Is the end near for Vatican Radio’s shortwave service?


Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Andrea Bornino, for sharing the following article from

Goodbye, Jesuits. Vatican Media Get a New Face and New Boss

And this with a Jesuit pope, no less. Vatican Radio will stop broadcasting on shortwave. And “L’Osservatore Romano” will also be absorbed into a single “content hub.” Under the command of Monsignor Dario Viganò

by Sandro Magister


Because in effect Vatican Radio costs a great deal. It does not run advertising, its revenues are paltry and its numerous linguistic sections push to about thirty-five the number of journalists on the payroll. The total shortfall fluctuates between twenty and thirty million euro per year.

Well then, Monsignor Viganò doesn’t want to hear about shortwave anymore. He sees it as antiquated and to be dismantled, because it has been supplanted by the web. While instead for Fr. Lombardi it continues to have an essential role “of service to the poor, the oppressed, the minorities, rather than of subjection to the imperative of the maximization of the audience.”

They are two antithetical visions. But the marching route appears to have been marked out already. In Africa, where internet access is sporadic, Viganò has announced an agreement with Facebook through which the pope’s messages will be brought to 44 countries by cell phone, through an app.

By December, in short, Vatican Radio will cease to exist as a self-contained reality. It will be incorporated into a single centralized “content hub,” or in Viganò’s words, into “a single center of multimedia production of texts, images, audiovisuals and radio podcasts in multiple languages,” beneath a single editorial leadership held by Viganò himself today and soon to be handed over to a “task force of journalists,” many of them drawn from Vatican Radio itself and adapted to the new role.[…]

Read the full article by clicking here.

I can’t quite tell if this is a news item or opinion piece.

Post readers: Have you noted other sources confirming the closure of Vatican Radio’s shortwave service?  I know this topic is certainly on the table at Vatican Radio, especially since it’s been discussed in the past.

Spread the radio love

11 thoughts on “Is the end near for Vatican Radio’s shortwave service?

  1. Samuel Rhine

    Well turns out it didn’t go down. Just the local Vatican transmitter on 26 MHz. They somehow managed to get a relay on the Greenville transmitter site in USA allowing me to finally hear them on the west coast for the first time last year. Apparently KBS also gets a relay now too. No idea how they swung that one. First time I’ve seen a us government owned shortwave site do that.

  2. Michael Meyer

    The holy mass in latin suddenly ceased on shortwave two months ago, except on Sunday mornings. I wrote several mails complaining about that, but no replies.

  3. Ron

    I bet the Pope has no idea that these self important priests simply wish to build a little empire for themselves. Many Africans have little shortwave radios but most of them will not have expensive cell phones or a means to re-charge them every day.
    It seems the Vatican does not care for these people anymore. I have tries to email the highest priests pointing out this stupid idea. also pointing out the fact if the RC church ia abandoning them then there are plenty of other faiths to gather them into their own fold.
    Could it be that God is dead in Africa.

    1. Keith Perron

      This notion that many Africans don’t have mobile phones is not true. Some of the biggest audiences for international broadcasting are from new media.

      Mobile phones in Africa are not expensive. They have so many cheap brands from China to choose from. You can buy a Xiaomi for between 20 and 30$.

        1. Keith Perron

          Today very very cheap. Let me give you one example. The first time I went to Burma in 2007 just for the two weeks the phone service cost me 830$. When I went this past summer for 1 month less than 13$. In 2007 you saw people walking around with small portable radios. Today you see smartphones.

          It’s just like Nairobi, Kenya. In 2000 seeing a phone was a rare site and Internet was no faster than a 56k model. In March all you saw were everyone with a mobile phone. The most popular use is of course sending messages by LINE or WeChat. But also streaming audio and video.

  4. Broadwing

    I sometimes wonder if anyone interested goes directly to the source asking the question so that a actual answer is gotten, instead of speculation and second or third party source material. I presume we will just have to wait and see. Probably a good time to get those last QSL requests out before 12/31/16!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.