The Vatican, and indeed, the Roman Catholic Church are often seen as highly traditional institutions, arguably even staid and far removed from everyday life. In 1995, under Pope John Paul II, these venerable institutions made their first foray into cyberspace with the creation of a website www.vatican.va Now, it would seem Pope Benedict XVI has decided to take this one step further with the help of Google and YouTube. The dedicated channel is expected to contain regular videos of the Pope, as well as Vatican news in multiple languages.
Although, it would seem that Pope Benedict XVI is keen to connect with the technological age, such engagement is not without its problems. Whilst recognising the Catholic Church’s need to communicate on the world stage, the Pope has raised concerns over the appropriate use of such media:
‘If the desire for virtual connectedness becomes obsessive, it may in fact function to isolate individuals from real social interaction while also disrupting the patterns of rest, silence and reflection that are necessary for healthy human development.’
With these thoughts in mind, it may be some time before we see the Pope tackling either Facebook or Twitter.
Theology in its Spatial Turn: Space, Place and Built Environments Challenging and Changing the Images of God
By Sigurd Bergmann
(Vol. 2, April 2007)
Theology and the Lure of the Practical: An Overview
By Mary McClintock Fulkerson
(Vol. 2, February 2007)