Technology gave world a window to sainthood event

Posted at 04/30/14 11:10 AM

VATICAN CITY – The twin canonizations of popes John Paul II and John XXIII on Sunday saw the most extensive coverage of an event in the history of the Catholic Church -- a very conservative institution known for its secrecy.

The coverage was in 3D and HDTV.

A television presenter who covered the death, beatification and canonization of John Paul II, witnessed how the technological landscape in covering an event with global importance has dramatically changed in a short period of time.

"It's so vastly different. I came here to meet John Paul II and we were using satellites so we were limited in locations that we could be in. Now, we can go live anywhere. We have a box called Digero and that uses cellular technology," said Dina Bear, news anchor for WGN TV Chicago.

In social media, it was followed on Facebook and Twitter.

"I was sending pictures from on top of the colonnades - the crowds are just coming in, the cardinals are just arriving, Pope Emeritus Benedict is here, Pope Francis is here now - and the response I was getting from our viewers was so powerful. They were just so excited to see this. Before they can see it on television," added Bear.

On the run-up to the canonizations, during the historic event and after the two pontiffs were proclaimed saints, journalists and ordinary people were documenting the events.

"The canonization of these two saints is one of the most important activities that our country will cover this year because we are in a catholic country," said Alberto Barantes, a newspaper journalist from Costa Rica.

The pope himself, Pope Francis, has a Twitter account which bears the name Pontifex.

After the canonizations on Sunday, he thanked the media for their work.

The elaborate ceremonies were beamed live worldwide on broadcast media, the internet and social media.

An unprecedented event that many pundits say is a miracle of technology.