Coming Friday: ‘PopeTube’

The Vatican is about to get a new and dramatically enhanced online presence, featuring its own YouTube channel.

Along with a channel to post videos of Pope Benedict XVI’s appearances and of other significant Church events, the new initiative will also feature enhanced search resources on Google. YouTube is a subsidiary of Google.

Catholic News Service’s blog reported yesterday that the new YouTube channel will be unveiled this Friday by Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the head of the press office, and by Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

CNS’s blog notes that the Vatican website has already recently “added Google search capability so that its enormous archive of written texts, addresses, and papal speeches could be found through a special Google interface.” 

The formal announcement of the new Youtube channel, dubbed “PopeTube” by CNS, is timed to coincide with the release of the Pope’s message for the 43rd World Day of Social Communications. The theme of this year’s message is “New Technologies, New Relationships: Promoting a Culture of Respect, Dialogue and Friendship.”

We’ll update this news at the end of the week, after Archbishop Celli and Father Lombardi release the message and detail exactly what the Vatican is going to make available via YouTube and Google to help Catholics and non-Catholics alike stay better informed about what Rome is doing.

— Tom McFeely