Facebook, Wikipedia and YouTube in the Vatican
Preachers of Truth Meet Sellers of "My Own Truth"
By Jesús Colina
ROME, NOV. 13, 2009 (Zenit.org).- There are not a few voices in the Church calling for the message of the Gospel to make better use of the Internet -- Benedict XVI's is among them.
And yet, when representatives of some of the most successful Internet initiatives met in Rome today with the European bishops' Commission for the Media, a great difference in mentality became obvious, even if there was also evidence of a genuine desire for mutual understanding.
The chamber of the former hall of the synod of bishops -- which the producers of "Angels and Demons" rented for millions of euros -- witnessed two views of reality: On one hand, an institution, the Church, founded for 2,000 years on the proclamation of Truth; and on the other, exponents of successful business initiatives, which arose a few years ago, based on giving everyone the chance to express "his own truth."
The meeting occurred in the context of a four-day conference that began Thursday in the Vatican, promoted by the Commission for the Media of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences (CCEE).
The meeting began with a survey among the bishops and representatives of the episcopal commission.
Moderator Jim McDonnell of the Signis World Catholic Association of Communication asked the bishops, priests and some lay experts in communication -- just under 100 in total -- how many had a profile on Facebook. More than one fourth raised their hand.
Nearly everyone in the group was familiar with Wikipedia and about 10% had collaborated in editing one of its entries.
Almost everyone had also viewed videos on YouTube and about 15% had used the site to post one of their own.
Approximately 10% had used or followed Twitter.
Then came the presentations from the Internet representatives. Christophe Muller, director of YouTube alliances in Southern and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, illustrated the philosophy that gave origin and life to Google.
In particular, he praised the Holy See's decision to make a place for itself on YouTube. And he presented a promotional video showing how the great of the world -- from Barack Obama to the Queen of England -- use this platform. Among them is Benedict XVI.
Delphine Ménard, treasurer of Wikipedia, France, explained how the collaborative encyclopedia does not seek to give a view of truth, but rather aims for all points of view to be represented.
For his part, Christian Hernandez, in charge of the commercial development of Facebook, showed how Christian initiatives have arisen in the Facebook world that range from a Shrine of Lourdes profile, to "Jesus Daily," a profile that offers phrases from the Gospel, and has more than one million followers.
Among these initiatives, he also presented Benedict XVI's profile. What he did not say is that this profile was created by an unknown individual who has fraudulently taken the Pope's identity.
In a subsequent conversation with ZENIT, Hernandez said that today, this issue was brought to his attention at the Vatican.
He said that Facebook has blocked a Vatican profile page, but for the fraudulent Benedict XVI profile, he was unable to offer a solution.
Apples and oranges
As the meeting moved to the questions-and-answers stage, it was evident that there was clear difficulty in understanding.
On one hand, the prelates acknowledged the limits of the Catholic Church, which seeks to dialogue on the Internet, but by and large uses basic pages: About 70% of Catholic institutional sites have not introduced interactive elements of Web 2.0.
Then as well -- contrary to what they expected -- the bishops did not find themselves in a meeting with communication experts, but rather with representatives of enterprises with a very specific business model. This model is their primary interest and leaves aside humanistic considerations.
"Can one still speak of truth on social networks based on the idea that each user has his truth?" one of the prelates' working groups asked the Internet representatives.
The representatives of the three enterprises agreed that "power" has now gone to the users; users "control" the media -- but they will be able to seek truth more effectively knowing how to use the media.
- American Papist Blog
- American Spectator
- Archbishop Tim Dolan's (NY) Blog
- Big Blue Wave
- Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC News Site)
- Catholic Dialogue Blog
- Catholic Education Resource Center
- Catholic Exchange
- Catholic Heritage Website (Ireland)
- Catholic Insight
- Catholic News Agency
- Catholic Online
- Catholic Sensibility
- Catholic, and Loving It
- CTV News Site
- Ethics and Public Policy Center
- First Things
- Fr. Raymond De Souza - National Post Columnist
- Fr. Raymond deSouza personal blog
- Freethroughthought blog (excellent site)
- Friar Rick's Webblog
- Get Religion.org
- Global TV News Site
- Holy Post - National Post Religious Blog
- Inside Catholic Blog
- New Advent
- Pave the Way Foundation
- Priests for Life Canada Website
- ProLife Blog
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Pembroke
- Rosary for the Bishops
- Salt & Light TV - Canadian Catholic Television Website
- Sandro Magister
- Sane Conservatism
- SoCon (social conservative)
- Sylvia's Website: Canadian Clergy Sex Abuse Cases
- The Catholic Register
- The Hermeneutic of Continuity
- The National Post: Canada's National Daily
- The New Jesuit Review
- The New York Times Website
- Vox Nova
- What Does Prayer Really Say - Priest bolg
- Whispers in the Loggia
- ► 2019 (760)
- ► 2018 (1328)
- ► 2017 (1711)
- ► 2016 (2020)
- ► 2015 (2204)
- ► 2014 (2437)
- ► 2013 (1381)
- ► 2012 (1527)
- ► 2011 (1437)
- ► 2010 (997)
- Manhattan Declaration is "dangerous"?
- George Weigel defends the conclusions of Natural L...
- And for something lighter...
- Join the conversation!!
- Gender Mainstreaming at Save a Family Plan
- An interesting exchange between a theist and an at...
- Chris Matthews vs Bishop Tobin
- Interesting article from ZENIT
- Man trapped in 23-year 'coma' reveals horror of be...
- A story taken from LifeSiteNews that should chill ...
- Something for every cell phone user to watch
- Matt Gurney (National Post) argues for the legaliz...
- Catholic Answers
- Interesting position of modernism and its implicat...
- Respect for Each Other in a Polarized Community - ...
- Trying to understand
- Working in "virtual" fields to produce a harvest o...
- Again the battle rages on the web pages of the CBC...
- Just a little humor that tickles a priests' funny ...
- A site from University of Edinburgh which attempts...
- Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: Why Not?
- Link to the Manhattan Declaration
- Learning when and how to pick a fight.
- If You Look for the Bad In People, You're sure to ...
- Manhattan Declaration of Consciences
- Archbishop Chaput (Denver) on the cost of disciple...
- Catholic Church needs more Internet savvy: bishop
- I couldn't say it better myself
- Chuck Colson posts an article about religious free...
- Article from Atlantic Catholic writer, Francis Cam...
- Nova: Becoming Human
- Excellent dialogue on St. Joseph's Health Care Cen...
- Big Ecumenical Announcement on Friday!!
- From Blue Wave blog
- Archbishop Duncan of the Anglican Church of North ...
- Zenit reports on the need to increasing the Cathol...
- A voice from Toronto on Bill C-384
- Bishop Fred Henry (Calgary) calls for the defeat o...
- A Small Town Paper poses Challenge to Catholic Fai...
- Catholic Video Blog
- Looking for bigger role on Web, bishops meet Googl...
- When Bishops take to the public square to make the...
- Abortion kills more than baby: Chinese study says...
- Church Examines Its Use of Internet What's To Be L...
- W5 program this Saturday/Sunday (November 14/15, 2...
- God & Dog
- Why did Bishops cover up the sex abuse scandals
- American study on sex abuse by clergy
- The value of a private retreat for women (and men ...
- Families : mediating structure between individual ...
- University of Toronto Pro-Life students make the a...
- A long and safe trip
- Another graced gift of the Pro-Life "40 Days for L...
- Sexual Abuse in Social Context: Catholic League
- Have you heard the voice of God today?
- An example of what I speak
- Human Rights Tribunals: An attack upon Christians...
- National Post: Are there two "Catholic Churches"?
- But what do we mean when we say "marriage"?
- Is the Church a force for good? Fr. Richard John N...
- Lessons from Fort Hood
- Insightful article of the nature of theology
- The effects linger for years, and years....
- Whispers in the Loggia
- New York Times analysizes the Maine Vote overturni...
- Another Evangelical Catholic is heard from
- The power of music
- Massey Lecture Series
- A challenge, with deep nod of respect to graduates...
- Not a great day (sigh) for Catholic values and the...
- Another front opens on the culture war between fai...
- The media drum beat for legalized euthanasia conti...
- The impact of the blogoshere on the main stream me...
- The fruits of the 40 Day Witness for Life pays off...
- clay vessels: Drinking a Beer with Jesus
- Dorothy Day: Contribution to Catholic/Christian re...
- A conversation with Wayne on the ways of God
- An Invitation to a conversation
- ▼ November (78)