And lo, after one year had passed since the establishment of an official YouTube Channel for the Roman Catholic Church, did the Pope Benedict XVI come forth and say to the flock, Take ye these online tools, and useth them, and spread thy faith far and wide. And be not discouraged by those who cast doubt, nor by an inability to access a wifi hot spot.
One of the best books available on political strategy is Dedication and Leadership by Douglas Hyde. Hyde was a bigwig in the British Communist Party who left and became an active Catholic. His message to Catholics, through this book, was that despite the evils of Communism, the Communist party used effective techniques to recruit and retain membership – techniques which, he argued, could be used by any organization regardless of philosophy, including the Church. As a modern-day example, Hyde might point to the online tactics which helped elect Barack Obama’s which were then used for successful Republican candidates like Bob McDonnell and Scott Brown.
A wired Vatican fits nicely as another modern-day extension of Hyde’s vision; and any institution that ignores the tools of today as an outreach tool is destined to fail. Any man-made institution – even if divinely inspired – must recruit to survive. (Even Jesus Christ Himself knew that He wouldn’t run the Church forever and understood the need to recruit apostles.)
To put it another way: God helps those who help themselves.
Plus, this course of action is far more strategic and savvy than efforts which would simply offer the Church a PR facelift: