Vatican City, Jul 16, 2014 / 07:03 am
In wake of the Vatican's viral campaign urging faithful worldwide to pause for a moment of silence during the World Cup final, officials have expressed their hope that the fruits will continue to grow.
"For me it has been a true surprise to see how a tweet launched with such a short amount of time managed to involve the communities, parishes, religious and laymen that united in this initiative," Msgr. Melchor told CNA July 15.
"I never imagined that it would go so far."
Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Msgr. Melchor Sánchez de Toca Alameda, played a key role in launching the council's #PAUSEforPeace campaign last Friday.
The goal of the initiative was to achieve a moment of silence during the final game of the World Cup, which took place Sunday between Germany and Argentina in Rio de Janiero, in order to remember those affected by warring countries.
In a matter of hours, the campaign went viral on social media, where the hashtag "PAUSEforPeace" was tweeted by more than 25,000 users.
According to the analytical and digital monitoring tool Social Bro, from Friday afternoon to Monday morning local time in Rome, the message #PAUSEforPeace reached 48,000 people all over the world, with over 500 media organizations writing about it, including The New York Times, New York Daily, Huffington Post, Drudge Report, and Telegraph.
"Although the effectiveness of our work cannot be measured in purely quantitative parameters, there was no doubt it was a media success," Msgr. Melchor explained.
"If we had launched it a few days earlier, we might have achieved enough critical mass to convince FIFA to decide on a minute of silence for peace."
Despite the fact that there was no official pause for peace during the final game, the priest emphasized that the power of prayer has no limits.
"If this is the strength of a small media campaign, there is nothing that can't be achieved by a prayer chain in which all the members of the Body of Christ are united to ask for something in the name of Jesus, like he told us," he observed.
"If the scripture says that 'the prayer of the righteous does much,' the prayer of many righteous together will be more powerful still."
Msgr. Melchor personally supported the campaign through his own twitter account @MelchorST, as did the president of the Pontifical council for Culture, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, who encouraged faithful to #PAUSEforPeace throughout the campaign on his account @CardRavasi_en.
The last tweet appearing on the cardinal's page is his July 14 message the day after the game, quoting author R.L. Stevenson saying, "Don't judge each day by the harvest you gather, but by the seeds that you plant."
Beto Anda, the graphic designer who created the logo for #PAUSEforPeace, explained to CNA that "to see so many people and media who have used this image for such a special cause as world peace, has meant a lot to me. It was unforgettable."