5 Blasphemous Web Pages Shut Down

Vatican Newspaper Reports Police Action

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 10, 2002 (Zenit.org).- A denunciation by L'Osservatore Romano helped lead to the shutdown of five blasphemous Web pages.



The Vatican's semiofficial newspaper reported the news itself today. The paper in October 2000 had denounced an Internet site that blasphemed the Blessed Virgin Mary.

A consequent investigation by the Italian police's Customs Service found four other similar sites, resulting in the closing of all five.

"This brilliant result demonstrates that serious and rigorous investigations can avoid the use of the precious good of freedom of expression to offend the sensitivity and dignity of others," the newspaper explained.

L'Osservatore Romano disclosed that the investigations took a long time because of "the complexity of the necessary operations to discover the enterprises that make the physical space of the sites available, which are located abroad, as generally happens in such cases."

The newspaper also stated that the probe helped to identify "a Roman businessmen who, through the Internet, sold shirts reproducing blasphemous writings. The man has been reported."