Employees at Bellingham-based Logos Bible Software have developed a free smartphone app for people who want to follow the upcoming conclave that will select the next pope to lead the Roman Catholic Church.
The conclave is scheduled to begin in Vatican City on Tuesday, March 12, and the app will provide a live video feed of St. Peter's Square. An email alert will be sent out the moment white smoke rises from the chimney, the traditional indication that a new pope has been selected.
The app also will offer a variety of other resources, including the most current news, the history of the conclave and biographies of the cardinals.
The app became available Friday, March 8, and was quickly drawing interest online, said Andrew Jones, director of Catholic products at Logos.
"We decided to do this 10 days ago and we didn't stop until we had it done," Jones said last week, adding that when they started they didn't know when the conclave would begin.
He said they wanted to develop the app because the event is generating so much interest among Catholics in social media. While much of the discussion is speculation on who will be the next pope, Jones said, there is quite a bit of discussion about the Catholic Church in general.
To learn more about the app, or to download it, visit Verbum.com/conclave. The app is available for Apple and Android users.
Verbum is the Catholic division of Logos. Its main product is a Catholic library system.