Agenzia Fides – Abidjan & Vatican Radio English Africa Service – Vatican City
Institutions of the Catholic Church everywhere are not immune to the economic consequences caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In Ivory Coast, Radio Nationale Catholique defined as the national “Voice of the Gospel” has been forced to suspend broadcasts.
A bitter option
“The financial situation of the Radio station requires decisions to be made about its future. Therefore, in compliance with state regulations, the Church is suspending broadcasts and all radio related activities. It is the bitter option that we have had to take,” said Fr Augustin Obrou, the National Executive Secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Social Communications. Fr. Obrou made the announcement to stunned members of staff at Radio Nationale Catholique, in Abidjan.
Church will not abandon staff
The Church says it will not abandon the thirty members of staff and has put in place a social plan to sustain the survival of staff members and their families. Part of the plan entails a fundraising campaign.
“The goal is to get the financial resources to be distributed equally to each employee,” added the National Executive Secretary. If the funds collected are sufficient to run the station, the Church hopes to reopen the radio station and resume broadcasts.
A tool of evangelisation silenced
Radio Nationale Catholique is a nationwide radio station of Ivory Coast’s Catholic Church. It broadcasts on FM in Abidjan, Gagnoa, Abengourou, Bondoukou and other in parts of the country. The radio was established on 2 February 2001 and was officially inaugurated by the Bishops’ Conference of Ivory Coast on 24 June 2006.
The radio station has been broadcasting 24 hours a day. It has been seen as the Church’s tool for evangelisation and the promotion of human development.