Pope may go online to launch Vatican news portal

The portal - www.news.va is being launched on 60th anniversary of Benedict`s ordination as a priest and a feast day in the church.

Vatican City: The Vatican, whose
communications problems are no secret, is taking a leap into
the world of new media with the launch next week of a news
information portal that Pope Benedict XVI himself may put
online with a papal click.

Vatican officials said today that Benedict has been
following the development of the portal, which will for the
first time aggregate information from the Vatican`s various
print, online, radio and television media in a one-stop-shop
for Holy See news.

The portal - www.news.va is being launched Wednesday,
the 60th anniversary of Benedict`s ordination as a priest and
a feast day in the church.

Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli, who heads the Vatican
office that developed the portal and will maintain it, said
Benedict may put the site online himself with a click from the
Apostolic Palace.

"This is a new way of communicating," Celli said
during a preview of the site at the offices of the Pontifical
Council for Social Communications.

It`s the latest effort by the Vatican to bring its
evangelising message to a greater, Internet-savvy audience and
follows its forays into Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

It`s also a significant step for the 84-year-old
Benedict, who has been bedeviled by communications woes during
much of his six-year papacy, much of it the fault of a large
Vatican bureaucracy that doesn`t always communicate well
internally.

There was his 2005 speech about Islam and violence,
his recent comments about condoms and HIV that required no
less than three official Vatican clarifications, and his
rehabilitation of a Holocaust-denying bishop, among others.

While the portal is designed mostly to provide Vatican
news in an easy-to-use setting for the outside world, Celli
said he hoped it would also improve the Vatican`s own internal
communications by letting various departments know what one
another are up to and help provide a more coherent message.

PTI

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