John Paul Hits Facebook
Part of Vatican's social-networking push
By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2011 7:37 AM CST
In this Tuesday, June 8, 1999 file photo, Pope John Paul II waves to the faithful as he arrives to celebrate Mass at the bank of Elk River in Elk, Poland.   (AP Photo/Arturo Mari, Pool)

(Newser) – Sure, Pope John Paul II is set to be beatified, but now he's even on Facebook. The Vatican, continuing its efforts to get hip with the kids, is unveiling a Facebook page to hype the late pope's May 1 beatification, featuring video highlights of his 27 years as pontiff. The move comes as part of the Catholic Church's efforts to capitalize on social networking sites to evangelize, reports the AP.

"What we found is that Facebook doesn't just share information, it creates community," says a Vatican official. "People begin talking to each other and sharing ideas." The Vatican is launching a new tweet- and blog-friendly online portal at Easter. "A lot of our communications in the past was: I have a message. I broadcast it. TV takes it, radio takes it, newspaper takes it, and people passively receive it," says the official. "With the Internet you have this possibility of getting people's comments, getting their responses, and also of hearing their questions."

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
Mar 12, 2011 4:42 PM CST
"People begin talking to each other and sharing ideas." says a Vatican official. Hey, I have an idea. Why don't you start by sharing the idea that your Popes, your Cardinals and your Bishops all share responsibility for the child abuse committed by your priests. Why don't you share the idea that you are going to turn over to the police ALL of your files on these predators and quit protecting them? WHY DON'T YOU LIVE UP TO THE TENETS OF YOUR OWN FUCKING RELIGION?
Mar 12, 2011 10:47 AM CST
So we now have a dead Pope on Facebook. I wonder what his "likes' are? Being dead? Not really doing much? Decomposing?
Mar 12, 2011 9:57 AM CST
Gotta love a religion who's pecking order is based on the size of the hat. "My massive pontiff haberdashery obviously shows who is in charge here"