FOLLOWING the introduction of its own YouTube Channel, the Vatican has launched its newest webpage featuring different applications to bring the Gospel to the technology savvy generation.

In his Message for the 43rd World Communications Day last January, the Pope encouraged the young people to take on the responsibility of evangelization in the digital world. However, he stressed the responsible use of new technologies in fulfilling this mission by giving utmost attention on the quality of the content disseminated through these media.

Pope2You serves as an online hub for four functionalities of social network, electronic media and other web portal services.

The site includes the Vatican YouTube page introduced in January, where users are given access to videos and audios of the Holy Father’s pastoral activities and other news on the Catholic Church.

Aimed at broadening the Pope’s audience, the online portal links the users to the Pope2You application in the famous social network Facebook that allows users to receive messages of the Pope through electronic postcards. Users can create and send these postcards containing the Pope’s images and excerpts from his writings to their friends. They can also start and join discussions to interact with others across the world.

In a report by the Catholic News Agency, webmaster Fr. Paolo Padrini noted that what is on Facebook is an application intended for sharing and not a profile of the Pope.

“The Pope obviously does not need a profile to introduce himself,” Padrini said.

Another feature is a mobile platform for iPhone, an internet-connected gadget that works as a camera phone and a portable media player. The iPhone application, sponsored by the Catholic news service H2O news, offers free download of news from the Vatican in video, audio and text formats available in nine languages including English, French and Chinese.

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Users can also download videos, accompanied by transcripts, and audios available on the Vatican’s YouTube channel in an iPhone-compatible format.

On the other hand, the youth can have an easier grasp on the Pope’s message for the 43rd World Communications Day through the interlinked web pages called WikiCath.

This application is available in five languages which serves as a useful tool for personal reading. It outlines the key concepts contained in the Holy Father’s 2009 message accompanied by annotations and suggestions on how to put the Pope’s teachings into practice.

Internet users can also promote the Pope2You project through a feature called Gadgets, which links them to a page that offers free download of desktop wallpapers and banners they can use in their social network profiles.

The Vatican portal, sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, is meant “to communicate the message of Benedict XVI for the 43rd World Social Communications Day,” Padrini said.

He said that people are responding very well with more internet users setting up the Facebook application.

Since its launching, Padrini reported that the website received an approximate of 50,000 daily hits and 100,000 virtual postcards exchanged. Florench May C. Corpuz


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