LONDON: December 24, 2010. (UPI) Pope Benedict XVI delivered Christmas blessings to the English-speaking world in an unusual BBC radio broadcast Friday.
The pontiff's message was broadcast as the "Thought for the Day" on Radio 4's "Today" program, the BBC said.
Benedict recalled his recent British visit with "great fondness" and said: "I am glad to have the opportunity to greet you again, and indeed to greet listeners everywhere as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ. I pray for your families, for your children, for those who are sick, and for those who are going through any form of hardship at this time."
Months of negotiations between the BBC and the Vatican led to the broadcast.
The daily feature offers a few minutes of personal reflection from religious leaders and believers of all kinds.
Catherine Pepinster, editor of the British Catholic newspaper The Tablet, said: "This is an unprecedented thing for a pope to do, to do a script for radio, particularly in a country abroad in a language that is not his own. So in that sense it's unprecedented, and I'm very impressed that the BBC persisted so assiduously and got it."