The Pope has officially embraced the digital world as the Vatican unveils a new YouTube video channel, featuring clips of the day-to-day activities and messages from the head of the Catholic church.
The new channel, unveiled today at the press room of the Holy See, aims to "help establish relationships with Catholics from around the world" by broadcasting short video news clips on the Pope's activities and events at the Vatican.
Father Federico Lombardi, director of the press room, television centre and Vatican Radio, said that the YouTube channel was a "real and tangible example of the Church's commitment in the field of new technologies, to reach out to a global audience without regard for nationality or culture".
In a press statement, the Catholic church said that despite its "ancient roots" it remained "convinced of its ability to express words that are still important and relevant in today's world, using language and communications technologies of today's world".
The Vatican YouTube channel is expected to help establish relationships with Catholics from around the world, who will have easier access to updated information, as well as with people of different beliefs or religions.
The channel, which will run audio and text in English, Spanish, German and Italian, launches today with clips of Pope Benedict XVI, such as the Christmas message and blessing and the 1 January celebration of World Peace Day.
It will also have a clip of the Pope talking about new technologies in social communication, the theme he has chosen for this year's Catholic Church World Social Communication Day.
"YouTube is a communications platform open to all, where users, institutions and content producers come together in a global meeting place," said Henrique de Castro, managing director of European sales and media solutions at YouTube.
"We are honoured that the Vatican has chosen to use the site to communicate with people across the world, and delighted that our community will have access to the words of the Pope on some of the most important issues facing the world today."
What is with his face looking all like a beet?