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Some modern inventions get the big papal thumbs down: birth control, fetal-tissue research, sexual equality in the ministry. But before you accuse Pope John Paul II of being a technophobe, just remember you can’t be a Luddite, a best-selling author, and ruthless self-promoter at the same time. JPII has gone multimedia with remarkable commercial results. He was Time‘s 1994 man of the year; his book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, gave Howard Stern’s Private Parts a run for its money; and he put the rosary on CD. Now His Holiness is battling sex chatters, hookers, and party lines for 900-number revenues. By calling 1-900- 737-POPE (we are not making this up) you can hear “his inspirational words at any time, 24 hours a day.” The call begins with a short greeting from the Pope, followed by his weekly message in English, thoughtfully translated by Vatican officials; “the Pope concludes with his solemn blessing in Latin.” The average call is about eight minutes, at 75 cents a minute. A portion of the proceeds go to charity, the rest toward promoting the dial-a-pope line.