Pope illuminates big Christmas 'tree' via Tablet

December 8, 2011 - 10:46 AM

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI has illuminated a huge Christmas tree lighting display in Umbria by tapping on a tablet computer from the comfort of the Vatican.

Benedict brought the "tree" to life Wednesday with a Sony Tablet S, thanks to a wireless connection with the local electric grid. In reality the "tree," billed as the world's biggest, is a display made up of nearly 1,000 lights on a mountainside in Gubbio. It is 450 meters (1,476 feet) by 750 meters (2,460 feet) and covers an area of 130,000 square meters (1.4 million square feet), or just under 30 soccer fields.

The 84-year-old Benedict has embraced new technology: Earlier this year, he tweeted for the first time and put the Vatican's news information portal online by tapping on an iPad.