The Pope is feeling a little left out as YouTube chugs on growing more and more popular, so the Vatican have decided to join in on all the fun. The Vatican is expected to announce today that they have indeed made a deal with Google to create a channel on YouTube devoted to the Pope.
The move comes as the Vatican aims to appeal to the huge one billion Roman Catholic community around the world. The channel will also be aimed at non-Catholics in an attempt to drum up some additional interest in the religion.
The Pope has even said to have specifically approved the move. Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli has stated that Pope Benedict XVI is a “man of dialogue” and that he relished the chance to reach people and engage with them. Celli also added that the Pope is “fond of new technologies” and the Vatican clearly see the potential of YouTube and the community that the site reaches on a daily basis.
The plans are to update the channel daily and will provide the service in Italian, German, English and Spanish. The material for the channel will be made up from existing services such as radio and television that the Vatican already have in place.
A source at the Vatican said, “The faithful will be able to see the Pope and church events but we hope that those who are curious will also look.”
The director of the press room, television centre and Vatican Radio, Father Federico Lombardi, announced that the move was 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.”
Other well known figures such as the Queen and President Obama use YouTube in a similar way and Google must be over the moon at the amount of attention that they will receive from such important backing.
The managing director of European sales and media solutions at YouTube, Henrique de Castro, highlighted how the website was a perfect way for the Vatican to reach the people that they wanted to. “YouTube is a communications platform open to all, where users, institutions and content producers come together in a global meeting place. We are honoured 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,” said Castro.
This new development is truly an interesting move and should soon be adopted by many other important figures around the world. It will be interesting to see what the next move will be after YouTube. Perhaps PopeSpace or FacePope? The Catholic News Service already has a presence on Facebook and runs regular news items and blogs and even has a message from the Pope dedicated to President Obama.