.- The director of the Vatican’s website, Msgr. Lucio Adrian Ruiz explained this week in an interview that the site is going through an extensive redesign to improve the Church’s evangelization efforts.
The website can be viewed at: www.vatican.va.
In an interview with L’Osservatore Romano, the Argentinean priest said the Vatican’s website aims to make the Church’s message known to everyone, especially because of the importance Benedict XVI has given to evangelization through the media.
He also said that soon each Vatican dicastery will have its own website and that the general site is undergoing an upgrade, “which will be a long process because vatican.va has 500,000 internal pages …”
The restructuring efforts will focus on two goals, Msgr. Ruiz continued. First, to make the Petrine ministry more present in the digital era; and second, to increase the Vatican’s understanding of the internet, its language and its culture, in order to respond more adequately, as called for by Pope Benedict XVI in his message for World Communications Day 2010.
The Argentinean priest added that his staff will also create a new video section on the website that will include not only clips of Pope Benedict XVI, but also video footage of previous Popes. The site will also have a more extensive and complete papal documents section.
The redesign will also include a section on the diplomatic activities of the Holy See.
Msgr. Ruiz said the Vatican site receives three million visits per day, with the greatest number of visits coming from the United States, followed by Italy, Spain, Germany, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Canada, France and China.
He also noted that the site has occasionally been the target of hackers and cyber attacks, but that the staff works closely with Italian online security officials to keep a close eye on their systems.
“Like all large systems, we are an appealing target for professional hackers. We must always be on alert and continue to develop our online security,” he said.
Msgr. Ruiz said his staff includes 21 employees who are split into two groups—one that deals with the technical side, the other with content management. He explained that his staff members “are aware that they are part of one body, and this unity creates a strong synergy of not only mutual help but also of study and comprehension of the enormous mission the Church must fulfill.”
UPDATE: The UK’s best Catholic weekly, The Catholic Herald, has 5 suggestions about how to improve the Vatican website.