June 6, 2010
. The majority of priests, 94 percent, use internet each day. A study on how priests use the internet has confirmed this. It was carried out by two universities and supported by the Vatican.
Card. Claudio Hummes
Prefect, Congregation for the Clergy
“The Congregation for the Clergy should and wants to offer practical pastoral instructions for the formation and the activity of the priest, also in the digital world.”
Mons. Lucio Ruiz
Responsible, Department Vatican Internet
“It is really surprising to see how there is this real desire by priests to understand the language and to be present in this new culture as the pope asks of us.”
The report is based on data on 4,992 priests, 1.2 percent of the total. Half of them consider use of the internet very useful in helping them prepare their homilies and almost all use the internet to gather information or to carry out activities of the church.
Also, 72 percent think the internet is a good way to carry the faith in the world and 52.5 percent consider it positive for spreading the Christian message.
At the same time, 79 percent of surveyed priests believe the digital world is very useful to connect with others, although only 26 percent access social web sites like Facebook or Hi5 habitually.
Most consider that the internet does not serve for prayer or for offering spiritual advice. Only 27 percent use it for these reasons.
Author of study, University of Lugano (Switzerland)
“The finding that has surprised me most, in a positive way, is that there is unanimosity, from those surveyed, on the usefulness of the internet's digital technology, for the formation of priests to update and improve education.”
Author of study, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Rome)
“In the way in which the priest is better prepared in the world of technology, he can grow and provide useful criteria to many people, priests or laity, who later carry out their activities on the internet or activities of evangelization.”
The goal right now is to bring awareness to future priests on the importance of new technologies but over all, to improve the quality of Catholic sites. And that to be on the internet is a way and not an end.