Pope's masses to be telecast in High Definition shortly
The church is busying itself perfecting a 3-D broadcast
The pope is working on having his masses being telecast in high definition, or HD. The Vatican has unveiled a new $6 million high-definition mobile unit this week to broadcast the pope's Masses, audiences and other events in high definition.
Sony gave the Vatican a $1.36 million discount on the equipment, and the Knights of Columbus, which has helped subsidize the Holy See's communications investments for more than 50 years, kicked in additional funds.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Eventually, the equipment will be upgraded for 3-D papal productions, the latest technological step the Holy See has taken to bring the 2,000-year-old institution into the 21st century.
Church officials assure viewers won't be seeing special effects or "superhero antics" in solemn papal Masses anytime soon. The Vatican's 3-D capabilities will just provide higher resolution, more intense colors and involve the audience more, Gildas Pelliet, the head of Sony Italia says.
"3-D can be done in a very discreet, subtle way," he says. "It's not like a film that we see in the movie theaters with all this spectacle."
Sony gave the Vatican a $1.36 million discount on the equipment, and the Knights of Columbus, which has helped subsidize the Holy See's communications investments for more than 50 years, kicked in additional funds. The Vatican's television branch, Centro Televisivo Vaticano, paid for the rest from savings over several years, said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman and head of CTV.
Lombardi says the Vatican needed to keep up with the rapidly changing HD technology since it's becoming the norm for broadcasters and documentary makers alike.
"If we don't maintain an adequate level of quality and capacity, we'd be standing in the way of broadcasting images and thus the pope's message," he said.
The Vatican's HD cameras and broadcasting capabilities are set to be ready to roll for the pope's Christmas events. The equipment will then be used for special events at the Vatican. He said the mobile unit could in theory be deployed for special events outside the Vatican, as well.
Pope Benedict XVI's five-year papacy has been marked by several communications breakdowns, such as his rehabilitation of a Holocaust-denying bishop, along with the clerical sex abuse scandal. The pope has admitted such mistakes could have been avoided had Vatican officials consulted the Internet or acted more swiftly and decisively when news arrived.
The pope has also taken strides to further the church's influence through 21st Century communication. The Vatican has beefed up its presence on the Internet with a YouTube channel, a Pope2You portal for young people and initiatives to bring his message to social networking sites and smartphones.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: High defintion, broadcasting, 3-D, the Pope
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