Pope's beatification goes social

2011-03-15 20:03

Vatican City - The Vatican said on Tuesday it has opened pages on Facebook and YouTube, dedicated to the late John Paul II ahead of his May 1 beatification.

The aim of the initiative was to give "as great an exposure and as wide a coverage as possible", to the pontiff's beatification - the final step before Roman Catholic sainthood - the Vatican said in a statement.

The Vatican emphasised it was putting its stamp of approval on the sites which are "unlike others already present on the internet in various forms... by private individuals not associated with the Holy See".

The YouTube page includes year-by-year video clips on John Paul's 26-year long pontificate - the second longest recorded in history.

The Facebook page will include access to the video clips uploaded to the YouTube channel, the Vatican said.

John Paul II died in 2005 and his successor Pope Benedict XVI subsequently put him on the fast-track to sainthood by waiving church rules that normally impose a five-year waiting period after a candidate's death before the procedure that leads to sainthood can start.

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