back to article Bishop calls for Priests 2.0 to evangelise on the net

A French Bishop has called for the Vatican to unleash a cadre of crack Web 2.0 trained priests to push the Church of Rome's message on the internet. The call to spiritual cyberarms came from Monsignor Jean-Michel Di Falco, the Bishop of Gap, in France, at the opening of a Vatican conference on the internet this week. Di Falco …


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  1. Ian Ferguson
    Paris Hilton

    Zap and Clicker era?

    What in the name of our good lady is Zap and Clicker?

  2. Hollerith 1

    Gawd bless'em

    Let them have a go. The difference between this and, say, the early Spanish colonies, where the Jesuits had a literally captive audience, is that they can't torture or punish those who refuse to listen to their message.

  3. Flugal

    Excellent idea

    Maybe if enough people do it, the invisible sky fairy will start to exist.

  4. Jim Carter


    Brings up a whole new meaning to "I put on my robe and wizard hat"


    I'll get me coat.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    I'm sure there's an app for that

    and we probably need the GodBlock plugin for FF3 as well...

  6. No, I will not fix your computer

    Ooooooo..... yes

    A perminant record of sky fairy musings on the net? the polythiestic catholic church with it's demi god saints will really be putting itself up for ridicule (in the same way as when any priest says anything), this is a good thing not only for this time but for the titlation of future generations who will look back and say "people really believed this tosh?".

  7. Christoph

    What, more of the sods?

    I already get accosted by loonies in the street telling me that if I don't do what they say then their invisible friend will torture me.

    And they've been ranting on the net for years. So now they're sending even more nutters in?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Are they going to start invading the Web2.0 haunts of the youth in this campaign? I can't see a problem with Catholic priests befriending children on the Internet. Oh wait.....

  9. Spleen

    Zap and clicker??

    I was about to be the nth person to voice their bemusement at the "zap and clicker era", which sounds like it's come straight from a Cosby-style mumble about young kids with the zapping and clicking and the hipping and the hopping.

    Then I remembered that as stupid as the phrase "zap and clicker" is, it doesn't carry even a tenth of the multi-layered stupidity of words like "transubstantiation" or "trinitarianism", so it seems a bit pointless to say it.

  10. Paul 4

    @By No, I will not fix your computer & Flugal

    Oh do shut up. If you have a point make it, if not please just stop making stupid comments about other peoples deeply held faith. Its not big and its not clever. Its just bullying.

  11. TeeCee Gold badge

    Cut out the middle man.

    Can't they just drop God an invite to sign up for a Twitter account?

    Although: "@God: Taking a personal day for a shit, shower and shave after creating new Universe" doesn't quite have the poetic majesty of the long version somehow.

  12. Geoff Mackenzie

    @Paul 4

    Ridicule is a reasonable response to idiotic beliefs.

  13. Adam Oellermann
    Thumb Up

    @Geoff Mackenzie

    When those with the "idiotic beliefs" have made an extensive prima facie case for Christianity which is actually accepted by ~33% of the world's population (vs atheists ~2.5%), ridicule suggests you are so unsure of your own position that you are unwilling to enter the discourse. That, or you're secretly afraid that the God people are so much smarter than you that you'll lose the debate regardless of any truth which might be in your position.

    Ridicule away, then, it evangelically proves the paucity of your argument.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    We must fight back!

    I propose the Flying Spaghetti Monster 2.0, or iFSM

    It's only fair(y)

  15. Jemma

    @ Adam Ollerman

    When I live in a country that has 7% population registered as IesusBotherers I hardly think they are in the majority... And since I know the history of them and their current charm isnt much greater than it was circa 1086CE I think I would rather they werent polluting the interwebs with PanzerPopes current rantings...

    Right now I am on his deathlist at least 3 times (...hmmm, better make that 4...) - once for a medical condition I cant help, once for my beliefs which are pretty much described as Cynical Gaia-ism, once for being lesbian, and at least once for believing that abortion is a right for any woman - but then its a right for a child to be loved and wanted....

    So you'll forgive me if I go dancing round the place ecstatically if within my life time the Christian Church and all the curtain-peepers, homophobes, kiddie fiddlers and, to misquote south park, science knows who else finally give up and die.

    Oh.. and evangelise this ... which of all the religions of the book... (namely, just so we are on the same chapter:verse, Islam, Judaism and Christianity)... has murdered the most in the name of religion.... clue:- it wasnt the Jews and it wasnt Islam...

    ...stick that in yer censer and smoke it...!

    ...must not quote southpark ep 608 .... must not... must not!

  16. Adam Oellermann


    My apologies for getting you so worked up. You appear not to have read my comment before replying to it, though: I do not insist at all that you dance ecstatically anywhere. I was merely responding to the outrageous suggestion that it is OK to respond in mere ridicule to a strong argument that you happen to dislike.

    To widen the scope of your "evangelise this" question: which of all the religions has murdered the most? I think you'll find the correct answer is "atheist secular humanism". Certainly Hitler and Stalin each managed more murders in a short period of time that the monotheist religions combined have wrought in millennia.

    The remainder of your ad hominem arguments about "PanzerPope", "kiddie fiddlers" and "my censer" I will simply allow as illuminations of my previous point. Keep up the good work!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jesus wants you!

    I look forward to the new Zappier and Clickier website with a host (holy of course) of 'down wiv da kidz' flash games designed to illustrate the health risks from masturbation and the direct connection between condoms and hellfire.

    "Sessions include Young People and the Internet..."

    Yes, 'get 'em while they're young' does seem to be a motto of the catholic church.

  18. Mithvetr

    @ Jemma

    Your post strongly suggests that you've had some bad experiences at the hands of Christians. If so, then I'm sorry about it. But that doesn't mean that everyone's out to get you, and it doesn't mean that your comment here is anything other than blinkered prejudice and hatred.

    Every religion has its share of overzealous, bigoted nutcases. Every single one. And before anyone jumps on that as proof that religion is, after all, inherently evil, bear in mind that 'secular humanism' has a fair few, too. In fact, truth be told, *any* strongly held belief system(*) - religious, political, philosophical, artistic, sporting - will have at least a few people who take it to extremes. Myself, I'm pagan. But the fact that Christianity has always had rather a downer on paganism doesn't concern me in the slightest. Nor does the fact that it supposedly disapproves of various other aspects of my life. Why should it? The rules of Christianity only apply to Christians. "His deathlist" - and I'm assuming that by 'he' you mean Jesus - can be of relevance only to those who believe in him as the judge of mankind. Sure, when a Christian tries to force me to comply with their rules, then I'll resist them fiercely. But I prefer to fight battles only when there's a battle to fight.

    Most of the Christians I've actually met - and I mean real-life 'met', rather than just ranting on the Internet - have been perfectly decent, accepting, tolerant people who would no more demand that I worship their God than run naked down the high street. They've welcomed me into their homes, and on the few occasions I've had cause to enter a church, they've been entirely welcoming there, too - even knowing that, by their standards at least, I'm a 'lost soul'. I've never been preached at, I've never been leaned on to join up, and on the couple of times any of them have even discussed it with me, I've known that their words came from a genuine concern for my immortal soul: a concern I appreciated very much.

    *Those* are the people upon whose behaviour I prefer to base my judgement of Christianity; just as I judge Islam by the few Muslims I've met, none of whom - despite the hysterical media's bogeyman portrayal - showed the slightest sign of wanting to blow me up or subject me to Shariah law.

    You said: "So you'll forgive me if I go dancing round the place ecstatically if within my life time the Christian Church and all the curtain-peepers, homophobes, kiddie fiddlers and, to misquote south park, science knows who else finally give up and die."

    Well, it's not for me to forgive you or not; but if you're suggesting that I should in some way approve of your desire to see Christians dead, then I'd sooner not. As for science, many who like to imagine that their anti-religious outlook is somehow more morally enlightened and intellectually sophisticated will appeal to science of some form, implying that it's fundamentally incompatible with religious belief. This is a fallacy. While certain beliefs of certain religions are contradicted by scientific understanding (for example the 'Young Earth' belief specific to a certain branch of Christian creationism), as any honest scientist will tell you, science simply does not address the question of whether there is any form of divine power in the Universe. For the very reason that so many pre-emptively reject the idea - there is no way to test the hypothesis - this is a question that science cannot and does not try to answer. But science does not support, much less require, the sort of prejudice you show here. Perhaps your own experiences and feelings do demand it, but that's unlikely the fault of Christianity as a whole, given that there are very few beliefs universal to all Christians - save possibly the idea that Jesus was the son of God (and even there I'd hesitate to make too many assumptions).


    (* Yes, yes - I know Atheism Isn't A Belief System, even though it involves making a firm statement about something on which empirical science offers no evidence or opinion. And yes, I know all the arguments about burden of proof and yadda yadda yadda. Still, the point remains that even atheism has its angry fanatics.)

  19. Tom Mason


    Even if what you say about murders committed in the name of religion is true (which is debatable, although what is undeniable and regrettable is that many have used religion as justification for their crimes) it is still really just a red herring when discussing the truth of religious claims. That is, the truth or otherwise of a belief is largely independent of the actions of those who claim to be acting in its name, particularly if they are demonstrably acting in a way which contrary to the principles of the faith.

    In other words, if it is true that Jesus rose from the dead then that MUST affect the way we view ourselves and the world around us, even if Christians are a really bad advert. It's Jesus who is the most compassionate and loving person who ever walked the earth, and its He who never did anything wrong. The rest of us are failures to a greater or lesser extent, but that's OK, because we're not the ones to follow.

    Nor is it logical to say "since I have never witnessed anyone rise from the dead, such a thing is impossible, and therefore Christianity is false". If we had seen people spontaneously rise from the dead, then it wouldn't be particularly special, and it wouldn't provide the support for Jesus being who he said he was, and if the only reason you have to believe it didn't happen is personal incredulity, then you're on very shaky epistemological ground .

  20. No, I will not fix your computer


    @Paul 4

    The point was (as you obviously missed it), the church historically kept people in the dark, controlled education and information, as anything on the 'net will potentially be around forever, there will be no hiding what they have said an as the church changes their stance on things (earth being at the centre of the universe etc.) people will look back and possibly laugh, because this information will be easy to access more and more people will realise that the church is "a bit stupid", OK to give you an example, did you realise that depending on thier rank in the church people used to be able to grant "indulgences" which is time off in purgatory?

    Oh, and calling me a bully for openly saying that I find other peoples "deeply held faith" funny? Have a word with yourself, "deeply held faith" that doesn't affect other peoples lives (psychosis or otherwise) is none of my concern (although I still reserve the right to find it funny), but if I get a knock on the door by the god squad I have the right to chalenge what they say and the same is true for the 'net, "Priests 2.0 to evangelise on the net " should expect "Ridicule 2.0 is the rational response", not "Agree or ignore".

    @Adam, Mithvetr, Tom

    Jemma is a victim of the church, and you cannot dismiss her pain with a "every faith has it's share of extermists", remeber that Stalin didn't kill anyone "in the name of Atheism" and Hitler used his christianity to justify his actions (Mein Kampf and his speeches also documented his christianity) and even if you say "he was just saying that to get people to follow him", they still followed him because they thought it was their christian duty.

    Special note @Tom did Jesus rise from the dead? did he even exist? There's evidence of people like Jesus existing, performing similar "tricks" (for want of a better word), oddly enough I have seen a technically "dead" person revived but I see no reason to follow christanity, judaism, islam, scientology etc. (all religions made up by men), have a look at the books written by Karen Armstrong, she's not an "angry athiest" but documents clearly a firm evidence base of how religions appeared, e.g. how Deuteronomy was "found", and as soon as you realise there's serious doubt on the validity of that book it puts the whole of the Old Testament, New Testament, Koran and Torah in question.

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