What does the Web say about the Catholic Church?
What do Catholics - and not only – want from the Web?
And which ethical
and spiritual issues are most widely discussed by Internet users?
a worldwide Catholic network - which presents itself as a “Worldwide
Catholic Network Sharing Faith Resources for those seeking Truth” - has
formed an alliance with search engine giant Google to try to find
answers to these questions.
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
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 U.S.
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
According to Luca Giuratrabocchetta, Head of
Enterprise at Google Italy, the search engine’s “collaboration with
Aleteia presents a big challenge: providing access to a significant
quantity of information and favouring interaction between a huge number
of users across the world, in an efficient, reliable and secure way.
Ever since the first meeting with Aleteia we felt we were embarking on
this mission together, making Enterprise experience and technology
(Search and Cloud) that is part of Google’s DNA, available to the
Aleteia also announced that it has joined the AdEthic
platform, a system for publishing targeted ads on Catholic websites.
The network has also launched “Porta Fidei”, its first Year of Faith app
for smart phones and tablets.
The app will give real time coverage of
Benedict XVI’s addresses and events relating to the Catholic Church
throughout the world, all year round.