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Anonymous takes down Vatican website

This one's for the kids, and, er, selling indulgences in the Middle Ages

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Italian hackers affiliated with hacktivist collective Anonymous pushed the Vatican's website offline last night. The hack was in "retribution" for the child abuse scandals in the Catholic Church and Vatican-endorsed acts going back thousands of years, the group claimed in a message.

A Jesuit father confirmed to the The Catholic News that the Vatican and the Vatican's news service L'Osservatore had been offline for several hours yesterday mid-afternoon. The sites were temporarily redirecting to other sites carrying a message from Anonymous, Italian newspapers said. Both sites are now back up and functioning.

The DDoS attack was accompanied by a a list of historical grievances, now on paste-bin, explaining that the DDoS hit was retribution for the Holy See's ideological stance on abortion, condoms, its tax status in modern Italy as well as its acts "through the ages" – including burning books, executing its enemies and selling indulgences.

The Vatican takedown looks to be part of a wave of attacks that followed the arrest of LulzSec members in Britain, Ireland and America. Spanish security firm PANDA were also hit on Tuesday night.

The Vatican was hit by a WikiLeaks style scandal a month ago, where high-level internal documents were leaked to the press.

We've asked the Osservatore for a statement. Sadly The Register is not accredited with the Vatican press office. The last update on the Vatican Information Service – from yesterday – only expounds on the theory that Silence is Indispensable for Prayer. ®

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