back to article Did Vatican commit Cardinal sin over Wikipedia bios?

The Vatican has once again declared "blessed are the freetards" by justifying the appointment of 22 new cardinals with a raft of backup material culled from Wikipedia. The Holy See's press department not only lifted biographical details on the latest crop of "princes of the Church" from the online fact bazaar for a press …


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  1. Jim 59

    Fun story

    Nevertheless, cue foam-flecked outrage from the department of "durrrr..."

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "unexpected information that at least some... are Roman Catholics"

    Nobody expects... erm, scrub that one.

  3. Darryl

    Too bad the Latin version of Wikipedia isn't around anymore

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Seems to work for me...

      1. Francis Boyle

        I love how

        they translate even the names into Latin. Nialus Armstrong FTW.

  4. peyton?

    minor pedantic point

    There are are Catholics and related clergy who are not "Roman Catholic" but are "in communion" with Rome (i.e., not Orthodox), so they are part of the Roman Catholic Church, if you will, without being "Roman Catholic".

    Though I don't know if they can be appointed as Cardinals.

    Regardless, it's bad enough to scrape Wikipedia like that - but to not take 5 minutes to do a bit of editing?!?

  5. John Lilburne
    Thumb Down

    Just how many entries ...

    ... declared that Cardinal X sux cocks? Or doesn't that sort of thing happen on the Italian wiki?

  6. DieHard
    Thumb Down

    How unfair this porton of the news piece "after all it took over 1,900 years for the Church to recognise that hardly anyone speaks Latin anymore"

    Yeah on the year 100CE no one spoke latin... Actually around that time they were saying something like "kill the christians!" but actually in latin! lol

    This is so "otium" of the register.

  7. Keyser Soze

    Checking facts

    1900 years? Surely the Vatican/Catholic church wasn't set up until the 4th century.

    Meaning they plan to drop Latin in ~2250AD

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Checking facts

      I can't be bothered to check wikipedia, but I think you'll find that Italian, Spanish and French were mutually intelligible (and basically medieval Latin) until at least the tenth century, and educated folks all over Europe used Latin as a lingua franca until a handful of centuries ago.

      So 1900 years is very probably off by a factor of two and arguably off by a whole order of magnitude.

  8. Stuart 22

    A more important question ....

    Where were the Gospels scraped from?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Anonymous Coward

    This explains so much of the Bible...

    The Bible is an old-style WIKI - that explains soooooo much!

    * Random people adding crap to justify their positions

    * Contradictory elements

    * scores of sections crying out for <citation needed>

    * random deletions of sections (gospel of Mary, anybody?)

    1. Drew V.

      By Jove I think you've nailed it.

      Doctrinally different versions of, and additions to, the Bible - such as for example the New World Translation bible (Jehovah's Witnesses) or the Book of Mormon - must then be the equivalent of wild-offshoot WIKIs such as Conservapedia.

  10. Anton Channing

    The writings of the Gnostics...


  11. another_vulture

    Copyright violation

    It's Plagiarism, because they did not attribute the source. That's unethical, but not illegal.

    However, it's also a violation of copyright law. Wikipedia is copyrighted, and you are not permitted to copy the material except under the terms of its license. Those term are very liberal, but they do require attribution. Wikipedia could choose to sue the Vatican, and if they do, they will win.

    1. Keep Refrigerated

      Under what jurisdiction?

      Depends on whether the government of the state where the copyright violation took place actually recognises international copyright as a legal or civil tort. Last time I check the government of Vatican City was... umm... Vatican City!

      I wonder if the US has trade agreements with the Vatican? Perhaps they should put the screws on the Vatican to introduce some kind of legislation... they could call it POPE-A!

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Trade agreements?

        Why bother with that - just extradite the Pope. If those under his command see fit to rip off copyrighted work, then it's obviously a very shady organisation, best to gun for the ringmaster and do it right first time...

    2. John Lilburne

      Wikipedia is not copyright

      Despite what the idiots say wikipedia articles are not under copyright.

      1) You cannot copyright facts.

      2) Wikipedia articles are not supposed to contain original research, but what others have said.

      3) A rephrasing of someone else's words does not give you copyright.

  12. Captain TickTock

    Did any of them...

    ... pen "Reach" for S Club 7?

    wouldn't that be grand?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cue another wikipedia loop

    3 revert rule, is primary source, user blocked for 24 hours.

  14. silent_count

    "However, it's also a violation of copyright law. "

    I was under the impression that the Vatican City is a state unto itself. Thus we'd get:

    And on the 10th day, his holiness declared the right of copy null and void.

  15. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    On a point of order if this elegant band of contributors, non-contributors, readers, super-dupers or ne'er do wells will permit.

    Being faithful as in full of faith does not mean one is superior in any way at all?

    All it means is one is responding to what some describe as an inner call to give witness?

    It does not convey superiority or/nor inferiority, or any of the literal stuff like that.

    I hope this does not shatter too many illusions?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They can surely promote who they like. After it is their money.

    well ok, from where i stand, the ambulance chasing leeches did con the money out of people they'd brainwashed since childhood, (if they were lucky to get away with just being mentally screwed as kids.) But there's no law against conning stupid people, if you've god on your side. Churches should move into cosmetics. "Our products actually make you younger and our bearded _man_ made the universe. Calling trading standards if you dare. We'll condemn you to hell and absolve the people who sent you there"

    What I do resent is their charity status, not to mention all the other superstitious nutjobs, who get the same.

    As far as I'm concerned, charity status for insitutional brainwashing outfits is nothing more than taxing the electorate to help nutters f*ck kids up, purely because they have an imaginary friend.

    The queen pays tax now. What makes the pope so special? Especially as the 30 year rule now makes me feel they're little more than the logistics division of the IRA.

    Not sure what the deal is there; terrorist support in return for access to children, and all tax deductible.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Elementary, my dear rap singer

    Is this the same Pope Benedict Cumberbatch who plays Sherlock Holmes?

  18. Schultz

    How many biographies do you expect?

    It might simply be the same persons writing the Wiki entries and the official biographies. I would not expect them to rewrite everything / anything in this case. So instead of sinful copying, it might be a case of text recycling.

    Now who would deny that recycling is the right thing to do, in particular if you are member of a church with some responsibilities for this world!

    1. Dave Mundt


      Greetings and Salutations...

      Well, an American composer by the name of Peter Schickele, who is mainly known for his amazing work excavating the lost works of P.D.Q Bach, said that this particular Bach child looked upon what we would call plagiarism as nothing more than creative recycling.


      dave mundt

  19. lglethal Silver badge

    By any chance?

    Has the Vatican changed to that new swedish religion Kopimism?
  20. mhenriday
    Big Brother

    The Vatican may very well have recycled Wikipedia articles on the persons chosen

    to be cardinals, but I find it difficult to see that in that event any major harm was done to the general public (although admittedly, acknowledging the source would have been a fine gesture). What does worry me, however, is a sneaking suspicion that the Wikipedia articles may have been penned by Vatican employees - given hagiographers' tendency to be more concerned with telling a good yarn than reporting more prosaic versions of events, in this case it is Wikipedia readers who might want to take these biographical sketches cum grano salis....


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