The “pope of the Internet age” on the papal flight

April 16, 2008

Pope Benedict during his Q&A on his flight to Washington, 15 April 2008/Max RossiJust heard an interesting idea from Delia Gallagher, a Vatican analyst for CNN, who said that Pope John Paul was the pope of the television age but Pope Benedict is the pope of the Internet age. John Paul was good for the dramatic gesture and sound bite, which was just right for television, while Benedict speaks in lectures you should really read from start to finish. Thanks to the Internet, you can do this and more — something that was just not possible when John Paul was globe-trotting around.


As an example, just take Benedict’s comments on the flight over the Atlantic. We covered them in a text report. But we also also have some video of him on the plane, declaring (with his strong German accent) that he was “deeply ashamed” because of the scandal of U.S. priests sexually abusing minors. We’ve read about these in-flight Q&As with the Vatican press corps in the past, but how many have you ever seen? Here’s our clip:

It also used to be that only journalists on the flight had access to all of the pope’s comments. Now, The National Catholic Reporter has produced a rush transcript of his full in-flight Q&A. Here’s the link.

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