New internet domain: .catholic

This is interesting.  From the Pontifical Council for Social Communications:

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — 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.”

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.

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.

[...]

Read the rest there.

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29 Responses to New internet domain: .catholic

  1. Ezra says:

    Does this mean that American universities “in the Jesuit tradition” and suchlike will be getting “.catholic” domains? Could be very interesting – and perhaps rather depressing – to see how carefully use is vetted.

  2. Bea says:

    I wonder, will Notre Dame, Catholic University and Georgetown qualify?
    LCWR?
    Certain Dioceses (that shall remain nameless)?
    It sounds like a good idea but a can of worms may ensue.
    May the early birds (certain cardinals) be watchful and catch these worms.

  3. dnicoll says:

    “Use of the domain would be limited to those with a formal canonical recognition”

    So that will be another rod for the MagesteriumOfNuns.catholic ;-)

  4. Dismas says:

    Very Cool! The beginning of internet nihil obstat and imprimatur? What a useful tool this could become, I remember all the chatter amongst Catholic bloggers a year or so ago.

  5. pseudomodo says:

    I don’t mind the Jesuit universities using the name catholic as a domain name provided it is a small c.

  6. Taking Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Sallus into account, why don’t we make a move to control .Christian ? It would be totally absurd if some heretics get that instead of us and then use it to say Catholics aren’t Christians but protestants are ( which would be the exact opposite of the truth).

  7. Timbot2000 says:

    Chinese does not have an alphabet;) (pedant mode off)

  8. SegoLily says:

    This seems a very hypertension inducing prospect. I can only imagine who will be granted the .catholic domain, and it ain’t pretty.

  9. Johnno says:

    Good! It’s much needed, but it’ll be a failure if they allow anyone with ‘canonical status’, including heretical universities, groups, etc. to use it. This should be done and monitored on a case by case basis. Star small and expand to those deemed necessary after thorough research. Bu knowing how politics are always at play, and for fear of ‘offending’ many, I fear the rules will be lax and it’ll only lead to more confusion and in-fighting.

  10. TC says:

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

    I hope this means they are lining up the necessary funding to buy the domain. I’m sure various atheist organisations might like to own dot-catholic.

    Btw, are .holy and .apostolic also available?

  11. Dr. K says:

    The LCWR may have to settle for: http://www.lcwr.unitarian

  12. catholicmidwest says:

    They won’t end up with anything more believable than they have now, simply because a good part of the nonsense that floods the net in Catholic circles comes from organizations that have grand-fathered-out canonical approval left over from the glory days of the early-to-mid 20th century. The LCWR is one of these organizations but there are many more.

    On the other hand, maybe it will highlight for the Holy See where some of the egregiously corporate and organized dissent is coming from. That would be a good thing if they’re willing to observe what they see.

  13. Imrahil says:

    Interesting. Fine, probably. If it passes through.

    Would be even finer if it would include individuals and bloggers. But I see that the necessary nihil obstating and imprimaturing, rather permanently, would cost too much work that can be spent on other things better, probably. But still…

    Dear @quomodocumque, (great name, however) on which would be the exact opposite of the truth you would be wrong, which is why canon law makes a distinction between apostasy and mere heresy.

  14. J Kusske says:

    Beat me to it, Timbot, though Bo Po Mo Fo isn’t too far off as a syllabary. I hope the Vatican registered that too. Which leads me to wonder how the mainland authorities will deal with this; will they automatically block the new official websites since they’re beyond their control, block some on a case-by-case basis, or leave open access? Knowing them, I’d guess the first or possibly second, not third, but we’ll see.

  15. catholicmidwest says:

    Example: http://press.georgetown.edu/book/georgetown/loyal-dissent

    Do you think that this should carry a label saying it’s specifically approved as a “Catholic” page? How about this one?

    http://www.lorettocommunity.org/loretto-earth-network/

    There are plenty more where those came from.

  16. haribo says:

    …the Vatican’s application to control the top-level domain .catholic “is a recognition of how important the digital space is for the church.”

    It also makes the Vatican look out of touch, since extensions aren’t usually more than a few letters long. .edu instead of .education, .org instead of .organization. “.cath” would have been a more appropriate choice.

  17. catholicmidwest says:

    Here’s a statement of support for Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ, who wrote “She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse.” It’s on the website of a women’s congregation that has pontifical right approval and therefore ought to be eligible for that [dot] catholic designation according to the rules I’m seeing.
    http://www.csjoseph.org/newsroom_federation_news.aspx

    Right below it is a link to the NC Reporter article which stirs the pot even more.

  18. ghp95134 says:

    Since the Japanese use romaji for urls vice kanji, I suggest “katorikku” be likewise copyrighted.
    E.g.: http://www.rinku.zaq.ne.jp/sano-katorikku/

    I’ll waive my usual consultation fee; this one’s for Sonny Bono … you know: “Pro Bono.”

    –Guy

  19. Jerry says:

    re: haribo – “It also makes the Vatican look out of touch, since extensions aren’t usually more than a few letters long”

    The trend is changing. I believe .museum already exist. Google has applied for .android, .channel, .youtube, .hangout, .family (among others). Other new applications include .autoinsurance, .attorney, .antivirus, .bananarepublic (by The Gap),

    For those interested, the full list (including the non-Latin requests) may be found here (be forewarned – the page take a while to load).

  20. jasoncpetty says:

    Catholic Answers would be catholic.catholic. Sweet!

    Except that they probably wouldn’t qualify since they don’t advocate for a seamless garment approach to our Faith.

  21. Jerry says:

    I was going to add…

    This is perhaps the first time the Vatican is on the leading edge of a trend!

  22. Jerry says:

    Jason – Catholic Answers wouldn’t qualify since it does not have canonical recognition.

    re: Dismas – “The beginning of internet nihil obstat and imprimatur?”

    Not really, as the information is not being validated, only whether the source is officially recognized by the Church. Thus, the LCWR would qualify — or at least qualify for consideration — while Catholic Answers, for example, would not. EWTN would be an interesting case. If it is owned by Mother Angelica’s order, it might qualify.

  23. frjim4321 says:

    Wonder if .catholic and the extensions in the other languages will map to each other or if they will be completely independent.

    It would seem like a can of worms if they don’t come up with some conventions such as the k-12 domains. However if a logical nomenclature would be utilized this could be extremely helpful.

    For instance …. holynamecathedral.chi.us.catholic would be reasonable, or stpeterparish.eri.us.catholic … without conventional syntax this won’t be very helpful…

    Even if these address point to some other parish website the advantage of knowing any parish website would be extremely beneficial.

  24. frjim4321 says:

    oh yeah, if the only reason for doing this is to indicate some kind of digital nihil obstat they are really biting off way more than they can chew … policing and maintaining something like that would be impossible … regulating content and/or providing and then retracting an address? that would be an administrative nightmare

  25. Dismas says:

    Our church thinks in decades and centuries. The internet will most likely be around for a long time, it’s technology morphing and changing rapidly. Catholic Cyber Domain (CCD) is exciting stuff.

  26. wmeyer says:

    More interesting than the mechanics of potential problems is the question whether this signals an awakening in Rome to the importance of the Internet in our daily lives. The Church has yet to make very good use of the medium.

  27. acardnal says:

    Vatican website is a terribly designed site! NOT user friendly at all. Search engine poor.

  28. frjim4321 says:

    More interesting than the mechanics of potential problems is the question whether this signals an awakening in Rome to the importance of the Internet in our daily lives. The Church has yet to make very good use of the medium.

    Not really. The two issues are inextricably intertwined. It doesn’t matter how important the vatican thinks the internet is if they bungle the technical issues.

  29. PostCatholic says:

    Wonder how other churches will feel about it–the Old Catholics, for instance.

    The LCWR may have to settle for: http://www.lcwr.unitarian

    So long as a congregation (not individuals) pledges its support and fidelity to the seven principles, they’d be be welcome. The Unitarian Universalist Association has several member congregations which are dual-affiliated with another body (the UCC and the Ethical Society movement are two I can remember). That said, I have a hard time imagining why the UUA would want to control a top level domain name.