Mixing sound

A Vatican festival is mistakenly broadcast over Italian TV with porn-movie soundtracks.

By Jack Boulware
September 20, 2000 11:14PM (UTC)
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Each year in mid-September the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the Exaltation of the Venerable Cross, which honors the fourth century finding of the Lord's Cross and its recovery from Persian captivity in the seventh century. Thanks to modern technology, this year's Vatican festival was televised live to millions of viewers across Italy, Spain and Latin America. Also thanks to modern technology, the broadcast of 20 cardinals celebrating Mass and leading prayers was accidentally accompanied by the soundtracks of hardcore-porn films.

According to news reports, Italian broadcasting company RAI had intended to send audio and video from the festival to its satellite, to be bounced to Catholic audiences around the world. But a satellite TV company in Luxembourg managed to mix up the audio portions of the broadcasts of the Vatican festival and the Fantasy Channel -- playing the soundtracks of "Stacey and the Hunt" and "Babes Illustrated" during the festival broadcast. For two hours, millions of Roman Catholics watched video of cardinals singing hymns and praying, set to the orgasmic moaning and caterwauling of porn stars like Shyla Foxxx, Kaitlyn Ashley and Caressa Savage. Conversely, male viewers of the Fantasy Channel, sitting on sofas with their pants to their ankles, were treated to porn that featured holy incantations.


"The film soundtrack was transmitted, and it was really hardcore stuff," said Deric Botham, managing editor of Television X, which produces the Fantasy Channel. "It could not have been worse."

Reaction from the Vatican was uncharacteristically subdued, considering its views on pornography. "It sounded like a very unfortunate mistake," said a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Church.

Perhaps God does exist.

Jack Boulware

Jack Boulware is a writer in San Francisco and author of "San Francisco Bizarro" and "Sex American Style."

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