Philippine bishops eliminate smut from Internet
The Catholic church in the Philippines has launched its own internet service which filters out violence, pornography and gambling sites.
The church said the service, known as CBCP World, filters content but "assures the users of fast access to wholesome, clean and educational materials".
In a Mass in a Manila park speakers lamented the increasing popularity of the internet, especially among young people, at the expense of spiritual pursuits.
Bishop Jesus Cabrera said: "Many are so addicted to the Internet that they don't go to church anymore."
But Pope John Paul, in his weekly address at St Peter's Square yesterday, promoted the potential for the Internet to be used for the Church's evangelisation.
He said: "I've decided to propose a big new theme for this year: The Internet -- a new forum for proclaiming the Gospel."
"Recent progress in communications and information have presented the church with unheard-of possibilities for evangelism," he said.
"We shouldn't be afraid to put to sea in the vast ocean of information," he went on. "If we do so, the good news can reach the hearts of the men and women of the new millennium."
"We have to become part of this modern and ever more finely woven web of communication with realism and confidence, convinced that, if it is used competently and with due responsibility, it can offer a sound opportunity for the dissemination of the word of the Lord."
Pontifical Council for Social Communications: The Church and Internet
Pontifical Council for Social Communications: Ethics in Internet
Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (site down)
13 May 2002