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Italians attempting, for whatever reason, to do an MSN search on the word "merda" (shit) are being referred to a whiter-than-white Vatican website. Indeed, said search delivers Clerus.org as its first choice.

Suffice it to say that Clerus.org is a website belonging to the Congregation for the Clergy, which "suggests and promotes initiatives with regard to the sanctity and the intellectual and pastoral updating of the Clergy" and "seeks to promote a more adequate distribution of the Clergy all over the world", as the blurb rather clumsily puts it. It contains no vocabulary which might justify such a high-ranking result.

While the bizarre scatological link may amuse some and anger others, it does pose questions regarding the reliability of Microsoft's search engine algorithms, at least for Italian users (non-Italian versions of MSN Search don't exhibit this glitch). Of course, the outrage may be a case of religiously-motivated Googlebombing (sorry - "MSNsearchbombing" just doesn't sound right), in which case the culprit should surface soon.

Microsoft Italy and Clerus.org have been informed but were unavailable for comment at the time of writing. ®

© Paolo Attivissimo wwww.attivissimo.net

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