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Vatican launches 'Pope app'

January 25, 2013 8:27am
The Vatican has launched a new "Pope app" on the eve of Pope Benedict XVI's World Communications Day message for Jan. 24, a Catholic news site report said.

CatholicRegister.org said the app, initially available for Apple's iPhone and iPad, gives a live streaming of papal events and video feeds from the Vatican's webcams.

An Android version may come February, it added.

"The new app provides live streaming of papal events and video feeds from the Vatican's six webcams. It sends out alerts and links to top stories coming out of the Vatican's many news outlets, and carries words and images of Pope Benedict XVI," it said.

Users will receive an alert when an event is about to begin, it added.

Also, it said the app went live Jan. 23 and is currently available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Italian.

CatholicRegister.org said the Vatican has been ramping up its digital presence, including launching Benedict XVI's Twitter account @Pontifex.

Six webcams

Of the six webcams, two are located on the dome of St. Peter's Basilica. One is at St. Peter's Square and the other at the Vatican governor's office.

"Others are located high on the colonnade around St. Peter's Square, taking in the basilica and papal apartments; directed at Blessed John Paul II's tomb in St. Peter's Basilica; high on the Vatican hill, pointing toward the dome of the basilica; and aimed at the gardens of the papal summer villa in Castel Gandolfo," it said.

Live broadcasts

CatholicRegister.org said the new app will let the faithful follow live broadcasts of papal events such as the Sunday Angelus and Wednesday general audience from mobile devices or smartphone.

The report said the Pope app was launched on the eve of the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron of journalists, when the Vatican traditionally releases the pope's message for World Communications Day.

For this year, the message revolves on "Social Networks: Portals of Truth and Faith; New Spaces for Evangelization," and is linked to the Year of Faith and Benedict XVI's latest calls for a new evangelization. — LBG, GMA News
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