The Vatican on YouTube

The Pope will soon be a regular on YouTube.

Starting on 23 January 2009, the Vatican will launch its own Channel on YouTubeTM, the world’s leading online video community. The Channel, available at, will broadcast short video news clips updated daily on the Pope’s activities and what’s happening at the Vatican, with audio and text in English, Spanish, German and Italian. The Channel made its debut during a press conference at the Press Room of the Holy See, in Rome on the morning of Friday, January 23rd.

At launch, the Channel will contain some clips of Pope Benedict XVI, in particular on the Christmas Message and Blessing and on January 1st celebration of the World Peace Day, and about new technologies in social communication, the theme he choose for this year’s Catholic Church World Social Communication Day.

The motto for the day this year is “New technologies, new relationships: promoting a culture of respect, dialogue and friendship”, as explained by Mons. Claudio M. Celli, President of the Pontifical Council of Social Communication, while presenting the “Message” of Pope Benedict XVI for this Day.

The Catholic Church has ancient roots but it is convinced of its ability to express words that are still important and relevant in today’s world, using language and communications technologies of today’s world.

Father Federico Lombardi, Director of the Press Room, Television Center and Vatican Radio, contends that the launch of the Vatican Channel on YouTube is 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.

The Channel is expected to help establish relationships with Catholics from around the world, who will have easier access to updated information on what’s happening in their Church, as well as with people of different beliefs or religions, who can turn to an authoritative source to understand what messages the Pope is sending to humanity today.

Henrique de Castro, Managing Director of European Sales and Media Solutions, YouTube, said: “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.”

The video news clips will be up to 2 minutes long and will be produced every day, based on what’s happening at the Vatican, with footage provided by the Vatican Television Center (CTV) in conjunction with journalists and the web team of Vatican Radio (RV).

For the translation in the different languages made available, CTV-RV is working with, a Catholic news service that focuses on the life of the Church, which in turn works with worldwide Catholic television stations and information agencies. H2onews will also be opening its own Channel on YouTube, dedicated to video news on the Catholic Church around the world.

The concept of social communication developed by the Catholic Church is based on extensive cooperation and incorporation of many views, not only from the Vatican, but also local churches and other initiatives, which thrive in the Catholic world. The Pontifical Council for Social Communication acts a guide and promoter in this partnership.

The daily feed from the Vatican is made up of short video clips of current events. In the future, YouTube is a likely arena for disseminating broader contributions (i.e., video clips of events with natural sound).

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