Alberto Pizzoli, Getty Images
Pope wants priests to use technology to spread the word.
Pope wants priests to use technology to spread the word. Alberto Pizzoli, Getty Images
"Blog." I'm not sure what the Latin for blog is and a call to my high school Latin teacher went unreturned. Regardless, that was the word from the Vatican to priests — BLOG.
In his message for the Roman Catholic Church's World Day of Communication, Pope Benedict said "Priests are thus challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources — images, videos, animated features, blogs, Web sites..."
That's not to say that priests aren't already on the Web.
"If people live in cyberspace then the Church ought to be in cyberspace" says Father Brian Paulson S.J. a Jesuit priest in Chicago. Paulson will soon head up a community of about 80 priests and seminarians, some of whom blog, and one of his concerns with the Pope's mandate is quality. He worries that blogs that don't pay close enough attention to the Church's teachings or are written poorly will turn people away rather than attract them.
My own unscientific research shows that parish Web sites are pretty dismal. My childhood parish Web site lists the wrong priest as pastor and when I talked to priests many of them said they are just too busy to blog. One priest I spoke to gives mass and hears confessions at three different places on the weekends in addition to the funerals and weddings he must attend.
The suggestion that priests should blog seems a bit like an unfunded mandate. They'd love to do it if they had the training, the time, and the money. But, for Catholics looking to get their Web on...here are some good sites I've found: