[UPDATED] Boston Globe is launching a Pope Francis/Catholic Church site next month

The Boston Globe plans a late summer launch for its website devoted to Pope Francis and the Catholic Church. “Don’t think of this site as the place you go to buy statues you bury in the backyard,” says Globe CEO Mike Sheehan. “It’s going to be news and analysis of all things Catholic.”

Attendance is 14 percent in the Archdiocese of Boston, but there is a renewed interest in what’s going on in the Catholic Church. So there’s a real opportunity for us to do well with this. I look every day at what is being read digitally, and whatever [Globe religion reporter and Vatican expert] John Allen writes is always in the top five, which means it’s relevant to people here but also people from around the country are coming in to read it, too.

Sheehan predicts the new site “will have a global audience. There’s a natural audience for it.”

* Mr. Sunshine: Boston Globe’s CEO is incredibly optimistic (commonwealthmagazine.org)

Update: The Globe has announced the new website’s staff. The release is after the jump.

Boston Globe release
Teresa Hanafin, the editor of the Boston Globe’s new standalone website dedicated to Catholicism, which is expected to launch by early September, announced her new team today.

“As you know, we hired John L. Allen Jr., the premier Vatican reporter in the country, if not the world, earlier this year from the National Catholic Reporter. His insightful reporting and analysis will be supplemented by on-the-ground event coverage by correspondent Ines San Martin, an engaging Argentinean journalist who has moved to Rome and just finished intense immersion in an Italian language course,” Hanafin said.

San Martin has a BA in social communications and journalism and a master’s degree in communication, both from Universidad Austral in Buenos Aires. She worked as a reporter and editor for Valores Religiosos, managed the international press office for World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, and was the community/social media manager, content director, and graphic designer for Conta con Nosotros.

Michael O’Loughlin has been hired as the site’s national reporter. O’Loughlin has local roots and a background in religion writing. He grew up in Dracut, Massachusetts, and graduated from St. Anselm College in New Hampshire and Yale Divinity School. He has written for America, National Catholic Reporter, Foreign Policy, The Advocate, and the Religion News Service, and is writing a book on the Catholic Church and millennials, to be published by Paulist Press in the fall of 2015. He has appeared on Fox News and MSNBC.

Christina Reinwald, a 2013 Emerson graduate who has worked at Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com for three years, has been hired as web producer. Reinwald has written for and produced the online Business section, and has played a key role in social media efforts for both Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com.