Pope to launch a Bible-reading relay on Italian TV

The Pope Benedict XVI will launch a week of live Bible-reading in October on state TV RAI's digital education platform. Some 1,200 people will read in relay in a non-stop broadcast of all 73 books of the Bible.


Pope Benedict XVI will launch a week-long, round-the-clock live televised Bible-reading relay in October, state broadcaster RAI said Thursday.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church will read the opening book Genesis, with transmission beginning on October 5 on Italy's main terrestrial station. It is not clear if his contribution will be pre-recorded.

Individuals from a multitude of backgrounds and walks of life, including Protestants and Jews, and, RAI hopes, Muslims, will then take turns to read out the remainder of the 73 books without commentary.

The reading will close on October 11 with the 22nd chapter of the Apocalypse, read by the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

Producers are adamant there will be no commentary alongside the readings, most of which will be shown on RAI's digital education platform.

According to a papal spokesman, Benedict "was convinced by this project, which restricts itself to the pure power of the word" of God.

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