Churches realize they are behind the Digital Age

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    Today priests and pastors from around the country met at Villanova University to figure out how to use the Internet.

    After Pope Benedict XVI announced last month that Catholic churches should reach out to the faithful on websites with blogs, videos, and animated features, many churches wondered how exactly to do that.

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    Some churches are realizing they are woefully behind the times.

    A burgeoning industry offers churches data management services and website consultation. One consultant said some church administrators don’t know how to use word processing and spreadsheet software.

    The nuts and bolts of websites were addressed at the seminar, as well as larger issues of how Internet technology can be used by hierarchical religious leadership.

    Paul Jarzembowski is with the National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association.

    Jarzembowski: It is a clash of cultures. The question is, who’s going to blink first. Not that we’re against each other; there are two paradigms people want to live in. It’s not rejecting core values, but how you and church may have to change.

    In light of a shortage of Catholic priests across the country, website consultants say it’s more important for a priest to delegate online tasks than to learn the software himself.

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