Catholic friends of mine are often accused by their parents of seeing Father Pillow instead of Father Michael at the local St. Mary’s on Sunday mornings. Those friends all have different reasons for sleeping in on Sunday and not attending mass, but one big excuse I hear is that the Catholic Church isn’t modern.
Does the recent creation of the Vatican’s YouTube channel mean Pope Benedict XVI is adopting modernism? Will this help a few of my friends think the church is modern enough for them to wake up and go to church on Sunday?
Maybe it will or maybe it won’t. But one thing the Vatican’s YouTube channel will do is give the Catholic Church an opportunity to do a little reputation management specifically aimed at Catholics, like my friends, who were hoping for a slightly more modern Pope.
Prior to becoming Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany was a close advisor to Pope John Paul II and was well known for his conservative defense of doctrinal purity, which included preventing more liberal ideas from swaying the Church to adopt more modern ways. Upon becoming Pope in 2005, the Pontiff even named himself after Benedict XV, who was an opponent of doctrinal modernism.
Now the Pope is embracing modern technology to promote a very old message of hope to the Internet generation.
“You must find new ways to spread voices and images of hope through the ever-evolving communication system that surrounds our planet,” says the Pope in a YouTube video entitled: Internet A New Way to Speak of God.
The Pope continues to talk of how it’s important to reach the digital generation that is searching for the church, and to do so the Catholic Church needs to be more readily accessible to “enrich a wide range of people including those who have yet to find a response to their spiritual yearnings,” according to the Vatican’s video entitled: Internet Can Promote the Search For Truth.
As of this posting, the Vatican YouTube Channel has 23 videos posted with an average of approximately 10,000 views per video and more than 10,000 channel subscribers. New videos are uploaded daily that highlight the Popes visits and messages, such as supporting unity and peace.
Control of the Catholic Church’s image is evident by the channel’s well-designed YouTube page, requiring approval for comments and preventing users from embedding the Vatican’s videos. Embedding can increase video views, but it was smart of the Catholic Church to prevent users from placing video in a way that could potentially harm its reputation or purpose for implementing the channel.
The Official Oneupweb Review… OneUp Thumbs-Up to the Vatican’s YouTube Channel. The Catholic Church adopting online social networking is a momentous event in the history of the Internet. But will it help my friends leave Father Pillow on Sunday? Only time will tell.