BOSTON – Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley is going high-tech. He already has his own blog, now he plans to start podcasting to the masses, beginning with downloadable Christmas messages.
The video messages — in English, Spanish and Portuguese — are part of a broader effort by the Boston Archdiocese to embrace new technology as a way to spread the church's message.
The archdiocese is overhauling its newspaper and television Web sites, including offering the downloadable podcasts.
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It has assigned e-mail addresses to all priests, a handful of whom have resisted using computers. It also has an intranet site that officials expect will replace the monthly mailings to clergy.
O'Malley, a Capuchin Franciscan friar who has taken a vow of poverty and is a frequent critic of consumer culture, is emerging as an unlikely technology pioneer.
His Web log, Cardinalseansblog.org, is already considered a hit by archdiocesan officials, who say they are getting positive feedback from around the world.
"The cardinal wants us to utilize the tremendous tools that we have at our disposal and to expand the reach of those tools, so that we can bring the message of the church and the good works of the church to the Catholic community," said archdiocese spokesman Terry Donilon.
The cardinal's first downloadable podcast messages will be available Christmas Eve at Boston Catholic Television's revamped Web site. They will be followed by regular video messages from O'Malley through the new year, Donilion said.