VATICAN CITY, JAN. 23, 2009 ( The Vatican launched today a channel on YouTube that will provide video news clips on the Pope's activities, currently in four languages, including English.

One or two video clips will be provided each day at

According to Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, the Holy Father is the first supporter of the initiative.

"The Pope has been personally informed of our project and has approved it with his customary poise and warmth," he said. "For us, this is a great motivation."

The project has been under way for more than a year and a half, the Jesuit said, ever since Vatican Radio and the Vatican Television Center began to publish clips on their Web pages and make them available to TV stations and Web sites.

Father Lombardi said that the agency H2O News has offered important collaboration "in this spreading to the world of Catholic social communications."

The Vatican channel at YouTube has a link to H2O, under a tab offering "more videos on the Catholic Church around the world."

Filling a gap

Father Lombardi contended that all around the world, there are people "interested in the messages and proposals of a high level moral authority -- as the Pope is, and in general the Catholic Church -- regarding the great problems of the world today.

"That's why YouTube has been chosen as an adequate platform for being present on the Net, in one of the great Areopagus of communication in the world of today, and to be present regularly, to offer a reference point worthy of trust, and to continue beyond the many fragments of information about the Pope and the Vatican present on the Web in a rather more casual and sprawled-out way," he said.

In addition to the H2O link, the site also links to the Vatican's official site, as well as the site for Vatican City State, Vatican Radio and Vatican TV.

The channel also offers the possibility of sending an e-mail to the Holy See, which will be received by Father Lombardi's staff.

"The launching of a canal such as this is obviously the beginning of the road," the spokesman said. "With the collaboration of Google […] we can foresee developments and improvements both in the content and in the technical area.

"We are convinced about making a beautiful and constructive offer for people of the Net and beginning this road with trust, with an attitude of friendship and dialogue with everyone, also ready to learn a lot ourselves."

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On the Net:

Vatican channel on YouTube:

H2O on YouTube