After 15 years in business, it has 3,000 marriages under its belt.

“It’s unrealistic for a single Catholic to assume they can meet their future spouse within their local faith community,” said Ave Maria founder Anthony Buono.

The site also is the only one of these sites that offers content in Spanish as Catolicos

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Advantages and Disadvantages Such sites pair people who would otherwise not meet due to distance or other circumstances, said Catholic Match CEO Brian Barcaro.

One match involved a man stationed on a submarine and a nurse on a nearly all-female staff in a neonatal unit.

“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.

“The other reality is that most Catholics in America do not believe 100% of the teachings of the Catholic Church.” Devout singles, he said, are in the minority in their community on issues like contraception, and thus they need a good way to find other like-minded faithful.

Ave Maria Singles and Catholic Match connect people with shared values and beliefs, their founders say.

After 10 months of in-person dating, they married in 2005.

Over roughly the last decade, online dating has gone from stigma to social norm.

He attributes the decline to fewer people valuing marriage.

Control and Commitment Problems Even Catholics who intend marriage may delay it, Buono said.

Of course not; it is about establishing and restoring balance.” With dating sites, the answer is not to “reject the tool,” but to educate people in how to properly use it, Barcaro said.