Monday, January 5, 2009

Vatican Goes Techno

In a recent post, Jeff De Cagna of the Principled Innovation blog, writes about the Vatican joining the social media revolution. He asks, simply and provocatively, "If the Vatican can do it...."

It seems that the Vatican's got its on gadget and web designer in Reverend Paolo Padrini who has written an application for the iPhone that downloads the liturgy, in seven languages. The application is called iBreviary. The daily prayers, daily mass, and other special prayers are available at a touch to catholic priests and believers around the world.

The liturgical application, iBreviary, costs $1.10 and is available in the iTunes store with free updates. The proceeds from the sale will go to charity.

MSNBC reports that the Catholic Church is using social media technologies as a means of bringing its message to the world. Monsignor Paul Tighe, secretary of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Social Communications, says the Church "is learning to use the new technologies primarily as a tool or as a means of evangelizing."

Even Pope Benedict XVI is in on it. During last summer's World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia, he sent out mobile phone text messages citing scripture to thousands of registered pilgrims — signed with the tagline "BXVI."

The Catholic Church is arguably one of the largest global organizations around. And, they have a stout reputation for being extremely conservative. Yet, they have a committee, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, creating and selling their message via downloads. Priests, even the Highest Priest, are texting and using iPods.

When is the next meeting of your organization"s committee on social media and when will its app be available? I guess we should pray for those with their heads still in the sand.

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