The Vatican is set to control a new internet extension, .catholic. Catholic News Service reports:

The Vatican is in line to control the new Internet address extension ".catholic" and decide who is allowed to use it.


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a nonprofit corporation that coordinates the assignment of Internet domain names and addresses around the world, announced the Vatican's formal application June 13 in London.

The corporation is overseeing a huge expansion in the number of Internet extensions beyond the standard .com, .org., .edu and .gov. The extensions formally are known as generic top-level domains. The assignment of country-code top-level domains, like the Vatican's own .va, will not be affected by the change.

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."

Read the full story here. I wonder if .catholic will become an informal marker of which organizations are authentically Catholic, and which aren’t? Do you think this extension will help the church’s digital evangelism efforts, or further segment them? Might it help separate the digital wheat from the chaff?

Michael J. O’Loughlin    

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Thomas Farrell
5 years 11 months ago
I'm not very tech savvy. So I have some questions. If America Magazine were to request the extension .catholic, would America Magazine automatically have to give up the extension .org? Or could America Magazine have one Internet address with the extension .catholic and another Internet address .org for the same website?
Jim McCrea
5 years 11 months ago
There are 3 very good reasons not to adopt  .catholic: control, censorship and Vatican nonsense.

Besides, who is some unknown, anonymous clerical bureaucrat (most likely Opus Dei or a reformed LC) to decide what/who is "Catholic" or not when it comes to the blogosphere?
5 years 11 months ago
According to the story, the Vatican had to pay $185,000 to apply for the control of a domain name no one else wanted. Seems like a lot of money for air. Of course theoretical value is already imputed, and some of these domains will offer the chance of huge profits. And the market for domain names will no doubt attract traders in Hong Kong, Frankfurt, London and New York, and out of all of this will come billions of dollars. And can you spell b-u-b-b-l-e?

I may be perversely pessimistic (I usually am, but things usually turn out the way I fear), but I see something else coming for which the poor will have to pay and be blamed for, like derivatives markets. If I am right, the Vatican is now getting a taste of the ambiguity of modern economics. Obviously it has to participate lest  the Pius X boys control ".catholic." But participation probably ultimately involves cooperation with yet another economic swindle against the poor. Well, we lay people face those kinds of choices all the time.
John Barbieri
5 years 11 months ago
So the Vatican owns and controls ''.catholic''.
Just as EWTN brings distorted reporting to television, ''.catholic'' can bring distorted reporting to the internet.
Marie Rehbein
5 years 11 months ago
So, does this mean that the word catholic is being redefined?  In a perfect world, they would have to use .Catholic and not be allowed to use .catholic.
David Pasinski
5 years 11 months ago
I hope this doesn't happen as it will become another way of "branding" of  what is  "catholic" and serves as an internet nihil obstat and imprimatur under Vatican control. It is an intertsting paradox with the bishops saying that the this adminisration- and probably there are similar fights throughout the world - to define or describe what is "catholic" and now they would jump into that with a new office for internet branding??? What a disaster and theological and censoring nightmare! 
Robert Dean
5 years 11 months ago
Is there a need to ensure separation of church and Internet?
Gerelyn Hollingsworth
5 years 11 months ago
America's editors could grab ''.officialCatholic'' or ''.realCatholic'' or ''.Christian'' or ''.CatholicChurch'' or ''.RomanCatholic'' or ''.tradtionalCatholic'' or ''.VaticanIICatholic'' or ''.authenticCatholic'', or ''.liberalCatholic'', etc.

ed gleason
5 years 11 months ago
Signing on to .catholic seems like sending your bank number to your Nigerian 'friend' who promises a wonderful Christian relationship..... use delete  
Beth Cioffoletti
5 years 11 months ago
response to Thomas (#9) ... you can have multiple domain names direct to the same web site.  So ... and could both be owned by America Magazine, and both direct to the same website.
J Cosgrove
5 years 11 months ago
''So I have some questions. If America Magazine were to request the extension .catholic, would America Magazine automatically have to give up the extension .org?''

Your can have as many as you want, .com, .net, .org, .us, etc.  My business has several and for a few I own the .com, org and .net for all the designations.  You just have to register it if it is not being used.

This is an interesting thing the Vatican is doing.  All the negative responders come out here but it is probably a good thing and we should wait and see where it leads.
David Pasinski
5 years 11 months ago
Why is it a good thing?
Thomas Farrell
5 years 11 months ago
Thanks for the clarifications about extensions.

I admit that I am not up to speed on this kind of stuff.
J Cosgrove
5 years 11 months ago
Why is it a good thing?''

Why wouldn't it be?  We should wait and see to find out how it is used.  If you do not believe in the Church and its teachings, then so be it, one can go where ever one wants and adhere ot whatever one wants to.  There are certainly enough options out there.  So why not have a place where one can find the positions of the Church.

Let's see how it is used and I am sure the Vatican will monitor that too and it can change over time.
Tim O'Leary
5 years 11 months ago
The Vatican is right to do this. Wasn't it a bold move for a Jesuit journal to grab the name America way back when they were orthodox?

Maybe, America (the journal, not the jurisdiction) should have 2 sites: one for contrarian Catholics (.con) and one for committed Catholics (.com). it might improve truth-in-advertising. I wonder which one would grow faster?
Cody Serra
5 years 11 months ago
Without reading any of the above comments, (I'll read them later), my first thought to the question proposed in the articel is that the catholic extension will further divide us. Not necessarily separating "the wheat from the chaff" in the digital world.
There are too many blogs whose identity can be easily concealed.

The Vatican, I believe, will not be able to control Catholicism through the digital world. Not even national goverments, CIA, FBI, the Pentagon, Wall Street, etc. can totally manage their security controls.

In the general marketplace, maybe different extensions will serve some industries or competition, or create a digital mess that not even Google will be able to handle.


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