The Catholic Church and Pope Benedict took another step into cyber space, today as the Pope launched his own channel on YouTube.

London St Peter's Square the place where crowds gather every week to hear the sermons of Pope Benedict XVI. But now his Papal audiences are about to be seen on the worldwide web as the Vatican announced Friday that it was catching up with the digital generation and launching its very own YouTube channel.

On his first broadcast a serious message introduced the channel as quote, "A new way of talking about God." He's the latest in a line of leaders from Britain's Queen Elizabeth to President Barack Obama who launched his own channel this week.

The aim of the Pope's own channel: reaching out to the faithful across the globe. "The church is present in this world and the web is now a part of the world and the people of the web are many times interested in what the Catholic Church is thinking about many problems about many actualities, war and peace and so on," said Vatican Spokesperson Father Federico Lombardi.

The channel is a new way of engaging with the world through the web. But don't expect to see any bloopers here. The Vatican may be broadening its audience but it will be keeping very close tabs on the Pope's on-line image.

Pope Benedict has not always been a fan of the digital media. He's previously warned Catholics about the risks of obsessive and risqué on-line networking, but with Catholic Church attendance dwindling in the West the web might just be a way to reel-in new congregants who still interested in getting the message without having to go to church.


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