Meet the Vatican webmaster

Msgr Lucio Ruiz

Msgr Lucio Adrian Ruiz, Head of the Vatican Internet Service, says: “we’ve had to make the system ten times more powerful in the past year”.

- Vatican Insider

Mgr Ruiz, 48, from Santa Fe, Argentina, has been working as the head of the Vatican Internet Service since 1997. He is basically the Pope’s webmaster. As of 2009 Ruiz has been Head Office of the Vatican Internet Service and telecommunications department and is in charge of the Vatican’s entire web service.

“We are like a border agency,” the Pope’s webmaster said. We are the part of the chain that has to provide the technology and support necessary for the Pope’s message, teachings and gestures to get to the furthermost corner of the world. In a way, we are the arms, legs and digital voice of the Pope.

But we are not the only ones ensuring the Pope’s active online presence, we are a big family, which includes the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Press Office, the Vatican Television Centre, Vatican Radio and the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. Communication is carefully studied, thought out, prepared and produced, in the awareness that this family is assisting the Pope in his Petrine ministry.”

What is your work all about exactly?

“We deal with the technological, planning and engineering and creation of the Holy See’s websites and other Internet services with the domain “.va”, a top-level domain which is equivalent to national domains. There are thirty of these today, but at least ten others are currently being prepared. The ones with the most followers, which generate the most traffic, are the institutional websites www.vatican.va<http://www.vatican.va/> - which contains over half a million pages containing the Popes’ teachings – and www.news.va<http://www.news.va/> which is run by th4e Pontifical Council for Social Communications which is a news aggregator. Then there are the websites of the various dicasteries and those built for special recurrentevents, for example, www.annusfidei.va<http://www.annusfidei.va/>, which is dedicated to the Year of Faith, such a wealth of initiatives launched by the Vatican in service of the universal Church.”

How long has the Vatican been present on the web?

“The Vatican has been online since Christmas 1995, when John Paul II’s Urbi et Orbi message was published. But it got the current form and structure in 1997. Interestingly, the Church in general and especially the Vatican, has been there since the early days of the web! The Church jumped on the bandwagon straight away and immediately became a part of the cultural transformation the Internet was bringing about. And it is continuing to do so today by using social networks. Just as it once did through paining, architecture and music, the Church is now taking part in and creating culture with the evangelisation, via the Internet.”

FULL STORY Meet the Vatican webmaster: Here’s how the Pope’s love goes digital

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