Pope Benedict XVI has launched himself into the digital age today with the Vatican announcing that a YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/vatican dedicated to his activities and events at the Vatican is now online.
The Vatican’s announcement of its new partnership with Google’s YouTube coincides with the release of the Pope’s annual message for the World Day of Communications, which this year focuses on how to utilize new technologies to promote a culture of respect, dialogue and friendship.
Fr. Federico Lombardi, the director of the Holy See’s press office, described the Vatican’s YouTube Channel at a press conference today.
Currently, the Channel contains clips of Pope Benedict XVI delivering his Christmas Message and Blessing, the January 1 celebration of the World Peace Day and some segments of the Pope speaking about the advantages of new social technology. The footage for the clips is being provided by the Vatican Television Center (CTV) in conjunction with journalists and the web team of Vatican Radio (RV).
According to Fr. Lombardi, the new channel will be updated daily with one or two news pieces each day, none longer than two minutes.
Fr. Lombardi sees the launch of the Vatican Channel on YouTube as “a real and tangible example of the Church's commitment in the field of new technologies, to reach out to a global audience without regard for nationality or culture,” according to a Vatican press release.
Henrique de Castro, Managing Director of European Sales and Media Solutions for YouTube, who has helped with the launch of the new channel, expressed his pleasure at being able to partner with the Catholic Church. "We are honored that the Vatican has chosen to use the site to communicate with people across the world, and delighted that our community will have access to the words of the Pope on some of the most important issues facing the world today."
He also hailed today’s launch as a “landmark announcement” since it the first ever global religious institution to partner with YouTube.