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Report Finds Catholics Active In Social Media, Room To Grow For Church's Online Presence

The top three concerns cited by respondents for the Church's presence online were the lack of a system for the Church to validate sites and content as authentically Catholic (45 percent), the lack of civil tone in conversations happening on the internet (43 percent), and the reluctance by Catholic Church leaders to use the Internet (42 percent). About a third agreed that they want their pastor (33 percent) and their bishop (31 percent) to blog. A third of adult Catholics represent about 19 million individuals.

The adult Catholic population is nearly evenly divided by those aware of the Church's presence online and those who are not aware of this. About a quarter (24 percent) indicated said the Church is "somewhat" or "very" visible, while another quarter said it is "only a little" or "not very" visible (23 percent). More than half (53 percent) were unaware of any significant presence.

The Catholic website most often visited regularly by self-identified adult Catholics is their parish website. Currently about one in 10 (9 percent) say they visit this once a month or more often. This is equivalent to 5.3 million individuals.

Eighty-four percent of respondents took the survey in English; 16 percent took it in Spanish. Every percentage point of the total sample represents approximately 583,000 adult Catholics. The USCCB Department of Communications commissioned the study with assistance from the Catholic Communication Campaign.

The full text of the report is available online: www.usccb.org/about/communications/catholics-use-of-new-media-2012-cara-report.cfm

SOURCE U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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