In contrast to secular sites like OKCupid.com, which offers quizzes on sexual habits and histories, Catholic sites have questionnaires on user’s beliefs about contraception, confession, the Eucharist and papal infallibility.Users are encouraged to elaborate about faith: On Catholic Match, they can list favorite saints and specify liturgical preferences.
“I think one of the biggest problems or dangers is that of treating another human being as something you can ‘shop for’ based on a list of traits and qualities,” West said.
“The great dignity of being human is that every human person is incomparable, totally unique and unrepeatable.
“Simply because a tool can be abused does not mean the tool itself actually promotes a certain kind of behavior.” Instead, the issue relates to a consumeristic culture, Barcaro said.
“We live in an environment where we are bombarded with choices,” Barcaro said.
Ann Clegg recalled one man who sent her four to five messages each day with riddles and puzzles.
When questioned, he admitted to “basically playing the odds by sending out messages to 75 or more women at a time,” she said.
Today, the most often-cited meeting place for singles (21%) is online, according to a survey published in last year.
In terms of Catholic sites, Catholic Match says it has served almost 1 million people since its founding in 1999.
Three other Catholic sites — Ave Maria Singles.com, Catholic and Catholic (Catholic Mingle is part of the Christian Mingle conglomerate (aka Spark Network) that operates other sites for Jewish and Mormon singles) — all have had under 500,000 visitors, according to data.
According to David Nevarez of Catholic Singles.com, the site has more than 200,000 active members.