has been transmitting well above that limit; a measurement allegedly taken the day the pope died measured emissions at 15 volts per meter.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety

Loading