by May 1, 2005 0 comments

Pope John Paul II to the English speaking world, the 264th pope died on 2nd April 2005 after an eventful 26 year papacy that initiated many a revolution, in the religious, political and social domains. 

Little known about the ‘Pope on Skiis’ (he loved skiing) is the interest he took in harnessing technology for furthering his cause. 

In 2004, John Paul II, roped in Verizon to distribute papal messages daily to hundreds and thousands of subscriber cellphones. The Vatican also set up an Internet home at Content on this website comes in six languages. Besides carrying documents, notifications and messages from the Vatican, it provides access to the Vatican Secret Archives and the Vatican Library. (The Vatican is the smallest region to be covered by an Internet

Pope John Paul

Year 2001 saw the opening of interactive kiosks and galleries in the Pope’s Cultural Center in Washington DC. 

The Pope released a public statement in 2002 that the Internet can never replace the experience of God, although it can help spread His messages of peace and provide support to the believer. However, the Pope never had an e-mail address for himself. His previous statements on the Internet mainly centered on wanting to see it policed and regulated. Earlier in January 2002, he had said, “Despite its enormous potential for good, some of the degrading and damaging ways the Internet can be used are already obvious to all”. His benediction on the Net on World Communications Day (May 12) of the same year, wherein he proclaimed the Internet to be a new forum for proclaiming the Gospel, therefore surprised many. 

He also named St. Isidore of Seville as the patron saint of computers and the Internet.

Considered to be conservative in religious matters, John Paul II was no conservative when it came to embracing and using technology.

Sujay V Sarma

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