Vatican Bloggers Summit: NEWS.VA unveiled

The Vatican invited 150 bloggers from around the world to a first-ever blogging summit, increasingly aware of the important role faith-based blogging is playing in spreading Catholicism.

“We’re here for a dialogue, a dialogue that from our side means the conviction of the concrete, important and unique role of your presence in the world of communication,” Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli, head of the Vatican’s social communication’s office, told the bloggers.

The Vatican has been seeking to engage more with the online world: For the beatification of Pope John Paul II, the Vatican created a special Facebook page, Twitter account, ran clips of his 27-year pontificate on its YouTube channel and let the faithful send electronic postcards to one another about what they were experiencing via its youth-based news portal.

The blogging summit was another step in that direction.

The Rev. Roderick Vonhogen, a Dutch blogger, said blogging for Catholic priests is a great way to spread the faith to people who aren’t necessarily looking for it. He says it can be even more effective than sitting in his remote parish celebrating Mass for 200 because he can reach 40,000 people around the world.

“If we just do what we do in our churches, behind closed doors, we will have empty buildings by the end of the day,” he said.

The Vatican also unveiled at the meeting a state-of-the-art Vatican news Website. The new site will be found at www.news.va, currently you can submit your email to be informed when the site will be open.

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