The Vatican Internet sister

The Vatican Internet sister

Technology guru Robert Scoble videotaped and podcast an interesting group interview with Sr. Judith Zoebelin, editorial direction of the Vatican’s web site,, during a tech conference in Geneva recently.

The interview was quite interesting because the handful of folks asking her questions are all techies who don’t seem especially versed in Catholic matters, although at least a few apparently have a little familiarity. The Franciscan sister describes the Internet office she oversees as well as some of the technical details, but also talks about how the Internet affects the ways we live in Christian community. One of the more amusing bits comes when someone asks her whether someday we will go to church in Second Life (meaning the popular virtual world) and the sister mistakes the question as referring to the afterlife. When she recovers, she deftly answers by saying that while folks will undoubtedly gather in the virtual world, the sacraments require physicality and personal presence. Yet, she says, even now housebound folks still take part the best they can using the old media by watching the Mass on TV or praying the Rosary along with a TV group. Very astute.

There’s a lot more, but my favorite part, of course, was when she revealed at the end that the Vatican’s Internet office has converted to Macs. As it should be.

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