You just never see a story like this every day - a cardinal convicted in a sordid shortwave radio plot:
A court in Rome on Monday convicted a Vatican cardinal and the head of the city-state's radio station for electromagnetic pollution. They were given 10-day suspended sentences, which they have appealed. Cardinal Roberto Tucci, former head of Vatican Radio's management committee, and the Rev. Pasquale Borgomeo, the station's director general, were charged with "dangerous launching of objects," referring to the station's electromagnetic waves. Residents of the Rome suburb Cessano near the station complained they could hear Vatican Radio broadcasts through their lamps because of electromagnetic disturbances.That is just beautiful. Sadly, it is not just funny nutty tale as the high intensity transmitters, still using shortwaves to broadcast to the globe, are a possible source of illness in the neighbouring residential area. Within the actual city, there are around 100 Kw worth of transmitters dated to the early 1950s. That is a lot less than the 1700 Kw worth of tranmitters Canada has at Sackville, NB (seen left 60 years ago when style was king) but they are surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of acres of salt marsh as opposed to Italian suburbs. This 2001 defence of Vatican Radio's transmitters indicates that the allegation was leukemia rates were higher and is contrary to this statement in support of the correlation between RF and leukemia. It also indicated that the district of Rome in question is not cheek to jowl with Vatican City's walls but one called Santa Maria in Galeria where the Vatican's transmitters pump out 2410 Kw under an agreement reached decades ago. The VR PR looks better in Italian but what doesn't.
The defence I came across in favour of the Vatican contains one most charming argument in terms of its sensitivity to public health issues:
All the more "correct" were the observations made by the director of Vatican Radio, Father Borgomeo, who recalled that in 1951 the area where the transmitters were being installed was virtually uninhabited. The development of the area, and the construction of homes there, began only after the transmission facility was in place. So one might ask: If there is a direct link between the electromagnetic transmissions and cancer statistics, why aren't the local builders and administrators, who allowed the residential developments in the area, called to account? For that matter, why are only radio broadcasters being investigated, and not television stations? After all, the transmission facilities of the state-owned RAI television network are located right in the heart of Rome, on Via Teulada.Amazing and takes no responsibility for the fact that 2000 Kw of the 2410 Kw were built since 1976. No wonder they can hear the radio through light bulbs. I bet if they checked, there also would be a low instance of perms being ordered at hair dress salons as well.
"I'm on the Vatican, woe-oh, Radi-o..."