Even the Catholic Church, an organization steeped in long history and tradition, is coming to participate in the 21st Century in new ways. The pope is now an active Twitter user, updating fans and followers around the globe in several different languages – including Polish. In fact, the Vatican is embracing the interactive and engaging nature of Twitter to allow questions to be asked @Pontifex. It appears the Vatican is well aware that with the development of new media and changing communications, they aren’t exempt – they need to ‘market’ themselves and maintain an online presence just like any other organization or community.
The move by the Vatican has inspired much commentary in the blogosphere and news publications – some of it critical, some positive. It has been pointed out that the Pope’s direct involvement in running and updating the Twitter feed has been fairly lacking. Some commentators see the establishment of the account as a cheap gimmick, while others think it’s a natural and logical progression for a church trying to stay relevant in the modern world. Tom Chivers from the Telegraph cracked wise about the slow start for the Pope’s Twitter account, suggesting perhaps the pontiff wanted to avoid some of the Twitter snafus other celebrities have fallen victim to (or inflicted on themselves) over the past year or so.
In other Polish news, BAFTA-winning Pawel Pawlikowski, the celebrated film director from Poland, has begun work on what will be his first Polish language feature. This has come as welcome news to film fans and critics within Poland, many of whom were waiting patiently to see one of their national idols turn to creating works in his native tongue. The film will be entitled Sister of Mercy is set in the 1960s and deals with issues of Jewish heritage and the ghost of Stalinism. Polish film has been making its mark on the world recently, with another Polish movie, Lasting directed by Jacek Borcuch, to be shown at the next Sundance Festival.