From the South African Sunday Times:

A new Catholic news agency that will serve television stations and Internet sites has won the backing of the Vatican, the Holy See’s spokesman said.

The Vatican’s television station CTV “is naturally available to collaborate with all initiatives that make for better communication within the Church and about the Church,” Federico Lombardi told reporters at the Vatican.

Jesus Colina, director of the religious news agency Zenit, is among the founders of H2O – named after the water molecule to suggest a fount of information.

Lombardi stressed that H2O would be “absolutely independent” of Zenit, which is associated with Legionnaires of Christ, a conservative congregation that is active in Latin America as well as Rome.
Colina told the ANSA news agency that H2O planned to be “self-financing” and hoped to reach at least 20 million users – media, Internet and cell phone – by 2009.

It will enter into competition with an existing television news agency, Rome Report, which is close to the conservative Catholic organisation Opus Dei.

View the H2O site here.
Visit the Rome Reports site here.

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