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Interview: An App to Follow Francis for Free in Days Ahead, Presented by US Bishops

Incoming Communications Chair of US Bishops Shares How USA Catholic Church Will Stream Pope’s Visit in English, Spanish

Want to follow Pope Francis during his Apostolic Visit to the United States? Want to watch his events, hear his speeches, and understand what’s going on in Washington, New York and Philadelphia?

Well, the app USA Catholic Church may bring these elements to your backyard, or your sofa. Bishop Christopher Coyne of Burlington, Vermont, spoke to ZENIT in Washington about the app and what it offers.

The American prelate is the incoming chair for the communications committee for the USCCB, after leading public relations for the Archdiocese of Boston.

“To put a little commercial in there,” the bishop began, “in both English and Spanish, there’s a new app for mobile tablets and also phones that uses both iOS and Android protocols.”

Published by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the app is free and designed for anyone. 

“It will contain content from all the papal speeches. It will have content of all the papal visits and all the speeches. All the major events. We will live stream everything, including – we hope—the press conferences in the media filing centers.”

“So any of our people out there, around the world, who speak English or Spanish, can simply go to download the App. They’ll have complete access to what the Pope is going to do in the US during the next seven days.”

For all of the live streaming, he noted, people are in place. “When he is speaking in Spanish, they’ll be translating to English. When he goes off text,” he joked, “hopefully, they’ll be able to keep up with it.” 

The incoming communications chair explained that at times, the translation is difficult because some of what the Holy Father says off the cuff is a bit nuanced or calls on Argentinean idioms.

The app itself will have links to the texts once they become available by the Vatican in their official version.

In addition to offering this international and national news and content, Bishop Coyne highlighted that every diocese and parish can use it to make material about themselves and their activities available. For the first year, he noted, it’s free and afterward at an affordable cost. 

Bishop Coyne also shared how media centers are responding to Pope Francis’ exhortation to protect the environment. Taking a hint from the Pontiff’s encyclical Laudato Si’, he noted how the media centers are taking measures to protect the environment, for example, instead of printing, they’ll provide journalists with links to the addresses, to cut down on waste.

Bishop Coyne plans to be present for the Holy Father address tomorrow in St. Matthew’s Cathedral. 

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On the NET:

To download the App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/usa-catholic-church/id1023005804?mt=8

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in four languages). She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, EWTN and Salt & Light. For 'The Other Francis': https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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