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Pope on Social Networking: The Virtual Is Real

By: for Associated Press on Feb. 1, 2013
World News
Photo Credits: technewspedia.com
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI put church leaders on notice Thursday, saying social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter aren't a virtual world they can ignore, but rather a very real world they must engage if they want to spread the faith to the next generation.

The 85-year-old Benedict, who tweets in nine languages, used his annual message on social communications to stress the potential of social media for the church as it struggles to keep followers and attract new ones amid religious apathy, competition from other churches and scandals that have driven the faithful away.

Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, head of the Vatican's communications office, cited a 2012 study commissioned by U.S. bishops that found that 53 percent of Americans were unaware of any significant presence of the Catholic Church online.

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