Although not renowned for its use of technology, the Catholic Church has launched its “Click to Prey 2.0” app to reach a wider audience.
The Vatican announced Tuesday that it is rolling out the first major update to its 2016 app, which has been downloaded by more than 2.5 million people in the past five years.
The updated product, which is available in seven languages, allows users to set prayer times through a personal planner and also gives them the option to join global prayer groups.
An Italian priest gushes about the app outside St Peter’s Basilica. “It’s an extraordinary thing because it allows you to reach people you don’t meet physically, it becomes a bridge to reach hearts that sometimes stray from God,” Fr. Cosimo Shena said Reuters.
Father Frederick Fornos gave a similar message. “Praying is not a waste of time, as we sometimes think. Prayer is like a seed in the darkness of the earth, which will show its fruit in its good times,” he said.
However, Monsignor Lucio Ruiz, secretary of the Vatican’s communications department, cautioned that the app may not be right for everyone and said it should not “invalidate” existing forms of worship.
Under the leadership of Pope Francis, with nearly 19 million Twitter followers, the Catholic Church has expanded its online reach.
In recent years, the Vatican has supported other digital ventures, including its version of Pokémon Go in 2018. In Jessie Go, players have to capture saints and other biblical figures instead of creatures.
At its launch, Honduran Cardinal scar Maradiaga said: “What the youth want is to be active in taking the gospel to technology and to have fun, learn and preach through these channels.”
Decades of child sex abuse scandals have led to increased use of the new technology by the Catholic Church as it continues to struggle to attract young people.
Earlier this month, a report was published that found 216,000 children had been sexually abused by Catholic priests in France since 1950.
Additional reporting by Reuters
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /