Cardinal Renato Martino, the papal aide who angered Israel and Jews by comparing Gaza to a “big concentration camp” is no novice at being outspoken or controversial. The southern Italian cardinal speaks his mind, loves to talk and sometimes has had to pay the price. Martino, head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (effectively its justice minister), has a laundry list of people and governments with whom he has clashed. But that hasn’t stopped him.
Catholic Google has a catchy name, a funny logo and a location near one of the most Catholic places on Earth, the pilgrimage town of Lourdes in southwestern France. After only three weeks on the web, it has seen its user stats grow to about 16,000 visits a day. But the site that describes itself as“the best way for good Catholics to surf the web” may be in for a rebaptism. Its webmaster has asked Google if it has any objections to the name and is waiting for a reply.
So now there’s Catholic Google*, a search engine that calls itself “the best way for good Catholics to surf the web”, It claims that “it produces results from all over the internet with more weighting given to Catholic websites and eliminates the vast majority of unsavoury content, such as pornography”.
The sentencing of an Afghan journalist to 20 years in jail for distributing an Internet article that said the Prophet Mohammad had ignored the rights of women has raised questions about freedom of expression and possibly the rising influence of hardline Islamists in war-ravaged Afghanistan. But is there politics at play here as well?
If a Catholic bishop wants to warn youngsters about moral dangers lurking on the Internet, where should he go to get his message across? YouTube, of course. That’s what Bishop Peter Ingham of Wollongong , in New South Wales in Australia, has done. The four-minute clip accompanies a pastoral letter just issued by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference on the same subject.