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Vatican Launches YouTube Channel

By Susan Brinkmann Staff Writer On the same day the Vatican released its World Day of Communications Message extolling the “extraordinary possibilities of new technologies”, it has unveiled its new channel on YouTube. Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of Vatican Radio, of the Vatican Television Centre (CTV) and of the Holy See Press Office, said the new channel will make various activities of Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican available in real time. The site will be updated with one or two news pieces each day, none longer than two minutes. For the moment, the languages available are English, Spanish, German and Italian. The web page of the new channel, he explained, contains various links to places where the visitor can find more information and documentation on the Pope, the Vatican and the Catholic Church. The main links connect to the multi-lingual web pages of CTV and Vatican Radio, to the Vatican and to the new site of Vatican City State. "Of particular importance", said Fr. Lombardi, "is the link to H2O News which transmits other video news items on the life of the Church in the world". He went on: "Further links under the main video give access to other Vatican news sources: in each linguistic sub-channel is a link to the web page of Vatican Radio in that language, to the web page of the Holy See Press Office Bulletin (with complete texts in original language), and to that language's edition of the 'Osservatore Romano' newspaper". The channel was launched on the same day the Vatican released its statement for this year’s World Day for Social Communications, which emphasizes sharing new technologies with populations in need and not to use them to feed hatred and intolerance,  or to promote human degradation or economic exploitation. The message is especially addressed to the so called “digital generation,” and affirms the “extraordinary potential of the new technologies”  that are capable of “contributing to social progress” and that must be used to favor understanding and human solidarity.   He applauds the benefits of new technologies when they are “put at the service of all human individuals and communities, especially those who are most disadvantaged and vulnerable”. He went on to comment on how today’s technologies reflect the desire for connectedness and the instinct for communication that are so obvious in contemporary culture, he says. “In reality, when we open ourselves to others, we are fulfilling our deepest need and becoming more fully human,” he said. “Loving is, in fact, what we are designed for by our Creator.” In this light, it is important to focus on the quality of the content that is put into circulation using these means, he said. Those who use these technologies should “avoid the sharing of words and images that are degrading of human beings, that promote hatred and intolerance, that debase the goodness and intimacy of human sexuality or that exploit the weak and vulnerable.” He also warned about using new digital social networks. While these concepts are noble achievements, we must “be careful. . . never to trivialize the concept or the experience of friendship.” Nor should on-line relationships impinge on relationships in real-life, he said. “If the desire for virtual connectedness becomes obsessive, it may in fact function to isolate individuals from real social interaction.” Finally, the Pope issued a challenge to young Catholics to be witnesses of their faith in the digital world.   “It falls, in particular, to young people, who have an almost spontaneous affinity for the new means of communication, to take on the responsibility for the evangelization of this ‘digital continent.’ Be sure to announce the Gospel to your contemporaries with enthusiasm. You know their fears and their hopes, their aspirations and their disappointments: the greatest gift you can give to them is to share with them the "Good News’.” Visit the Vatican’s new YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/vatican © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly/Women of Grace. http://www.womenofgrace.com

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