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Catholic church attracts future priests using Facebook

4 September 2012 Last updated at 03:42 BST

The Diocese of Charleston in the US state of South Carolina has implemented a comprehensive social media strategy in the hope of attracting young people to the seminary, primarily targeting users of Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.

Led by Rev Jeffrey Kirby, vicar of vocations for the diocese, the aim of the plan is to encourage individuals to join the priesthood by using social media websites and mobile apps to explain what life is like for members of the clergy.

"In light of recent history of the Catholic Church in the United States with scandals, social media allows the church in a unique way to be completely transparent," Mr Kirby said.

The number of priests in the US has dropped by about a third in the past 50 years.

Produced by the BBC's Matt Danzico