A meeting between the US Bishops and Catholic bloggers has produced some interesting results so far.
One statistic that has been bandied around is that, in the USA, less than 5% of Catholics read Catholic blogs.
Hmm...that figure seems depressingly small....except that, in the US you have something like 77 million Catholics which means over 3.8 million of them read the blogs....can that be right?
Apply that to the UK with 5 million Catholics and you have 250,000 blog readers.
Well, all I can say is that they have not found their way to this blog.
But this meeting of minds with reference to the new communications technologies is incredibly, vitally important.
Firstly, a gold star to the US Bishops who went along with this meeting and, secondly another "well done" for
coming to terms with what is undoubtedly going to be the new means of evangelisation.
Imagine for one nano second that you are back in the 15th century and that you are witnessing the first book rolling off William Caxton's press - mass production of the written word, a new world of learning opening up for millions.
Well, multiply that impression by, say, several hundred millions and you have a crude idea of the enormity of the social media and how it may be used as a force for good.
I can imagine a world of nearly 4 million blog readers in the USA where, it has to be said, many of the blogs are of a high academic standard.
But I cannot reconcile a figure of 250,000 blog readers for the UK.
More like 2,500 I suspect. And that only goes to show that British bloggers (or, rather, readers) are a bit behind with things.
If our Bishops decided that it would be a good thing to emulate the Baltimore meeting, what format would it take?
Do many of them even know what a blog is? I suspect some might even go along with the priest that emailed me about 18 months ago stating that, in his opinion, all Catholic bloggers should be jailed.
But they would do well to look west and observe the goings on there.
The internet is a potent tool and blogging will, in the future, be a force that will bring down governments; ignore it at your peril.
As one famous American blogger, Mary De Turris Poust, put it: "Facebook is the new parish hall"
If any parish priest reading this (unlikely I know) is not already on Facebook - Carpe Diem!
A report on the US Bishop meets Blogger event is here.....