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3 RI parishes stream Easter Mass on Internet

April 8, 2012
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PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Three Catholic parishes in Rhode Island are streaming Easter Mass and other services on the Internet, prompting some parishioners to ask if their virtual participation counts.

The Providence Journal reports ( http://bit.ly/GQcQnM) that St. Thomas More Parish in Narragansett, Holy Ghost Church in Tiverton and the Ukrainian-rite St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Woonsocket are webcasting services.

Thomas J. Tobin, Providence's Roman Catholic Bishop, says Internet streaming of services does not fulfill the obligation to attend Mass.

Still, the Vatican has said Catholics may receive an apostolic blessing from the Pope by watching him perform the blessing on television, but only if he was viewed on a live broadcast, not a taped program.

Some church leaders say online services are a tool for evangelization, helping to reach the faithful who might not otherwise attend church.

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