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Vatican fixes website glitch showing two versions of Catechism

The Good Shepherd image used in the Catechism of the Catholic Church The Good Shepherd image used in the Catechism of the Catholic Church./ Public domain.

The Vatican has corrected a problem on its website that meant it displayed at least two different editions of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in English.

When using an online search engine, internet users could land on two different editions of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in English, one of which was an earlier edition.

Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See Press Office, told CNA last week that “it is one of those cases where the system updates are incompletely coordinated, so one page had the older version and the other the more recent one.”

Bruni explained that after being alerted, Vatican staff realigned the pages of the Catechism in English and were checking the website for similar problems in other languages.

Before it was corrected, the Vatican website showed two versions of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, sometimes not reflecting recent significant changes to the document.

In one version, for example, Pope Francis’ 2018 update to paragraph 2267 on the death penalty was not present, while nothing on the page indicated that it was an older edition of the Catechism.

In one version, Paragraph 2358, on homosexuality, showed wording from a previous draft of the Catechism, which left out the phrase, “which is objectively disordered,” after the words “this inclination,” except when “concordant links” were turned off.

After fixing the website, the full paragraph, as published in the Catechism, is visible whether concordant links are on or off.

Following the update, when website users use a search engine to find the Vatican website’s publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church some links may lead to an error message which says “Forbidden” and that access to the page is not permitted.

This issue can be solved by clicking on the correct link, or by going to the English-language version of the Vatican website directly and clicking on “Resource Library” at the foot of the homepage, which leads to a section called “Archive” containing a link to the Catechism.

The fix to a part of the website comes after cyber security experts urged the Vatican to strengthen its defenses against hackers.

Andrew Jenkinson​, group CEO of Cybersec Innovation Partners (CIP) in London, told CNA in November last year that he had contacted the Vatican in July to express concern about its vulnerability to cyber attacks.

The British cybersecurity consultancy approached the Vatican following reports in July 2020 that suspected Chinese state-sponsored hackers had targeted Vatican computer networks.

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