A recent article in the Washington Postconfirms rumors that Pope John Paul II has joined Facebook. On March 14th, the Vatican launched a Facebook page for the late pope in hopes of creating an online presence for the Catholic Church.
The Church plans on engaging with social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to reach a new generation of Catholics and to stay in touch with existing members. According to the Post, the Vatican’s YouTube channel is undergoing a “full web facelift,” which will be launched at Easter with a new Vatican information web portal. The web portal will provide content for online followers which can be re-tweeted and posted on Facebook.
The Vatician’s current website (www.vatican.va) will remain the same, since it currently contains important documentation for the church, but the new and improved online portal will act as a digital hub for Catholic news and information.
The Vatican, like any business or institution, is realizing the importance of establishing an online presence, which can only be achieved by engaging with social media. What’s more, the church is learning how the internet can be an effective means of communicating the message of the church, which is often misunderstood and misinterpreted.