Most-viewed CNS stories for November — bishops and extraterrestrials?

What do the U.S. bishops’ general meeting and extraterrestrial aliens have in common? Nothing really, except that they were four of our five most-viewed stories on our public Web site, catholicnews.com, in November.

That the bishops’ meeting would be on our monthly top-10 list this time is no surprise. Extraterrestrials are on the list because of their gee-whiz nature. And there’s also the fact that the most popular stories on most news sites tend to come from traffic being driven from other sites, something many in our industry call the “Drudge Factor,” named for links from the popular Drudge Report.

(UPDATE: We had our own Drudge moment in 2005, and it involved — you guessed it — extraterrestrials! See Do space aliens have souls? Inquiring minds can check Jesuit’s book.

Here then is the complete list:

1. Bishop Morin calls claims against CCHD’s work ‘outrageous’ (Nov. 18)

2. Bishops OK marriage pastoral with many changes, some opposition (Nov. 18)

3. Chaplain describes ‘total chaos’ after Fort Hood shootings (Nov. 6)

4. Vatican-sponsored meeting discusses chances of extraterrestrial life (Nov. 10)

5. Vatican astronomer says if aliens exist, they may not need redemption (May 14, 2008 — it’s obvious that No. 4 on this list generated renewed interest in this year-old story.)

6. Married priests? For the Vatican, still an exception to the rule (Nov. 13)

7. Sistine Scriptures: New book underlines Bible stories behind the art (Nov. 18)

8. Cardinal Rode defends apostolic visitation of US nuns (Nov. 5)

9. Bishops approve revised directives on withdrawal of food, water (Nov. 19)

10. Pornography is ‘a sexual Katrina’ tearing men down, says speaker (Oct. 30)

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