From ..... The New York Times


ROME - On Christmas Day, somewhere in the United States, a young girl named Sarah who was using a computer logged on to the Vatican's new World Wide Web site on the Internet and sent an online message to the pope.

Like millions of others, she had just watched a visibly ill Pope John Paul II interrupt his televised Christmas message. She wanted to pass on her father's remedy - "lots of liquids, and chicken broth" - for getting over the flu.

In the nearly two weeks since the Vatican inaugurated its own electronic hookup, more than a million people have logged on to

- a new computer address that promises to be the next bully pulpit for a pope who has already established himself as a television star and best-selling author.

Initial users numbered 200,000 the first 24 hours.


From ............ NEWSWEEK

JANUARY 20, 1997

page 8

WHY HAS THE VATICAN'S database of church documents at its Web site ( been "temporarily out of service" for more than a year? Longtime Vatican watcher Filippo Gentiloni says it's because the pope is a technophobe. "The pope loves the media and understands their importance," says Gentiloni, author of a 1996 papal biography, "Karol Wojtyla."

But, he says, John Paul II worries that putting church teachings online will make it easy for them to be copied, distorted and then widely recirculated.

The Vatican press office cites "technical problems," not il papa, as the reason for delay.

[picture caption]- Concerned: John Paul


[RC CATECHISM CD ROM is about a year late as of Feb. 97]