We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Irish bishops turn to the Internet

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) _ Ireland’s Roman Catholic bishops are embracing the Internet as the best new way to reconnect to their flock.

Cardinal Sean Brady and Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin offer streamed-video messages on a newly launched Web site, www.catholicbishops.ie, that gives viewers the chance to read, see and hear the views and activities of Ireland’s Catholic hierarchy.

“Many church people today are slow about IT. Some seem proud to say that they will never master the techniques. But they have nothing to be proud of,” Martin said in his video homily straight to camera.

“Information technology is a true gift of God to our times, mediated through the creative genius of men and women. Not to use it, to refuse to understand it, is to reject a gift of God,” said Martin, a former Vatican diplomat who today oversees more than 1.1 million Catholics in the Irish capital.

The Web site, launched as part of this week’s national conference of the 33 bishops in Ireland, marks the latest effort by the Catholic hierarchy to modernize in the face of growing secularization in Ireland.

The country remains officially more than 85 percent Catholic, but recent polls suggest that weekly Mass attendance has fallen to all-time lows below 50 percent. Two decades ago that figure stood nearer 90 percent – before a wave of sex-abuse scandals and an economic boom rapidly eroded the church’s traditional central place in Irish life.

The Web site showcases Catholic teachings on everything from marriage to the recruitment of new priests under the slogan “Altar your life.” It has an archive of church statements, and even a video archive of famous sermons, including from Pope John Paul II’s 1979 visit to Ireland.

It also highlights that some bishops are better video bloggers than others.

Martin, renowned as a smooth communicator, delivers his video comments conversationally. But Brady delivers his words stiffly and slowly with his head tilted back, apparently to see the script through his bifocals.


On the Net:

Brady video welcome, http://tinyurl.com/3madfa

Diocese map, http://www.catholicbishops.ie/archdioceses-and-dioceses/view-map

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus the digital magazine, extensive archive, ad-free web experience, and discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events.

    See details+

    Print + Digital Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

    Technology Review PDF magazine archive, including articles, images, and covers dating back to 1899

    10% Discount to MIT Technology Review events and MIT Press

    Ad-free website experience

You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.