PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A leading Catholic journalist based in Philadelphia is leading a forum this week at the Vatican — on the topic of social media.

Rocco Palmo, who produces the widely-read blog “Whispers in the Loggia,” is a frequent contributor on church matters for various Catholic and secular media.

Covering the beatification of Pople John Paul II, he says it is really no surprise that Pope John Paul’s path to sainthood is being fast-tracked, thanks in large part to the attention he has gotten from social media players.

And Palmo says John Paul’s life’s work — including his outreach around the world — is being recognized beyond Catholicism thanks to social media.

“Here you had John Paul running from Boston to Philadelphia, Chicago, Des Moines — and were were used to it.  I mean, he revolutionized the office. Before then, you know, the world came to Rome to see the pope. Here you had 200 foreign trips outside of Italy — four times to the moon and back in terms of air miles.”

And Palmo says social media today makes it easier for the church to get its message to the faithful and beyond.

Reported by Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio 1060

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