Bloggers get the message at Vatican summit

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The Vatican hosted its first blogging summit last week, with 150 invited bloggers from around the world attending a conference in the days after the beatification of John Paul II. Anna Arco, from the Catholic Herald, was one of them, and reports on what it was like, and what Rome is hoping to achieve.

The last few days have been a sort of sleep-deprived series of powerful impressions. From trying to stay awake in the press gallery on the left colonnade above St Peter’s Square after a night wandering through Rome following the prayer vigil for JPII in the Circus Maximus to the much vaunted Vatican bloggers’ meeting on Monday, there has been a lot to take in.

My first few impressions of the Vatican blogmeet follow. There may be a later analysis piece about the Church, web 2.0 and the new media generally if I can find the time to think about it more deeply.

It was a thrill to meet the fellow travellers in the Catholic blogosphere, even if the Vatican conference was not about Catholic blogging but about the Church engaging with blogging in general.

The brainchild of Richard Rouse of the Pontifical Council for Culture, the blogging conference was a joint effort between his department and the Pontifical Council for Social Communication, but apparently had input from the different parts of the Vatican’s communications branches.

The first half of the conference featured bloggers: including a wonderfully Benedictine talk by Elizabeth Scalia, one by Fr Roderick Vonhogen, who started to blog about Starwars but was soon using the internet to evangelise, and an interesting talk by Francois Jeanne-Beylot, who said that the blogosphere was somewhere where people were all trying to shout the loudest and that Catholics had something worth shouting loudly about.

FULL STORY From beatification to blogmeet: how the Church communicates (Catholic Herald)

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