updated 12/22/2010 1:06:00 PM ET 2010-12-22T18:06:00

Pope Benedict XVI will deliver a Christmas message to Britons in a broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on the morning of Christmas Eve, the BBC reported Wednesday.

The BBC said the pope was not thought to have presented material written specifically for a radio or TV audience before. The message will be presented as the BBC's "Thought for The Day," a three-minute personal reflection from people of various religious faiths.

The message follows the pope's visit to Britain in September, the first official state visit to the country by a pope.

The BBC said the decision was criticized by the National Secular Society's president as improper considering the church's child sex abuse scandal.

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