Pope Benedict XVI Gets New E-Mail Address; Faithful Can E-Mail Him With Prayer or Problem

VATICAN CITY Apr 21, 2005 — Got a prayer or a problem for the new pope? Now you can e-mail him. Showing that Pope Benedict XVI intends to follow in the footsteps of John Paul II's multimedia ministry, the Vatican on Thursday modified its Web site so that users who click on an icon on the home page automatically activate an e-mail composer with his address: benedettoxvi@vatican.va .

John Paul, who died April 2, was the first pope to use e-mail, a medium that made its debut during his 26-year papacy. The Vatican said he received tens of thousands of messages in his final weeks as he struggled with illness.

In 2001, sitting in the Vatican's frescoed Clementine Hall, John Paul used a laptop to tap out an apology for Roman Catholic missionary abuses against indigenous peoples of the South Pacific.
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The Holy See often issues news or documents to journalists via e-mail, and its labyrinth of obscure offices and councils are online in half a dozen languages. Even the Sistine Chapel with its famed art collection offers a virtual reality tour.

On the Net:
Vatican site, www.vatican.va

The Associated Press.