What does the Web say about the Catholic Church? What do Catholics want from the Web? And which ethical and spiritual issues are most widely discussed by Internet users? Aleteia, a worldwide Catholic network, has formed an alliance with search engine giant Google to try to find answers to these questions, reports Vatican Insider.
The network, which has been in “beta” phase for several years, was launched officially today. Through what is known as “web listening”, the network offer the possibility of analysing trending topics, the most talked-about Catholic Church-related issues on the Net.
To mark the launch of the website’s new functionalities, Aleteia presented its first report entitled “Web listening and spirituality”, which is the result of careful Web listening and aims to give a picture of all the trending religious and ethical topics of 2012 on the Web.
The report reveals that it is Americans and social networks that are predominantly involved in the religious and spiritual debate on the Web: More than two thirds of comments come from the US and almost half of these are made on social networks.
Interest in the issue seems pretty constant, with no significant peaks between months, although the online debate becomes more intense and predictable when controversial issues such as same-sex marriage come up.
Other hot topics include bioethical issues such as abortion and euthanasia. When it comes to specifically faith-related issues, the French argue predominantly about relations with Islam whereas the Mexicans concentrate on the defence of minorities and Italians, perhaps a little surprisingly, are big on the catechesis debate.
FULL STORY Catholic network and Google form 'holy alliance' (Vatican Insider)