National Catholic Reporter

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Vatican City

Celluloid heaven: how popes took church, Gospel to the big screen

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When Pope Benedict XVI joined Twitter in 2012 and Pope Francis appeared on Instagram the following year, media watchers may have thought they were witnessing a Vatican revolution. In both cases, however, the pontiffs were merely following in a long tradition.

The Catholic Church has a history of taking on major technological innovations that promote mass communication, such as the printing press in the 15th century and radio and television in the 20th. In fact, one of the very first motion picture films ever made was an 1896 reel of Pope Leo XIII.

Pope decides to hold 2014 Lenten retreat away from Vatican

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"As a good Jesuit," Pope Francis knows it is best not to try to make a retreat where one lives and works, so he has decided the annual papal Lenten retreat with Roman Curia officials will be held outside Rome, a Vatican spokesman said.

The annual retreat will take place March 9-14 at the Pauline Fathers' retreat and conference center in Ariccia, a town about 20 miles southeast of Rome, said Passionist Fr. Ciro Benedettini, vice director of the Vatican press office.

Vatican comes up to bat with own cricket team, may field female squad

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The Vatican is about to launch its own cricket club and will field a women's squad if it finds enough players.

"It may be that instead of watching players who go out to play with cricket caps on, we're going to have a series who play with veils on as they bat up," said John McCarthy, a former cricket player and Australia's ambassador to the Holy See.

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In This Issue

August 1-14, 2014

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