The Pope has called on ICANN to keep religion out of the domain name system.
The Vatican warned the internet address-making body of the “perils” of allowing new internet domains such as “.catholic, .anglican, .orthodox, .hindu, .islam, .muslim, [and] .buddhist”.
ICANN, frequently accused of mission creep, could find itself having to decide who gets to represent an entire religion on the internet, His Holiness pointed out, in a letter from Monsignor Carlo Maria Polvani.
Religion-themed domains could provoke “bitter disputes” that would force ICANN into “recognizing to a particular group or to a specific organization the legitimacy to represent a given religious tradition,” Polvani told outgoing ICANN chief Paul Twomey.[reference]
I agree this would be a bad idea, but I could think of a couple of TLD’s (Top Level Domain) I would like to see enforced. The National Catholic Reporter could go from natcath.com to natcath.heretic – now that would be a good TLD. Or how about nyt.bias?
Though if there was a .catholic TLD the only way I would like to see it is if the Vatican had control of it. It would be way cool as a kind of web site imprimatur. Or maybe if the local ordinary based on where the website is headquartered had control like they do with the use of the term “Catholic” according to canon law. Though too many groups use the word Catholic without permission of the local ordinary as it is.
Dreaming, I would like to see the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith be the body to review requests for a .Catholic TLD. Even better I would love to be the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Website Inquisition. Whenever I go to a new Catholic site I already check it for obedience and orthodoxy. I could call article writers/bloggers to Rome to have them explain to me how their post was in conformity to Catholic truth. Though I guess I would need a pretty big team for such a task and I would surely nominate Dale Price, Thomas Peters, and the Archbold brothers at Catholic Minority Report along with others. I would also need a good team of theologians. I can usually tell when something is hinky, I would just need major help on explaining why it is hinky. Like the CDF we would not be a congregation that just slams down people, we would give them plenty of time to respond as Ricky Ricardo would say “You got some ‘splainin’ to do”. The mission of the “Sacred Congregation of the Website Inquisition” would be to defend the Church from heresy promulgated via sites/blogs calling themselves Catholic. Maybe even for serious errors we could get to Pope to write about it. Though we would need a new category of Papal Document besides Apostolic Letter, Bull, Encyclical, etc. The Papal Fisk – now that would be awesome. Well I can dream can’t I?