Image: CBAA

CNS reports that the Vatican has applied to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to secure the Internet address extension .catholic as its own.
Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, told Catholic News Service that the Vatican's application to control the top-level domain .catholic "is a recognition of how important the digital space is for the church."

Controlling the top-level domain "will be a way to authenticate the Catholic presence online," Msgr. Tighe said. The Vatican plans to allow "institutions and communities that have canonical recognition" to use the extension, "so people online -- Catholics and non-Catholics -- will know a site is authentically Catholic."

The Vatican does not plan to allow individual bloggers or private Catholics to use ".catholic," Msgr. Tighe said. Use of the domain would be limited to those with a formal canonical recognition: dioceses, parishes and other territorial church jurisdictions; religious orders and other canonically recognized communities; and Catholic institutions such as universities, schools and hospitals.
Read the rest of the report here.


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  1. Really? I hope this isn't true and find it disturbing if it is.

    Earlier this year I published a guest post on the #ChSocM blog by owner of a Catholic media company in Europe, who pointed out that these sorts of customized ICANN extensions cost at least $185,000. Here's the post: http://bit.ly/LKmAav.

  2. Even more $$$ than you imagine.

    Multiply $185,000 X 4.

    From the CNS post (linked above):

    The Vatican filed four separate applications for new domain names, seeking to control ".catholic" and its equivalent in other languages using Latin letters, as well as the equivalent of the word "Catholic" in the Cyrillic, Arabic and Chinese alphabets.

    The fee for each application was $185,000, which Msgr. Tighe said "is a lot of money, but if you think of the money you have to spend to maintain a church structure," and then consider how important the structure of the Catholic presence on the Internet is, it was a good investment.

  3. Oh great, now I feel much better! This is me, now placing my thoughts elsewhere.

  4. When I clicked on link to read rest of report, it came up NOT FOUND.


  5. Thanks for the heads-up, Rosemary - it's now fixed.


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