Catholic Church holds a candle and a prayer for the internet generation
Monday 07 September 2009
It may have misgivings about the seedy side of cyberspace, but faced with falling attendances, the Catholic Church is seeking to harness the wonders of the digital age.
In January this year, the Vatican launched its own YouTube channel. Now a priest in Rome is allowing worshippers to light a candle not with a match, but with the click of mouse.
To make the dedication, the faithful of the church of Santa Maria Regina Pacis di Ostia, just 20 miles from the Vatican, need only find the correct section on the church's homepage (www.reginapacisostia.it), and click to "light" a candle and leave a message for a loved one.
Among hundreds of messages left so far are those to a missing person and another dedicated to victims of the year's Abruzzo earthquake.
"When I had the idea, which was well received by the faithful, I was thinking of the people who can't come to mass or those who want to maintain constant contact with us, given that the church isn't open 24 hours a day," said Father Don Ludovico Barbangelo.
"It's a little gesture that helps lots of people, who are able to write how they feel, all of the community, even those further away from the church."
But his plans to bring the church into the digital age don't stop with virtual candles. "We've also downloaded some videos of masses. As for worship by video streaming, we're thinking about it ... we'll see," he told the Ansa news agency. He has not yet mentioned any plans for confession by Twitter.
The development suggests that the church might be overcoming its suspicion of all things online. Pope Benedict XVI has gone on record as saying that social networking sites such as Facebook might be beneficial if they encourage the creation of friendships. But he has also warned that the internet could be used to trivialise sex and might encourage violent behaviour.
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
- 5 Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
Ashya King missing: Police hunt five-year-old boy with brain tumour snatched from Southampton hospital by his parents
Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
Papua New Guinea Mount Tavurvur volcano eruption sees international flights diverted
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >
£45000 - £69999 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Algo-Develo...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...
£50000 - £80000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Data Sci...
£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...