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Poll: half of Catholics in US do not realise the Church is online

By on Monday, 14 October 2013

A woman reads an ebook version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Photo: CNS)

A woman reads an ebook version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Photo: CNS)

Half of Catholics in America are unaware the Church even has an online presence, according to researchers at Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA).

The most widely used communication tool in the Catholic Church is the parish bulletin, followed by a diocesan newspaper or magazine, which one in four adult Catholics have read in the past three months, the researchers found.

The researchers said only 13 per cent of Catholics who went to Mass each week read Catholic blogs and 17 per cent viewed religious material on YouTube.

These findings and other trends among US Catholics were presented by Melissa Cidade, director of pastoral assistance surveys and services at the centre, and Mark Gray, director of Catholic polls, to a group of editors in Washington.

Robert DeFrancesco, CPA president and editor and associate publisher of The Catholic Sun, newspaper of the Phoenix Diocese, said the study reveals how “younger Catholics are not clamouring for news online”.

The fact that print versions of diocesan papers still reach so many Catholics is something to think about, he said, especially with the limited resources of many diocesan newspapers.