updated 3/7/2007 5:58:09 PM ET 2007-03-07T22:58:09

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia hopes to add salvation to the seemingly endless list of things Internet surfers can find on Google Inc.'s YouTube.

Just clicks away from videos of stupid pet tricks, the archdiocese has started posting weekly Lenten messages from Cardinal Justin Rigali on the popular video-sharing site. His first video has gotten nearly 16,000 views.

The archdiocese got the idea after having success streaming video on its Web site. Spokeswoman Donna Farrell acknowledged some early concerns about the other content that can be found on YouTube, but she said all the feedback has been positive so far.

More messages are planned for Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter.

"The Catholic church needs to be in the public square spreading the word of God," Farrell said.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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