A piece of news that might have passed you buy a couple of weeks ago is that the Vatican has secured control of the .catholic domain name. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which coordinates the assignment of Internet domain names and addresses around the world, is rolling out a new generation of new domain names such as .party and .xbox, among others. See the video below to see what TLGD’s (Top Level Generic Domains ) were available
I was hoping that I could be rebrand this blog – but I found out that the Vatican does not plan to allow individual bloggers or private Catholics to use “.catholic,”. The domain will 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. Paul Tighe who is the priest in charge of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication says that .catholic will promote “a more cohesive and organized presence” of the church online, “so the recognized structure of the church can be mirrored in the digital space,”.
The politics behind ‘naming the internet is fascinating. Saudi Arabia has entered an objection to the Vatican’s bid for a new “.catholic” internet domain. In an appeal to ICANN, Saudi officials argued that the Vatican “cannot demonstrate that it possesses a monopoly over the term ‘Catholic.’” The information-technology commission of the Islamic kingdom claimed that other Christian groups, including the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches, also use the term “Catholic.” It wasn’t a specific attack on the Catholic church as the Saudi commission sent ICANN over 150 objections to proposed internet domain names, for a variety of reasons. It objected to any group being put in charge of web addresses based on religious terms. It complained about bids to create top-level domains for .islam, .halal and .ummah on similar grounds.They also made moral complaints about an array of planned new suffixes. It objected to .gay because it “will be offensive” to societies where homosexuality is “contrary to their culture, morality or religion”, to .tattoo as tattooing is prohibited in Islam and Judaism and to .bar on grounds that because of its association with alcohol the term.