The report mentions that the Vatican website was set up in 1995. I remember it well - at that time I was writing a column for Faith Magazine called Faith Online and was glad to share the news in the column - it helped to convince some skeptical colleagues that there might be something to this World Wide Web malarkey.
Expect some silly headlines (eg. CBS: "will the Pope's partnership with Google be a match made in heaven?"; Scotsman: "Did you Holy See that?"; etc. ad nauseam)
There is actually no reason to be surprised that the Church should adopt new media to spread the gospel. Long before the web was invented, it was Christians who pioneered the adoption of the codex in place of the scroll, and we were in there with movable type fairly early on ;-)
The official Vatican press conference has been announced for Friday 23 January with the following participants:
- Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications
- Msgr. Paul Tighe, Secretary of the same Pontifical Council
- Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.I., Director of Vatican Radio, of the Vatican Television Centre and of the Holy See Press Office
- Henrique de Castro, Managing Director of Media Solutions for Google.