Rome: Roman Catholics can send now text
messages of support to Pope Benedict XVI, Italian public
television said on Saturday, as the Church faces an international
The mobile phone service was launched by Rai television`s
Sunday weekly religious programme, ahead of a gathering
organised by lay groups in Saint Peter`s Square on May 16 to
show their backing for the pontiff.
All messages sent to the special number -- +39 335 18 63
091 -- will be passed along to the pope by the end of May, the
broadcaster said. They will be shown from tomorrow during the
television show "In His Image".
"It`s a truly unique event, because with this number
everyone can show their solidarity without being physically
present in Saint Peter`s Square," said Rosario Carello, the
chief of the programme on the Rai Uno channel.
The Roman Catholic church and the pontiff himself are
under fire after a series of revelations on sexual abuse by
priests that have emerged over several months.
Pope Benedict today accepted the resignation of a German
bishop who admitted he beat children in a Catholic orphanage
and also faces a paedophilia probe, the Vatican said.