ChurchPOP founder, Brantly Millegan, has granted his first Australian interview with Catholic Outlook journalist, Jordan Grantham.
ChurchPOP is an exciting Catholic content website, with millions of monthly visitors. The content is “Christian fun, humor, and inspiration,” designed for online social media and sharing, often going ‘viral’.
Brantly Millegan, ChurchPOP founder, has had a quirky and unique life in his effort to follow Christ. A fan of beards and ‘bitcoin’ – online crypto-currency – Brantly could be described as a Catholic Hipster, if a new book’s broad definition on the subject is to be believed.
Brantly explained his inspiration for this highly successful Catholic media enterprise to Catholic Outlook.
“I had some experience with online publishing and I thought there was a market for a ‘Catholic Buzzfeed’ kind of website, so I started one,” Brantly said.
For years Brantly was balancing commitments to his growing young family, managing the team at ChurchPOP and study for a PhD.
“It’s a lot of work! But it’s a great life and I’m very blessed,” he said.
The incredible growth of ChurchPOP has sidelined studies for the time being. “I actually left my PhD work last fall because ChurchPOP has grown so much.”
“A year and a half ago ChurchPOP was only me running the English website; today, ChurchPOP is a team of eight people publishing in four languages on several platforms.”
“Our growth can be attributed to our support from EWTN, which acquired ChurchPOP about two years ago.”
ChurchPOP has sections for articles, lists, amusing quizzes and more, including infographics, comics, in English as well as publishing in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian editions. It is very active on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.
Top ChurchPOP posts include:
Brantly’s engagement with popular culture and online media is an effort to build up the Catholic faith to which he and his wife Krista are converts.
“Creating media that reflects our Catholic faith and values is very important for building a healthy culture.”
Brantly recorded his and his wife Krista’s conversion to Catholicism on the blog ‘Young, Evangelical and Catholic’ which began while the young fiancées were planning to marry at the start of their final year at prominent evangelical university, Wheaton College.
The responsible young couple were budgeting their insurance, financial aid, housing and other details for their future. They did not want to have children immediately, so they began researching contraception.
Brantly became uneasy and sometimes disgusted with the different contraceptive methods they learned about. Introducing foreign objects into their most intimate expression of love for each other seemed wrong to Brantly.
In his research, Brantly began reading Humanae Vitae, the papal encyclical on the regulation of birth, which represents the continuous teaching of the Church about contraception and the goodness and beauty of marital love open to life.
Still an evangelical Protestant at the time, Brantly came to realise that Humanae Vitae represented continuous Christian teaching against contraception before Anglicanism’s 1930 Lambeth Conference, which changed Anglicanism’s teaching on contraception.
The persuasive arguments against contraception shocked Brantly, especially because of how much he agreed with them. This began a transformation of how Krista and Brantly viewed children – now as a fruit of their uninhibited love.
When Brantly and Krista did not conceive on their honeymoon, they “were genuinely disappointed: our love had not borne fruit as we wished it would and as it was naturally ordered to do,” Brantly wrote on the blog.
“And our first child was born just two weeks after graduation,” Brantly said.
“Getting married and starting a family while I was still pretty young have been two of the best decisions of my life,” he said.
Read more about Brantly and Krista’s conversion story here.
Brantly’s focus on the relationship between technology and society is clear from his critique of contraceptive technologies and use of online technology for ChurchPOP to engage society. He also has a keen interest in cryptocurrency, which he believes could be as important as the internet.
“I’m very interested in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, especially Ethereum. I think it has the potential to be as important as the World Wide Web,” he said.
“I think brands, including Catholic brands, should consider protecting themselves by securing their name on the Ethereum Name Service.”
While it is difficult to image the future of society and technology, Brantly will be keeping a keen eye on the moral and social implications of technology and changing those implications for the better with his generous, idealistic and courageous personal mission.