Cathleen Falsani, award-winning religion writer for the Chicago Sun-Times, says in a recent column that she greeted the news that the Vatican had introduced its own YouTube channel with happy anticipation because one of her all-time favorite online videos is of Pope John Paul II watching three Polish breakdancers performing at the Vatican. Falsani writes:
"Though struggling with the effect of Parkinson's disease, John Paul II is clearly enthralled by the dancers. He raises his hands in joyful approval, smiles and even attempts to clap in time with the hip-hop beat. 'Breakdancing for the pope,' as the video is called, never fails to lift my spirits."
"Alas," says a disappointed Falsani: "The Vatican's YouTube fare thus far is decidedly more, shall we say, austere. Each of the 30 videos posted on YouTube is a minute or two long, and most show Pope Benedict seated in a gold throne or behind a glass lectern reading from a script in Italian, Latin, French and English."
Falsani's advice: "These staid Vatican videos are vying for young people's attention with YouTube phenoms such as Spaghetti Cat, orange-clad Filipino inmates dancing to Michael Jackson's 'Thriller,' or that maddeningly memorable song, 'Chocolate Rain'? If the Vatican can loosen up a little bit and post video content with a bit more soul -- think more break dancing and less Latin chanting -- its efforts to bridge the digital divide to young Catholics could be a great success."
What's your advice? Send us your ideas for Vatican videos you'd like to see, or links to Catholic videos that haven't made it to the Vatican's YouTube channel.