Hey Kids: Received a Text from the Pope Yet?

It’s Christmas eve, a time to rejoice…“The Vatican is endorsing new technology that brings the book of daily prayers used by priests straight onto iPhones.”

Hail Mary and Hallelujah, the outreach of new media knows no bounds.

Actually, this is smarter than um, heck on the youth outreach front and lord knows our planet could use more kindness and prayers, even if it does smack of savvy but ubiquitous media and marketing.

According to the Syndey Morning Herald, “The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Social Communications is embracing the iBreviary, an iTunes application created by a technologically savvy Italian priest, the Reverend Paolo Padrini, and an Italian web designer.” (that’s Father Padrini in the AP photo) IntoMobile has a screenshot for ‘geek catholics’ here, and it’s been officially blessed and sanctioned in time for Christmas…

Yep, the church can pontificate in Italian, English, Spanish, French and Latin and, in the near future, Portuguese and German, all for $.99 on itunes (though I calculated it should be $1.1 USD converting that from Euro 0.79 from the AP article using my handy dandy iphone currency app via WhereTraveler.com in beta).

Upgrades are free and proceeds go to charity. Talk about social media leveraging…

Scientific American has detailed links with the full scoop, reminding that Apple’s App Store sells various other bible-related applications, a digital version of the Koran, commentary on the Torah and a Chanukah guide under its “reference” category.

“iBreviary will be for every person wanting to nourish [his or her] own spirituality, to find a useful aid for reflection and meditation,” Padrini wrote on Giani’s Web site (translated from Italian to English using Google Translate).

Mind you, Pope Benedict XVI has had an ipod for a couple of years favoring classical music, and successfully used mobile SMS at World Youth Day in Sydney complete with tag signature, “BXVI” so the outreach is not just PR spin.

There’s already iRosary and other indie productizations, but I say when they folks start marketing prayer beads as value-added premiums and gift packs, I’ll vote it’s time to draw the line. 😉

Visual Credits: Cult of Mac.com for praying graphic, AP photo and WYD logo per links above

Troll reminder: Shaping Youth is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, non-religious-based blog, reporting on media and marketing’s impact on youth. This is not meant to be an endorsement nor a critique of any religious practices or offerings.

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