Pope reaches out to tech-savvy kids

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Pope Benedict XVI has gone digital in a bid to connect with thousands of young Australian Catholics..

The spiritual head of the Roman Catholic Church will send text messages as part of World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney in July, which is expected to attract 225,000 youngsters.

A Facebook-style Catholic social networking site, and strategically placed digital prayer walls from Australian telecoms firm Telstra, will also feature as part of the week-long celebrations starting 15 July.

"We wanted to make World Youth Day 08 a unique experience by using new ways to connect with today's tech-savvy youth," said Bishop Anthony Fisher.

Telstra claimed that the event will connect 8,000 volunteers, 2,000 clergy, 3,000 members of the media and around 250,000 Catholic pilgrims in 700 locations around Sydney.

An estimated one in four of Australia's 21 million people is thought to be Catholic, making it the biggest church in the country.
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