Pope Will Lead Worldwide Prayers on TV Hookup June 6 With AM-Pope-Germany Bjt
VATICAN CITY (AP) _ Pope John Paul II will lead congregations on five continents in worldwide televised prayers June 6, the eve of the opening of the Roman Catholic Church’s Marian Year honoring the Virgin Mary.
Plans call for the pope, speaking in Rome’s St. Mary Major Basilica, to be linked by satellites to congregations in 16 cities. In addition, the hour-long program will be beamed to stations around the world.
″This will enable the world to pray together for peace,″ Archbishop John P. Foley, the American who heads Vatican media operations, said Thursday.
The program is being produced by Global Media Ltd., which handled the Live- Aid and Sport-Aid fund-raising telecasts.
It will begin at 6 p.m. (noon EDT). A few hours earlier, John Paul is scheduled to meet with President Reagan in a Vatican audience.
Foley said the complete list of participating shrines is not yet firm but the organizers are certain of sites in Argentina, Austria, India, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Senegal, Spain and the United States.
The pope will speak in Portuguese, French, Spanish, German and English.
The U.S. location is the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
Foley said 91 stations in the United States will carry the broadcast, covering the 50 major U.S. markets.
The special Marian celebration begins June 7 and lasts through Aug. 15, 1988. Catholics will be encouraged to make pilgrimages to Marian sanctuaries and participate in religious processions.
Global Media estimates the TV broadcast will cost some $2 million, which will be funded by the sale of videotape cassettes and a commemorative photograph book.
Archbishop Foley said the church will not share in any profits.