Vatican gives blessing to new Catholic online streaming service

Vatican City, Jun 5, 2020 / 09:00 am (CNA).- A video streaming platform is being launched next week showcasing on-demand Catholic content, including films co-produced by Vatican Media.

The VatiVision site will go live June 8 in Italy, with plans to expand to countries in North and South America, the Philippines, Spain, and Poland.

The streaming service will be available through laptops, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and cable boxes, but according to Vatican News, despite similarities, the platform is not “the Netflix of the Vatican.”

Paolo Ruffini, the head of Vatican communications, said June 4 that the Vatican has produced documentaries which will be included in the VatiVision catalog but “the editor is free to make his choices.”

Ruffini spoke at an online press briefing for the launch of VatiVision. He stressed that the Vatican had no financial stake or editorial say in the project.

“It’s not something institutional, it’s not something from the Vatican or the Church, but from business people who understand how much demand there is in the world for this type of product,” Ruffini said, according to Vatican News.

“The Vatican looks favorably on this initiative but is neither the censor nor the holder of the editorial line,” he continued, adding that it was a nice project from people who know the importance of having high quality content “linked to Catholic tradition and culture.”

Examples of on-demand content on VatiVision include documentaries on the popes, saints, and the Shroud of Turin.

One original production advertised on the platform is a documentary about Church communications co-produced with Vatican Media. The film is called “Churchbook” with the tagline “When Faith Becomes Social.”

The streaming service is a joint venture of the Italian video production company Officina della Comunicazione and digital services company Vetrya. UBI Banca is a sponsor. Officina della Comunicazione has produced content for major national and international television networks, including the History Channel.

Nicola Salvi and Elisabetta Sola, the CEOs of the company, said they “strongly believe in the VatiVision project and in its mission, which is to offer a service capable of contributing through the new technologies we have at our disposal to further spread the Christian message with contents of great value and narrative depth.”

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