So you want to download Pope Benedict XVI into your iPod?

You might think the Vatican as old fashioned. Think again. It is actually one of the first global institutions that took advantage of podcasting. Chances are, you’ve probably heard about podcasting only a few days ago, but Vatican Radio has been utilizing this relatively new technology since early this year. And yes, the Holy Father has his own podcast. Well, sort of.

Podcasting is basically the process of producing audio and making it available through websites so listeners may download the audio content into their audio player. Papal messages, especially those the Pontiff delivers during his customary weekly general audience at the Vatican, are available for download from the Vatican Radio website. You have a choice of formats. You can download his minutes-long speeches and reflections either as .ram or mp3.

And if you find it hard to understand his German-flavored English, you can read the full text of his messages in the Pope Page. Call it the Holy Father’s show notes or his papal blog. If you have spare time to send him comments and feedbacks you can actually do so by emailing him. His email address is benedictxvi@vatican.va. I am not joking. Try it for yourself. Plus you can subscribe to the Vatican Radio’s podcast feed using this url: http://feeds.feedburner.com/vaticanradio105live.

My hope is that the Pope will be able to touch the hearts of people all over the world and strengthen their faith through his downloadable teachings, pronouncements, and reflections. And I too hope that podcasters around the world may use the technology to communicate sound moral values and to advance a culture of love, peace, and solidarity.