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Patron Saint of the Internet 208

Quite a number of people have been writing with the news that the Catholic Church is considering naming a patron saint of the Internet. The strongest current contender is St. Isisdore, an 8th century Spanish saint, with is created with making one of the first databases - a 20 volume encyclopedia.
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Patron Saint of the Internet

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  • religion is putting it's soiled hands upon our pristine enviroment? Is nothing sacred?
  • How about Our Lady of the IP Network? Would this make cracking a sin? Can we start an inquisition agains Windoze lusers? CONVERT! CONVERT!
  • Actually _every_ day celebrates the memory of a saint. Most days celebrate the memory of several saints, so there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, commemorated over the ages.

  • OK, I guess I'm not stopping there. Fantasizing is bad? No way! Fantasies serve as a release. They can deal with thoughts that otherwise would preoccupy your mind when you're supposed to be thinking about something else. Without the fantasy, people would be suppressing their feeelings, bottling them up until they cannot contain them any longer - which must surely be a bad thing.

    Case in point, prostitutes. Prostitutes do wonderful things for society, yet am I correct in thinking the church isn't overjoyed by them? Yet for a couple of quid (pounds), a bloke (as it generally is) is satisfied (for a while), and doesn't get overcome by his feelings of lust/natural desires that he has to rape some (almost) defenceless person (possibly a girl so young as to almost be a child)?!?!?

    Anyway, I wouldn't say indulging in the fantasy is indulging in the bad thought, I would say actually going out and following/stalking/raping the TV star would be indulging (and I agree wrong).

    You mention double-standards, but it seems as though the church has more of them than me!

    Man, I must appear like some kind of anti-religious nut!

  • Hmm... I should have expected that you would say that (about fantasizing). :-) Indeed, we are getting into a somewhat controversial topic, and I am sure the majority of people would agree with your viewpoint that fantasizing "helps" release sexual pleasure. At least one of my friend (a devout Catholic youth) used to think so too. And I would be lying if I were to say I never fantasize, although nowadays I try my best to avoid having such thoughts at all.

    But the fact that many people think it is alright doesn't mean it is right. "Release" becomes an excuse, and while for many people, they could still somewhat control themselves before going too far, but for many others, sexual fantasies lead them to a slippery slope.

    St. Maria Goretti (11 years old) was murdered by Alessandro (19 years old) when she refused Alessandro's rape attempt. Maria was pure at heart, while Alessandro was full of impure thoughts... his room was full of pornographical magazines and posters... Impure thoughts and pornography, as illustrated in this tragedy, are not releases, but rather, fuel to Alessandro's sexual desire to the point that he tried to rape little Maria, and when she refused, he stabbed her 14 times and left her to die. Would he even had thought of raping her had he not been mesmerized and his moral desensitized by pornography?

    Regarding prostitutes: The Church does not shun them. (At least we shouldn't.) There are quite a few canonized saints who were once prostitutes before their conversion. The most famous of all is probably St. Mary Magdalen, the Penitent. You might know her story in the Bible: She was nearly stoned to death when the Pharisees caught her in the very act of adultery. When they brought her to Jesus, Jesus asked them whoever has no sin can cast the first stone. The Pharisees hesitated and finally escaped one by one. Jesus then forgave her sin, and said, "Go now in peace, and sin no more." From then on, St. Mary Magdalen left her old sinful way of life, and became a devout follower of Jesus. Just like Jesus had loved her unconditionally, St. Mary Magdalen pour out her love for God too.

    Prostitution is sin... but, we hate the sin and love the sinner. In many aspects, prostitutes are victims of our society.

    I don't think the Church is being double-standard in this regard. The Church is rather consistent, actually, and some would even say, "radical or "extreme". Raping is wrong, that we all know. Premarital sex? Why not? It is just casual fun, right? Fantasizing about sex is a sin? You've gotta be kidding! And yet, the Church is not budging to public pressure. Afterall, the Church cannot teach against what Jesus taught us: "Whenever a man look upon a woman with lust, he has already commited adultery with her in his heart."

    Yes, I realize that perhaps over 90% of Slashdot readers would disagree with what I wrote above. However, to me, to my family, and to many of my friends, Jesus' teaching make perfect sense.


    P.S. Well, there are lots of people who are anti-religious, so if you are indeed one, you are not alone. However, I do hope that you were just kidding about being an anti-religious nut. :-)
  • Alessandro was twisted anyway (must have been to rape). The pornography didn't twist him. He was already twsited and was then drawn towards pornography, etc.
  • If the Catholic "intellectuals" were so enlightened, why did the Catholic Church take until the early 1990s to finally admit that its persecution of Gallileo was wrong?
  • As a recovering Catholic, I am encouraged to see the Church trying to look forward (albeit through ancient rose-colored glasses) rather than ignorantly overlooking the importance of the net or labeling it a fad or wose still - the vehicle of Satan.

    I'll have to admit I was quite surprised by this. I was rather expecting a condemnation of the Internet as a vile tool of Satan rife with pornography and atheism.

    Also, let's all take joy in the fact that Jerry Falwell has not discovered push technology. :)

    "Shove down throat" technology perhaps.
  • This may get interesting. The church of Rome will declare one Saint and then Microsoft will declare it to be a false saint. The evil minions of MCSEs and MCSDs will line up behind MS. It will be another Great Schism ...

    Could be fun to watch though...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Why don't you go down to the local zoo and watch two male monkeys go at it, then tell me that 'natural law' (as created and defined by man) fit's into that.
  • I'm not sure that the Catholic Church would approve of some of the rituals I've seen:

    1. Sacrificing AOL disks to the god of Packet Storms

    2. Chanting the names of great hackers to ensure that code will compile without errors.

    3. Building a shrine to the god of Greater Bandwidth entirely out of MSN CD-ROMs.

    4. Imploring the High Priestess of IT for a larger disk quota.

    5. Daemon processes. 'Nuff said.

  • Don't know about, but is for sale (the bidding is at 100K and counting), so the word god isn't on the list of 'prohibited' domain names.

    Hmm. God for sale. How ironic.

  • The problem with birth control is that it separates sex from the act of creating new life. This goes against natural law. This is also the problem with homosexual relations (note: the Church doesn't say homosexual inclinations are evil, it says homosexual relations are wrong). This is ALSO the problem with abortion.. Please don't try to tell me that you honestly think sex was intended for pleasure (that just happens to be a wonderful side effect :). -- A practicing Roman Catholic
  • Actually the patron saint of students is St. Joseph Coupertino (spelling?)
  • Try,, and They all exist, and I'm sure there's others....

  • Socrates (who is arguably the true father of Western culture and way of thinking) was an agnostic --he did not believe in the Olympian gods and was searching for a 'god' but mostly, he spoke of man-as-God.

    I say unto you, check thy facts and thy history. Read the Apology of Socrates.

    I quote:
    "This you must recognize, the god has commended me to do. And I think that no greater good has ever befallen you in the state than my service to the god. For I spend my whole life in going about and persuading you all to give your first and greatest care to the improvement of your souls, and not till you have done that to think of your bodies or your wealth."

    Socrates was very religious. (And I have no clue where you got this, man-as-god BS.)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    kinda cool that everything is evolving to keep up with the internet.... too bad we can't name a god or two of the internet for the greek/roman cultures..
  • Anyone interested in looking up patron saints should try [] -- it contains an index of the officially-recognized patron saints, plus some good background information.

    I will quote their explaination of patron saints here:

    What is a patron saint?

    Patron saints are chosen as special protectors or guardians over areas of life. These areas can include occupations, illnesses, churches, countries, causes -- anything that is important to us.

    The earliest records show that people and churches were named after apostles and martyrs as early as the fourth century. Recently, the popes have named patron saints but patrons can be chosen by other individuals or groups as well.

    Patron saints are often chosen today because an interest, talent, or event in their lives overlaps with the special area. For example, Francis of Assisi loved nature and so he is patron of ecologists. Francis de Sales was a writer and so he is patron of journalists and writers. Clare of Assisi was named patron of television because one Christmas when she was too ill to leave her bed she saw and heard Christmas Mass -- even though it was taking place miles away. Angels can also be named as patron saints.

    A patron saint can help us when we follow the example of that saint's life and when we ask for that saint's intercessory prayers to God.

    Some things to note -- the news article simply mentioned a popular movement to have the Vatican declare St. Isidore the patron saint of the Internet. These popular movements happen all the time within the Roman Catholic Church. Some receive official approval, some do not.

    Of course, any Catholic (or anyone else) can request the intercession of any saint in any matter. No one needs to wait for Vatican approval.

    Personally, while I can see why St. Isidore would show an interest in the Internet, there are some other saints I would nominate:

    • St. Gabriel (already mentioned) -- the patron of communications workers
    • St. Jude -- patron of hopeless causes :^)
    • St. Jerome -- my favorite candidate for patron of the Internet. He is the patron saint of librarians. He was also a prolific writer of letters and tracts, and was a ... vigorous ... debator. He had flaming down to an art form centuries before the Internet was invented, and I believe he would be very much at home here.
  • Who has ?
  • In this case "natural law" means ethical arguments with no reference to any sort of divine revelation . Its a sort of "empirical" or "real world" form of argument often favoured by defenders of Catholic doctrince because, at least in theory, the arguments are developed in a way that should be acceptable to any reasonable person, as opposed to a believer. So, the definition of natural law doesn't provide much of a foothold in attacking these sorts of doctrines, the real fight has to take the arguments on one at a time (which is often were the real fun begins anyway.)

  • Lets name our own patron saint of the internet. Well, i guess we'd have to name a few saints first... Cybersaints.. Pascal comes to mind, any others?
  • There's no website - prolly on the list of potentially offesive domain names

  • It's nice to know that in light of recent events in the United States, the Catholic Church doesn't consider the Internet to be a cesspool of paganism and various other Bad Things. (Note that I'm talking from the view of the Church here.)

    And we _all_ know that if anything needs a patron saint right now, it's the Internet. An omnipotent God just doesn't cut it when the backbone goes down. We need somebody who really cares.

    (All in the name of good humor, folks. :) )

    • Stargazer
  • Heh, the patron saint of sea monkeys, lawn mowers,
    and convenience stores.

  • How many times have folks beckoned to their creator in the hope that it might somehow bring a server back up, or clear network congestion, or even ensure that a cable is not too short to reach the FRAD (or whatever)?

    Being able to get a patron saint medal that can be stuck to the front of a server isn't a bad idea at all, IMHO. Seriously, most sysadmins can use all the help they can get!
  • How about Babbage or Von Neuman? Bob
  • What about Al Gore?
  • Saying that the Catholic church is now what it was hundreds of years ago is like saying that Latin and Church Latin are the same thing. They are not.

    The internet, as well as many other things are a result of human inginuity. Clearly not all people believe this, but I believe that human inginuity is not something we made, but something we were given. I am confident you will disagree with me, and I throroughly don't mind at all.

    How long has there been a Vatican Political agenda. Not long, the Vatican has not been a soverign nation until this century. This has been very good. It has made some official separation between the Italian political arena and the Church. Clearly, after hundreds of years of the Roman Catholic Church, it will be a while before the Italian part has a chance to fade. The Catholic Church is OLD. When you have been around long enough, people will sometimes do really dumb things. This is no exception. I hope that other people are more forgiving of your decision making, than you are of organized religion.

    I am not exacly sure why I responded...knee jerk reatcion I guess. Not so much the aspect of faith, but the historical half-truths and bitter spin you put on the topic. Clearly, your convictions are deep-seated and I am not trying to "win you over." I'm just thinking and letting my fingers click away until I feel better.

    This is Slashdot; you can do that.

  • by GenlyAi ( 42133 ) on Tuesday June 15, 1999 @05:32AM (#1850282)
    This list got buried in the thread hierarchy, so I was jonesing for my 15 seconds of fame:

    St. Marconi of Unlimited Bandwidth

    St. Turing the Mystic

    St. Hopper of Transubstantiation of Bugs

    St. Ada the Inscrutable

    St. Stallman of Hoofed Mammals

    St. Torvalds the Flightless

    and from Jimhotep:

    St. Tesla the Enabler
  • See [] for yourself.

    St. Isidore's already listed.

  • So? St. Mary of Magdala was a prostitute, and they canonized her. (At least, I think she's a saint. There are about a gazillion different Marys in the Bible. I might be confusing her with a different one).

  • Just wondering.
  • Jaculatoria....

    San isidro de Sevilla, sabio y escritor, Que mi correo no traiga un virus destructor...

  • Well... i do know that there are a couple of things that are necessary before one becomes cannonized...

    The miracles are probably pretty easy to take care of. Anyone who can understand kernel level code obviously has some divine powers...

    but they also have to be dead, and i dont think that anyone wants to make linus a martyr right now.

    Now Bill Gates... maybe if we sacrificed him....
  • It should be St. Vidicon of the Cathode...

    Unfortunatly I'm drawing a blank as the the series of books that's from, or what the real anme of the character was.

  • ...the expanses of cyberspace allow plenty of room for God while simultaneously making it quite simple for you to ignore religious material which you find objectionable. Admittedly, I find the idea of an Internet patron saint a wee bit silly. But I find it very difficult to believe that you'll encounter any palpable attempts at 'indoctrination' if the Vatican were to go ahead with this. :)

    It's all too easy to bring up the Church's missteps throughout the centuries, but these are human errors, some graver than others. That they were wrongly committed in the name of God does not repudiate the value of the religion's message or its true core doctrines, IMHO. And for centuries the concept of personal freedom was largely unknown to the masses who knew only the Church as the starting and ending points of most aspects of their lives. I think for far too long religion got bogged down in the details of things like the Bible, a fascinatingly confusing document which led to the justification for all sorts of terrible deeds. Recently there have been shifts away from organized religions to "personal faith", a more direct connection to one's deity of choice. A lot of right-wing fundamentalist Christian groups emphasize this, as a result of their disillusionment with Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, etc. etc.

    All that aside, today you and I have the freedom to cheerfully ignore religion or complain about it as we see fit. That freedom comes from the labors of generations of our ancestors, Christian, Jew, Muslim, or none of the above. While acknowledging the fact that organized religions have made mistakes, their importance should not be so wantonly dismissed. While I am a Christian (Lutheran specifically), I'm quite liberal, and if you want to be a heathen, hey, that's fine with me. I wonder if the fierce reprisals against religion are because the online demographics are much different than the real world...i.e., a higher concentration of agnostics and atheists in the online population. Who knows?

    I would also not be surprised (if you are Caucasian) if you owe your existence to the 'Catholic heritage' at some point way back in history. :) While not a Catholic myself and more recently in history being descended from German Protestants, I know I do.
  • Possibly they should consider the REAL St. Linus. He does exist, he has been mentioned during some masses I have attended. If memory serves I believe he was one of the first "deacons" or people who helped to spread the news of Jesus and what He stood for and what-not. I would link to's page for St. Linus but i believe it is down. Maybe a google cached link somewhere will have it.
  • Isidore was not the 1st encyclopedia compiler.
    Pliny the Elder was the known 1st encyclopedia compiler in the European setting. Isidore's work is regarded inferior to Pliny's in quality and quantity. And there are some Chinese candidates for the title "The 1st Encyclopedist", let alone other civilizations, though I believe that title must go to D'Alembert & Diderot.

    Now I wonder, what happened to BBC writers' and editors' intelligence. When had this decline bagun?
  • We appointed a new saint as well, and quite a while ago - St. Beuno [], patron saint of computer technicians and the like.

    Pope Lx Streetmentioner
  • The act of intercourse is EXTREMELY painful for the female big cats, like lions, tiger, cheetahs etc. The male lion pulls his claws over the female's ears just to distract her from the pain of intercourse. Pleasure has little to do with it.

    I also have a difficult time with the belief that people are just like all other mammals in the act of procreation, since the human is the only mammal without a penile bone. Somehow, there is a significant difference in the procreation of humans compared to other mammals. This seems to lessen the role of a precedent that other mammals might set for us humans.
  • You got an AVI of this? I don't want to squander weeks at the zoo waiting for this to happen.
  • There is room for ANYBODY ANYWHERE on the internet. You don't want religion to have a presence on the internet. So, stemming from that, we should censor out all beliefs present on web pages and such. You can't start separating out what should and shouldn't be on the internet. Maybe people don't want your God-forsaking atheism to violate their surfing time. Did you ever take that into consideration?

    And no arguments that there are other places and other times for religion. Because there are other places and other times for atheism as well: the public schooling system.

    And anyways, just because some organization says that they're going to name someone as the protector of all who travel the 'info superhighway', doesn't mean you have to observe that naming, or wear a medallion or anything.
  • Hey, isn't Dogbert the patron saint of something? I have blown-up of that cartoon around here somewhere!!
  • by drwiii ( 434 )
    What's next, naming Judas the Patron Saint of Microsoft?
  • "There has been no official statement from Rome ... "

    This is very signifigant. Unless there is an official statement from Rome, this is just a rumor. I'm not saying it won't happen.. I'm just saying that it's not definite yet. At all.

  • The god-side is pretty much covered by Hermes/Mercurius. The greeks were smart enough to give their gods generic tasks so they can easily adapt to changing technology.

    The use of the 'net for distributing pornography and quasi-legal purposes also goes pretty well with the characteristics of Hermes.
  • Please don't try to tell me that you honestly think sex was intended for pleasure (that just happens to be a wonderful side effect :).

    Of course it is intended to be pleasure (intended by who? I have to think you believe in a god), or else nobody would do it! It's just a simple fact of evolution! So when the humans reached a level of intelligence, connecting the sex with the babys, they also began to control it. See the bible, Onan for example!
  • Every sperm is sacred
    Every sperm is great
    If a sperm is wasted
    God gets quite irate.
  • Why not???

    The patron saint of the blue screen perhaps?
  • What purpose does open discussion serve? If folks believe in something, let them believe.

    Brainwashed? If you believe that 1.1 billion people have been brainwashed and that you're not, you need to take a very hard look at your reality. EXAMPLE: Tear up a $100 bill. I mean into a thousand, untapeable pieces. Go ahead, right now. You won't, because you BELIEVE it's worth something.

    You're as "brainwashed" as anyone else, my friend.

    As for Windoze, say what you will. To the winner goes the spoils. That's capitalism. If Red Hat or someone else can wrest control, great! In 10 years others will be complaining about the lack of choice in Linux, and how much BETTER OSDEJURE is because it's cool because it's not as popular as the fascist Red Had.


  • I'm the admin. for a machine that is a list server for a dozen lists. When the worm.explore thing hit I didn't want the lists possibly helping to propagate it; so on Sunday I hacked together a program to filter out .exe attachments from mailing lists. Then, there was a security hole (another one) that was discovered in Sun's statd and I had to deal with that.

    Needless to say, I am very pleased at this initiative. All I would need to do is light a candle to St. Isidore to cleanse and protect me from the nasty little viruses, trojan horses and security holes that are clearly the work of

    Hell, the Vatican was ahead even of the Discordians on this one.

    All hail St. Isidore!
  • Er, no, not unless you haven't checked in about a decade...

    Last count: ~ 5.7 Billion
    Ergo, % RCC = ~ 19.3%

    ...which is still a heck of a lot of folks.

    Ethnocentricity has no place on the internet? Who's saying that there is any? If the RCC says St. So-and-so is now the patron of the Internet, would it change the Net any more than the "Our Lady of the Highways" shrine changes the Jersey Turnpike? (read: it doesn't)

    I don't think so.
  • Hey, relax. The RCC has been keeping up with the times about as well as any 2000 year old can. (Highlanders not withstanding ;-)

    Really, they've un-excommunicated Galileo, and have done quite a bit since Vatican II (early 60s conference in Rome) to reverse the oppressiveness and backwardsness that were the hallmarks of the church from the inquisition through the industrial revolution.

    Bottom Line: Hey, the RCC isn't perfect. But they're trying. Are you?
  • Is there a patron saint of parity?

  • (sarcasm mode on)
    Alas, the canonisation of St Jon the creator has been lost in the Postel.

    (Collapses into hysterical laughter)

  • no we dont, but it can make you feel better....
    if the Vatican offends you, just pray to BOB, or Discordia, Cthulhu, etc...
    it's all in good fun... :)
    #include "standard_disclaimer.h"
  • by RimRod ( 57834 ) on Tuesday June 15, 1999 @05:47AM (#1850321)
    1) "May all your segmentation faults be benign"

    2) "That'll be 20 Hail Marys and 5 lines of assembly code"

    3) "Thou shall not covet thy cubicle neighbor's video card"

    4) "And God shall smite thee by sending a power surge through your CPU"

    5) "God is compassionate, my child...everyone is tempted by the Fruit of the Tree of Microsoft once or twice"

    6) "And Apple begat Macintosh, Macintosh begat the PowerMac, and PowerMac begat iMac..."

    7) "And on the Seventh Day, Torvald created Linux. And Torvald saw that it was good.
  • Say that too fast, and it sounds like "Stalin" :)

  • I haven't read it in quite a while, but that has a Canticle for Leibowitz sort of feel to it.
  • The content is badly translated and subjective to the writer's and translator's opinions and bias's.

    Anyway, this is the wrong place for a spiritual debate.

  • I've never taken a history of science course, but I see some flaws in your reasoning:

    You neglect the influence of the ancient Greeks on those religious cultures, and on modern cultures despite the religions.

    You imply that the religions are responsible for the intellectual foundation of Western society. Wouldn't it be more accurate to say the church scholars are responsible for it? It is the nature of those who would choose that life to treasure knowledge and history, regardless of religious teachings. With religion so dominant, where do you think academic-minded people would gravitate?

    Now consider this, where is the scientific method in this religious tradition?
  • by Ray Dassen ( 3291 ) on Tuesday June 15, 1999 @05:54AM (#1850327) Homepage
    The internet is an equalising communication medium. As such, it's a place where catholics, atheists, muslims, hindus, gnostics, buddhists, pagans, agnosts etc. can all openly and frankly discuss their beliefs and convictions among themselves and each other.

    If the catholic church were to declare a patron saint for the internet, that means the church either does not understand the internet, or that there may be hope yet for it to become less of a conservative patriarchal hierarchical institution.

  • Why is everyone forgetting the only one St. Postel ?
  • C'mon, everybody knows Kibo is the god of the Internet.... You think he'll just settle for sainthood?

    I wonder if he'll see this post...

  • Don't underestimate Kibo...he's even managed to get a piece of the International Space Station named after him. I am not making this up; check it out [].

    Oh, sure, they claim it's Japanese for "hope," but we know better...


  • ...was the candidate who appeared in two places simultaneously, as certified by three witnesses.

    It seems to me that anyone capable of witnessing such a feat should have an equal claim to the spot.

  • Yeah, you are _some_ product inspite of Catholic heritage. You got that one right !!!
  • Really? The vatican doesn't appear to have a ftp.vatican.[net|va] site at all...

    The only two machine which have an FTP service on them both give back:

    555-You are not permitted to use the ftp operation.
    555-Please contact your system administrator.

    Now I don't know what OS they're using on their WWW server, but it's running Netscape Enterprise server.

    You might, of course, mean either or, neither of whihc has anything to do with the Holy See.

    Even their search doesn't say anything about Linux, although it does mention Compaq and Altavista... And gives some mighty weird junk back if you simply ask it for the HEADer of '/'...

    Sorry for pissing on your fire, and all.

    Meanwhile, Isidore (Soon to be known, I hope, as Izzy), only gets a mention in the footnotes of Vatican II, in relation to the celibacy of the preisthood.
  • Saints htons() and htonl().

    They will save us from the mess Intel left with us, and allow the Internet to spread the gospel of bigendianess.

  • I got there from's list of mirrors ... I never actually checked, but does say "Vatican City" -

    Not sure if the site is physically located in VC, but it makes sense that it would be.
  • | It's nice to know that in light of recent events
    | in the United States, the Catholic Church
    | doesn't consider the Internet to be a cesspool
    | of paganism and various other Bad Things.

    You're confusing the Catholics with the Southern Baptists - the Southern Baptists think everything is evil. :)
  • I got there from's list of mirrors ... I never actually checked, but does say "Vatican City" -

    Upon inspection I found that the site is actually hosted in the UK. ???
  • In "Cryptonomicon" Stephenson gives an interesting argument claiming that Athena was the goddess of technology (so far as the ancient Greeks understood technology), and the fact that Athena was seen as good and cool was a major factor in the success of Western Civ (it seems many other cultures viewed technology as an aspect of their evil god or goddess, thus understandably stunting progress)
  • The arch angel Gabriel is the patron saint of Telecommunication,
    wouldn't the Internet fall under that?
  • Out of date? Why? Because it's the 90's? Well, it was the 90's 100 years ago and it will be the 90s in another 100. The church's values are not the point of debate. You're talking about a religious organization that stretches the globe, has 1.1 BILLION adherents, and has existed for nearly 2000 years.

    I personally am GLAD the RCC moves slowly. Society needs an anchor, a set of ideals that keep it civilized. Imagine had the church gone pro-eugenics in the 1900s. Many of us would no doubt be dead. (unless you're PERFECT in every possible way. Yeah, right). Et cetera.

    The point is that the church is actually very good about keeping up with the times, all things considered. Why NOT a patron saint for the 'Net? It HAS kept up with modern technology... ever go to the Vatican website? Remember the flood of fax machines, computers and other stuff the church smuggled into Poland during the Reagan years?
  • We Catalan netizens already have a patron saintess: Santa Tecla (check []). Her name, Tecla, means key.
  • I'm no expert on voodoo (and neither is William Gibson I suspect), but from what I recall of Gibson's sprawl trilogy, "Legba" is a class of (semi)divine beings, rather than the name of a particular one.

    Can someone refresh me on this one?

  • The arch angel Gabriel is the patron saint of Telecommunication
    (really, look it up!) . Wouldn't the Internet fall under his domain?
  • Certainly! An icon of Saint Dogbert(*) rests atop my monitor even as I type this, protecting my computer...

    With his right paw, he heals broken technology, and, with the scepter in his left paw, he drives out the Demons of Stupidity. He also has a cute little hat (which is actually modeled after a fancy folded napkin).


    (*) OK, so it's just the little punch-out thing from a Dilbert calendar. Deal with it.

  • "by bishop42 ("...

    The Vatican has their own TLD and domain name;
  • Yup,

    The fact Algebra came out the Moslem world is unlikely a freak of nature.

    I find it ironic that Newton concluded that being able to describe all physical movement with five simple equations was evidence of God.
  • Not to quibble about semi-irrelevant things, but Tesla invented the radio before Marconi did, and even got the Supreme Court to rule in his favor on the patent.
  • Sex is pleasurable simply because there would be no reproduction without it. When you REALLY think about it it is a really sloppy, barbaric process that if you were in your right mind you would never participate in.

    Well, most of us wouldn't...
  • Before the pope declared birth control wrong in the 60's he made an advisory council (probably of bishops) which actually concluded that birth control was NOT wrong. The pope didn't take the council's advice, however. Also, the Church has made formal mistakes before. For example, the Spanish Inquisition, selling of indulgences, and the placing of Galileo under house arrest for the remainder of his life for saying that the Earth revolved around the sun (holy sh*t, he was right!).

    I'm not declaring my stance on birth control here. I'm just saying that nothing is set in stone, not even what the Catholic Church teaches.

    --Another practicing roman catholic/linux geek
  • I mean, we already have a patron saint of the internet, his name is kibo [].
  • ...since I haven't seen it posted yet (though, I also haven't read threaded discussions).

    Wired has this too, here []. 02.html
  • Cupertino, as in the headquarters of everyones favorite iMac manufacturer? I guess that explains their marketing push in the early 90s... :-)

    Tom Byrum
  • Since Al claims to have had a part in creating the internet, does that make him God or a sub-god?
  • Heaven is a commercial organization? Guess that explains where all the cash I've dropped into collection plates over the years has gone ;-)

  • by z1lch ( 35931 ) on Tuesday June 15, 1999 @05:11AM (#1850370) Homepage
    Spokesman for the Catholic Media Office Tom Hallwood said: "There are patron saints of many things, so why not let the Internet have one?

    Oh dear god no. I'm happy being a heathen without further indoctrination from a fucking organised religion as Catholicism which has traditionally been responsible for the alientation, persecution of many people advocating doctrines which did not fall with in the Vatican's political agenda.

    There is no room for God here. We're a product in spite of the Catholic heritage certainly not as a result of it. If I want to pray it sure as hell will not to be what I am told is permissable by a body which murdered and desicrated scientists, philosophers, astronomers, witches...

    I recant!
  • I'll have to admit I was quite surprised by this. I was rather expecting a condemnation of the Internet as a vile tool of Satan rife with pornography and atheism.

    Nah; if they did that, they'd have to condemn television and the printed media for exactly the same reasons.

  • Kibo??

    And for that matter, Legba?

    Though I suppose Isidore is appropriate for his accomplishments. Glad to see the Vatican is more techno-savvy than the extreme right-wing.
  • ... get a good grip, we're going for a ride!

    great line by Tom Waits. He's gone on tour again, and is better than ever.

    the AntiCypher
  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Tuesday June 15, 1999 @06:34AM (#1850389) Homepage Journal

    The church has no idea what peril they are entering; they live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that they should voyage far. Sending your prayer packets to this so-called "St. Isisdore" only helps to draw attention to both the source and destination addresses.

    "But whose attention?" you ask. Well, perhaps it would be better to ask "What's attention?" There are impossibly ancient hungers that lurk out there, furtively waiting in the dark until the comm satellites are right. And when the time comes, it will be both swift and agonizingly slow at the same time. A swift tentacle probing here, a ping packet there, and then you will be beset by the true horror: Shub-Internet, the black beast of the 'Net with a thousand bastard processes!

    We already have a patron ... thing. (I guess calling it a "saint" wouldn't quite be right, huh?) Better to leave well enough alone, and pray (quietly to yourself, where nothing can snoop your prayer) that the dawn of Its era comes long after you are safely in the grave.

  • Did you all know that? the first time I saw that, it freaked me out.

    It's funny to tell newbies they can download the latest linux kernel from the vatican's ftp site.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    On Dec 11,1998 , Seth McQuale posted the complete pantheon on c.o.l.misc, Message-ID:

    I was not able to fit the whole post in the Reply form (how do you do that?). For now here is an excerpt, but it well worth the effort fetching the original article from UseNet:

    -Eos (goddess of dawn): goddess of the bootstrap processes (lilo, Drive A:, BootManager, boot.ini, IO.SYS, etc).

    -Nyx (goddess of night): goddess of shutdown -h, screen blanking, and Jolt.

    -Morpheus (god of dreams): god of vaporware.

    -Muses (nine sisters, goddesses of respective arts and sciences): goddesses of Yahoo, and related Internet directories; goddesses of multimedia and multimedia plugins.

    -Hestia (goddess of the hearth): goddess of servers and standalone units; patron of proxy servers and (with Aesculapius, see below) firewalls.

    -Titans (various important, antecedant gods): Ada, Babbage, Turing, Hopper (goddess of _software_ programming**), Thompson, Kernighan & Ritchie, GHades (giving the devil his due), and many more.

    -Ares (god of destructive war): god of flamers and flaming; also, patron god of all that is M$; god of Doom, Quake, etc.

    -Pan (god of flocks & shepherds): god of NNTP; also, along with Demeter, protects databases; patron god of tarballs and PKWare.

    -Hymen (first name, "Buster"; god of marriage): patron of device drivers; god of application suites (MS Office, Corel WP suite, StarOffice, etc.); god of Java.

    -Eris (goddess of strife & discord--she began the Trojan War): another patron of Usenet; goddess of software copyright infringement. li>-Priapus (god of fertility): god of Internet; patron of the viruses that work by loading up one's ha unending Usenet strings and cascades; god of software bloat; god of AOL & MSN disks.

    -Hermes (messenger of the gods, also, patron of thieves, highwaymen, and, I believe, of commerce): god of spam.

    -Athena (goddess of wisdom, and all that is noble in war): (with Tux)Linux; patron goddess of GNU.

    -Aesculapius (born mortal, deified as god of Medicine): patron god of Unix gurus; god of UPSs, spike protectors, firewalls, etc.

    -Chaos: god of random # generators; patron of trolls; god of Error 404.

  • I opt for the latter.

    Just because the Internet is not a Catholics only club does not mean that the Catholic users of it can not have a patron saint for it.

    St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers. I do not hear travelers of non-Catholic faiths decrying this - or worse yet, refusing to travel to avoid the accidental labeling as Catholics by proxy. Most non-Catholics simply do not care.

    As a recovering Catholic, I am encouraged to see the Church trying to look forward (albeit through ancient rose-colored glasses) rather than ignorantly overlooking the importance of the net or labeling it a fad or wose still - the vehicle of Satan.

    Also, let's all take joy in the fact that Jerry Falwell has not discovered push technology. :)
  • [OBJOKE]
    Al Gore was rejected because he isn't Catholic, and even if he gets elected, he'll only have one miracle to claim. [smile] This really seems like joke material. I had to check the date to make sure it wasn't April 1.

    This really seems like joke material. I had to check the date to make sure it wasn't April 1.

    All kidding aside, does the internet really need a patron saint? Maybe so. You see, this may actually help some technophobes overcome their instincitve Luddite fear of the net (remember the kids being "talked to" because they admitted to playing DOOM?). The technology can be seen as being "blessed" as it were, by the Vatican.

    For its part, the vatican has been keeping tabs on the internet, with a web presense. Actually, only the Church of Scientology comes to mind as being more net savvy, although the stories associated with the Scientologists are usually negative with respect to the net.

    The presense of the Vatican may be even more beneficial, as the internet currently has an image problem (maybe rightfully so) as being awash with pornography, weapons how-to's, and other negative things. Its nice to know there is a major organized religion that may actually champion this technology and help get it seen as acceptable for families, etc.

  • Surely he'd be "St. Alan"? It seems that saints tend to be referred to by their first names.

The absent ones are always at fault.