Why Pope Benedict Monitors the Internet

First there was iBreviary, the Vatican-approved daily prayer book for Roman Catholics for the iPhone. Now, the Vatican is admitting it needs to pay better attention to the Internet in a letter released Thursday, according to the New York Times.

In the letter, Pope Benedict XVI noted that had the Vatican consulted the Internet, it might have been aware of additional information that could have prevented a recent controversy involving a Church bishop having his excommunication overturned. Afterwards, critics pounched on the news that the bishop denied the scope of the Holocaust.

The Pope says in the letter:

"I have been told that consulting the information available on the Internet would have made it possible to perceive the problem early on," Benedict wrote. "I have learned the lesson that in the future in the Holy See we will have to pay greater attention to that source of news."

The Times adds its own take on the letter, suggesting, "Note to the Roman Curia: try Google."

The Catholic Church has been slow to embrace technology, although the Vatican recently approved a channel on YouTube, and the Pope himself has suggested the use of social networks to reach out to "forge worldwide understanding."

Spending a few minutes each morning browsing Media Cloud for topics relating to Catholicism might be a good idea as well.

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