The Vatican has announced that it wants to create a “.catholic” domain name as a way of validating official Catholic institutions online – just one day after rolling out a major shift in its communications strategy.
“Our idea is that those communities that make up the Church will be able to apply to have this ‘dot catholic’ web address as a way of authenticating their presence in the web space,” said Monsignor Paul Tighe, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, in an interview with Vatican Radio.
The online suffix would be granted by the Vatican to Catholic bodies across the world so that internet users “can be certain that it’s coming from a genuinely Catholic source,” he said.
One has to wonder if the Holy See is willing, or able, to police the content that is uploaded on sites using this domain to make sure it’s “genuinely Catholic.”
If experience here in the U.S. is any indication – where RealCatholicTV gets harassed into dropping the name “Catholic” and yet National Catholic Reporter goes its merry heretical way, I’m not very confident. Maybe the Holy See will be very discriminating about who gets to use the domain, but let’s be honest – there’s little to no chance that access will be withheld from those religious orders that habitually oppose the Magisterium.