By Melony Roy

By Social Media Editor Melony Roy

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Hoping priests will follow his digital example, Pope Benedict is urging church leaders to spread the faith to the next generation on social media.

The Pontiff encourages the use of social media as a new forum for Agora, an ancient Greek term for an open public square where people can share ideas.

“Pope Benedict recognizes the need for evangelization. There is an obvious decline in the practice of faith and the Holy Father is very wise to give us this advice,” says Saint Hubert High School teacher Father Ron Check.

The 85-year-old Pope has over one million followers on Twitter and tweets in nine different languages. He also launched a YouTube channel and released Facebook and iPhone apps to help spread the word.

“Believers are becoming more and more aware of the fact that the good news, what we’re all about, preaching has to be made known in the digital world because this is where people are and we have to go to them and try to connect with them,” says Saint Hubert High School teacher Father Ron Check.

The Pope stresses the potential of social media to help the church keep followers and attract new ones.

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