The Vatican has been quick to adopt new technologies in its efforts to communicate with the world's more than 1 billion Catholics
Days after Pope Benedict XVI criticized the media for its "destructive" influence, the Vatican on Monday announced plans to launch its first television network by the end of the year.
H2O will broadcast news and original entertainment programming worldwide in seven languages, according to a statement. Additional details were sketchy.
Over the years, the Vatican has been quick to adopt new technologies in its efforts to communicate with the world's more than 1 billion Catholics. In 1996, the Vatican introduced its Web portal nearly three years before the Italian state unveiled its own Web site. And it has embraced digital and satellite technology.
In a speech to the Vatican's communications department last Friday, the Pope called on the media to promote family values, human dignity and the common good.
"Undoubtedly, much of great benefit to civilization is contributed by the various components of the mass media," he said. "On the other hand, it is also readily apparent that much of what is transmitted in various forms to the homes of millions of families around the world is destructive."