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

January 20, 1997

page 8


Wary of the Net?

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.