The Internet will host the parish community of the future, according to Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
"Social media is redefining how we understand local community," he said.
"The digital parish will be where people cluster around shared interests and shared ideas."
Tighe made the comments in a keynote address at the sixth annual Catholic New Media Conference held at the Archdiocese of Boston's Pastoral Center in Braintree, Mass.
He stressed the importance of Catholics bringing their faith to the digital arena, a place where people are spending a greater portion of their lives.
According to data compiled by eMarketer in August, the average American adult spends more than five hours online every day.