“Cardinal O’Malley to launch podcasts”
On Sunday, Christmas Eve, Boston Catholic Television plans to launch a souped up website that will feature, among other attractions, downloadable Christmas video messages in English, Spanish, and Portuguese from Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Boston.
Starting early next year, O’Malley also plans to regularly record video messages for downloading from the Internet.
The Catholic Church, which lags behind some other denominations in its embrace of Internet technologies, is rapidly expanding its use of new technology in its search for souls. Cardinal Edward M. Egan of New York recently started a satellite radio show, and the late Pope John Paul II, starting in 2003, offered daily text messages to cellphone users.
O’Malley, a Capuchin Franciscan friar who has taken a vow of poverty and is a frequent critic of American consumer culture, is rapidly emerging as an unlikely pioneer in the use of new media by a 2,000-year-old church.
He is the only Catholic cardinal known to have his own blog, and the archdiocese is overhauling its newspaper website and its television website as part of an effort to broaden its reach and circumvent traditional media. The archdiocese has also assigned e-mail addresses to all priests, a handful of whom have balked at using computers, and has created an intranet site that chancery officials expect will soon replace the monthly mailings used to communicate with clergy.
Incidentally, Boston Catholic Television is already podcasting a program called “The Priest.”
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