Sister Judith Zoebelein of the VaticanLIFT07: Going virtual in proportion to being actual, Sister Judith Zoebelein

Franciscan sister of the Eucharist. Tries to play some video but it doesn't work. I bite off my tongue. She's a mac user :)

The power of the internet relies in a great part on symbol and subliminal effect.

Internet permits us into a global reality. What I have to say applies to a certain setting, but I think it also applies globally.

Opened a single-page Vatican site Christmas 1995. The church has been a network around the world for centuries. The idea of a local parish centring people through worship and outreach is fading in North America and Europe. Sometimes when I'm using Skype and see how many others are there, I feel part of a community. And at the same time threatened by "rangerdude", who keeps trying to call me.

In SimCity, I can go online and become what I dreamed of: a professional baseball player (I think she means The Sims).

Any community should give a greater sense of personhood.

Talks about an e-learning course they ran, on suffering. But the group for this course meets face-to-face. "The anonymity of the internet must lead to the desire for an actual human encounter". It's a basic lesson of the church: "there must be a sacramentality to our lives". A supporting module lets viewers walk with Pope John Paul.

Q: The vatican site preaches. Why is it not more "web 2.0" (conversational)?

A: It was initially planned as an archive, and what's up there reflects that.

Q: Are you looking at other models like MySpace, SecondLife, etc?

A: Yes. We want to establish sub-groups for different areas of the world.

Aside: is anything more virtual than God?