Digital Continent: Catholics and New Media

Washington (Agenzia Fides) - 62 percent of adult U.S. Catholics, representing an estimated 36.2 million people, have a profile on Facebook; 58 percent of Catholics age of 30 and under share content such as pictures, articles and comments at least once a week, and nearly a third of all surveyed said they would like their pastors and bishops to blogs: these are some results of a study released by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, CARA at Georgetown University.
"Catholic New Media Use in the United States, 2012," surveyed 1,047 self-identified Catholics. The study was released on November 11, at an Encounter With Social Media, sponsored by the Department of Communications of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in conjunction with the U.S. bishops annual Fall General Assembly in Baltimore.
The report, sent to Fides Agency by the USCCB, "suggests many opportunities for the Church to engage with those who live on the Digital continent, as Pope Benedict XVI describes this new culture of communication," said the Bishop of Salt Lake City, His Excellency Mons. John Wester, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Communications. "We can approach this as missionaries, eager to find God already present among the inhabitants of this world and to engage them, especially young people, in meaningful dialogue about morals and values in this new public square."
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 that 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 per cent) were unaware of any significant presence. The Catholic website most often visited regularly by self-identified adults Catholics is their parish website: about one in 10 say they visit once a month or more often. This is equivalent to 5.3 million individuals. About 80 percent of respondents took the survey in English; 16 percent took it Spanish. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 13/11/2012)

6 Timely Tips for Using Apps with Kids

6 Timely Tips for Using Apps with Kids

Do your kids or grandkids use apps on your phone, tablet or e-reader? Of course they do. Many apps are fun, educational and engaging. But before you hand over your mobile device to a youngster, here are six things to know and do:
  1. Try out the apps your kid wants to use so you’re comfortable with the content and the features.
  1. Use the device and app settings to restrict a kid’s ability to download apps, make purchases within an app or access additional material.
  1. Consider turning off your wi-fi and carrier connections using “airplane mode” to disable any interactive features, prevent inadvertent taps and block access to material that you think is inappropriate or just don’t want.
  1. Look for statements about whether the app or anything within the app collects kids’ personal information — and whether they limit sharing, using or retaining the information. If you can’t find those assurances, choose another app.
  1. Check on whether the app connects to social media, gaming platforms or other services that enable sharing photos, video or personal information, or chatting with other players. Then determine whether you can block or limit those connections.
  1. Talk to your kids about the restrictions you set for downloading, purchasing and using apps; tell them what information you’re comfortable sharing through mobile devices, and why. 
Want to know more? The FTC has released a new report on mobile apps for kids. Following up on a previous report, the survey found, among other things, that many apps included interactive features, or sent information from the mobile device to ad networks, analytics companies, or other third parties, without disclosing the practices to parents. 

Pope Tweets a Blessing

Vatican City, 12 December 2012 (VIS) - "Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart".
This was Benedict XVI's first tweet, published after the blessing that concluded today's general audience. The Pope used a tablet to send his first tweet, which was transmitted in eight languages (English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Polish and Arabic), and displayed on a screen installed in the Paul VI Hall.
Throughout the day the Pope will respond to three questions - submitted from three different continents - selected from those sent during recent days. The Holy Father already has over one million followers on Twitter.

The Pope App

The Vatican is offering a new app that provides live streaming of papal events and video feeds from the Vatican's six webcams. "The Pope App" also will send out alerts and links to top stories coming out of the Vatican's news outlets, said Gustavo Entrala, founder and CEO of the Spanish firm that developed the free app.

The app should be available Dec. 10 for iPhone and iPad while an Android version is due out in January. Visit this article to read more:

@pontifex Pope on Twitter December 12th

Photo: Vatican Today

In addition to the direct engagement with the questions, debates and discussions of people that is facilitated by new media, the Church recognizes the importance of new media as an environment that allows to teach the truth that the Lord has passed to His Church, to listen to others, to learn about their cares and concerns, to understand who they are and for what they are searching. ... It is for this reason that it has been decided to launch the Pope's Twitter channel with a formal question and answer format. This launch is also an indication of the importance that the Church gives to listening and is a warranty of its ongoing attentiveness to the conversations, commentaries and trends that express so spontaneously and insistently the preoccupations and hopes of people".
The first tweets from the Pope's handle on Twitter will be given on 12 December, Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Initially tweets will be published with the Wednesday general audiences, although they may subsequently become more frequent. The first tweets, on 12 December, will respond to questions put to the Pope on matters of faith. The public can send questions between now and 12 December in the languages listed below. The official Papal handle is @pontifex.
In addition to English, tweets will also be published in the following languages:
Spanish @pontifex_es
Italian @pontifex_it
Portuguese @pontifex_pt
German @pontifex_de
Polish @pontifex_pl
Arabic @pontifex_ar
French @pontifex_fr
Other languages may be added in the future. Further information can be obtained at
Full Article from Vatican News