Past popes’ voices to be heard once Again
Thanks to technology, voices of past Catholic leaders may once again be heard.
Vatican Radio, the official broadcasting service of the Catholic Church, announced that it will soon make its collection of 8,000 papal recordings available to the public through a digital archive. The online collection will be made available on 27 April in conjunction with the canonisation of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII (1958-63).
The collection will include recent recordings like Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation speech (‘a pilgrim starting the last phase of his pilgrimage on this Earth’) and the oldest surviving papal voice record: the rare Humanum Genus circular recorded by Leo XIII.
Historic speeches will also figure prominently in the collection, which has been called ‘Voices of the Popes.’ Some of these are:
- Pius XII’s appeal during World War 2 (‘The danger is imminent but there is still time.’)
- John XXIII’s ‘Speech to the Moon’ (‘When you head home, find your children.’)
- Paul VI’s speech on the kidnap and murder of Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro
- John Paul II’s speech on the mafia’s ‘culture of death’
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said that the archive will help preserve the recordings and bring devotees closer to their leaders: ‘This way, the popes remain among us thanks to their voices.’