The process to elect a new Pope begins Tuesday in Vatican City.
When the white smoke rises from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, thousands of people worldwide will know it instantly thanks to social media and text alerts.
CBS 21 spoke to members of St. Joseph’s in York about the role social media should take with the new leader of the Catholic Church.
Social media usage among priests, bishops, and cardinals is a sign the Catholic Church is embracing several forms of modern communication for its most traditional process.
The conclave to elect a new pope is set for Tuesday afternoon in Rome. Inside the Sistine Chapel, 115 cardinals will gather and begin the first round of balloting, needing two thirds majority to elect a new pope.
White smoke rising from the Sistine Chapel will indicate the election of a new Holy father, and so can an alert on your cell phone if you signed up for the Pope Alarm.
“These kids are into social media and they can get connected on their level, that’s awesome,” commented Steve Bartkowski.
Erica Wright, Director of Religious Education at St. Joseph’s Education in Springettsbury Township, added, "You do want to adapt to the times, so your message is heard.”
She feels it’s good for people to have different ways to access the conclave.
And like Pope Benedict before him, Erica feels the new Pope should be active on twitter.
“If we want to engage the culture and the people that are in it, the Pope has to be on social media,” Wright concluded.
Reportedly, nine of the 115 cardinals in Vatican City right now are on twitter and/or Facebook. But they’ll be logging off Tuesday morning because there will be no internet usage from inside the conclave.
To learn more about the process of choosing the next pope, click on the attached link with more information.