Vatican to Launch Virtual World

by Alphaville Herald on 15/10/10 at 12:26 pm

New-Media Strategy Makes Catholicism Hip Again 

By Journey Yellowlist, Herald Religion Pew Desk 

Even as His Holiness Pope Benedict launched a frontal assault against media in general and virtual worlds in particular, the Church has rolled out its own competitor to soon to collapse once-heralded Second Life


Ex Cathedratm will soon launch using a dedicated client bearing the imprimatur  of Rome, with immersive simulations that include an interactive pilgrimage to medieval Canterbury, a dramatic game recreating Apostolic succession, real-time exegesis of ancient religious texts-on-a-prim, a vampire-hunt with “The Holy Inquisition 2.0” team of superheroes, and a humorous casual game for young men about the perils of altar-boy duties, “Who Dropped the Body of Christ?” 

Catholic gamers are delighted that the Vatican will finally enter the 21st century. 

“Dude, The Church has totally been like this really boring wine-and-cracker party that went on for like 2000 years,” said StXavrRulz, a respondent at the Holy Father’s blog, Nihil Obstat. “But being able 2 stake fag vampires and burn heretics at the stake completely rocks. ROCK ON Benny ROCK ON.” 

Conclave of Developers To Do God’s Work 

The Vatican has been quick to avoid the sorts of mistakes common at Linden Lab. 

“From the start we intend to avoid doctrinal errors that, sadly, have led so many souls astray,” said His Eminence  Bonaventure Ignatius Loyola Jeanbaptiste, Cardinal of the server-farm inside the Vatican. “We have constant supervision now of all coding and hardware acquisition, and we hold our team to the highest possible standards.” 


The Cardinal is said to be a leading candidate to become the next Holy Father. He has been instrumental in several technology initiatives for the Vatican, notably increased security measures to protect The Church’s priceless treasures and key prelates.  The Cardinal oversaw the purchase of several hundred Leopard III tanks and Eurofighter aircraft, a move that caused protests outside St. Peters by mobs of antiwar protestors. To quell the riots and “restore peace,” the Cardinal dispersed the crowd using the Pope’s personal bodyguard of fifty 800-series Swissguard2000 tm defensebots. Cardinal Jeanbaptiste personally designed these robots. 

While His Eminence’s tactics may seem reactionary, his technical skills are impeccable. In leading development of the Ex Cathedra team, the Cardinal has made several noteworthy changes from the competition. All avatars will have their owners’ real names, “in order to avoid occasion for sin in this sacred space,” The Cardinal added.  “Though in a moment of vanity, I made my own avatar to look a bit like His Eminence Jean du Plessis de Richelieu.” 

“In fact, mine is the first virtual cardinalitial diocese.” He eyed the rows of hardware with pride. “There are thousands of souls in these boxes already. With my brothers in the faith we will maintain excellent stability and reliable service on our grid.” 

Coders and customer-support clergy who prove poor at their jobs will be transferred by the College of Cardinals to remote parishes. 

“Or we’ll sell them to the godless Turk to be his galley slaves,” Cardinal Jeanbaptiste said, with a wink. “Just kidding.” 

All third-party viewers have been branded, in advance, as malefactus for Catholic gamers, known in Ex Cathedra as “brothers and sisters.”  Those found using TPVs will be subject to excommunication. All non-Catholics are blocked from the virtual world, though potential converts may use a secondary grid, Purgatorio, until certified as ready for conversion. 

“We want to give those bound for perdition a taste of what awaits them unless they convert. Though they will not feel the torments of hell itself, their avatars will not be glamorous, their activities banal, and the setting and company will test even the strongest of errant wills.” 

a view inside the Purgatorio grid

User-generated content will be permitted in Ex Cathedra, but most will be subject to review by a panel of Bishops and theologians.  Some unrestricted content will be allowed: cakes for church bake-sales, tracts against birth control and masturbation, baptismal fonts for parish churches, yard-sticks for nuns in Parochial School region, and implements of torture for the adults-only Torquemada sims. 

Unholy Fail: Heretics Stumble in Attempt to Match Rome 

Even before Benedict sat in the chair of St. Peter, plans were afoot for Catholic dominance of the gaming industry. John Paul II was particularly fond of St. Mariotm, an early PC game that he had planned to offer as an MMO teaching youth virtue and manual dexterity. 

Had the pontiff lived longer, this project may have come out of beta into full release. Instead, after his death, the short-lived and unpopular Torments of the Martyrstm was released and quickly sank. Reviewers noted that the choice of soundtrack-hymns alienated many young gamers and modern Catholic parents were offended by images of disembowelment, flaying, boiling in oil, cutting off of noses and ears, all accompanied by violent lyrics that boomed from their children’s speakers: 

O sacred head, surrounded 
by crown of piercing thorn! 
O bleeding head, so wounded, 
reviled and put to scorn!

infallible beta-tester prefers Ex Cathedratm 

Progress has continued unabated since that early gaff, and today the Holy See appears to be far ahead of The Archbishop of Canterbury, whose Anglican Lifetm virtual world was derived from an early version of Ex Cathedra released during a ecumenical thaw. 

The stability of Anglican Life has been derided by some tech writers; pro-Catholic griefers recently attacked several regions, leaving the tags “Rome pwns CoE!” and “Henry8 burnz in Hell!” on the side of virtual Westminster Abbey, while a Sunday service at the virtual York Minster was interrupted by a particle attack featuring thousands of images of Queen Elizabeth I kneeling, in Gorean slavegirl attire, before Philip II of Spain. 

“We deny these childish acts,” Cardinal Jeanbaptiste insisted. “If, however, some overly-zealous member of the One True Faithtm were culpable, desecration of once-Catholic, now heretical, virtual buildings would only merit a few years in Purgatory. Yet I think it more likely that the LutherSim codeset favored by Protestant virtual-world builders permitted the defacement of the English heretics’ places of worship. With such variation, all sorts of error creeps into the purity of what began as the One True Codetm.” 

Whatever the faults of Anglican Life, it’s undeniable that other branches of the LutherSimulator client-and-server software are not only less stable than the Vatican’s platform but also grid owners running this software show no sign of reaching common standards.  

A recent conclave of LutherSim developers broke down into ever-smaller factions, each with its “divinely approved” version of the source code.  All of them united, however, to denounce the Roman Catholic software. 

“That’s Open-Source theology for you,” Cardinal Jeanbaptise lamented, rolling his eyes heavenward. 

Dark Powers Exploit Early Flaw in Code 

His Eminence was less sanguine about a flaw that emerged during the closed-beta tests of the new world.  Upon login for nearly a week, clergy found their Ex Cathedra avatars wearing altar-boy uniforms while trapped in the locked vestry of a church and unable to log off. The avatars were carnally violated by “Father Agrippa,” a malevolent figure whose face resembled an amalgam of many priests accused in recent sex scandals. 

“This was the work of the Evil One and his minions,” Cardinal Jeanbaptiste noted, dryly. “We found a security hole in the login protocols, left by one of our brothers who had not yet taken his vows. He has been disciplined, though the fault lies with his listening to GWAR during an all-night coding session and we blame them for this possession by Satan.”  

After the incident all servers were sprinkled with holy water, and one unrepentant CPU was buried with a titanium stake through its hard drive. Coding then resumed. 

Corporate Sponsorship  

Interest in Ex Cathedra has been intense, with some companies already announcing plans. Among these efforts will be a Red Papal Bulltm in-world quest to see which sinners can be rounded up and brought before the Inquisition.

Microsoft’s Stained-Glass Windowstm marketplace will also open to provide virtual goods and services to brothers and sisters in Ex Cathedra.  

Not to be outdone by the private sector, the Jesuits and Benedictines have formed in-world orders with intensive requirements for full group membership. For a weekly contribution, members of the public may join the orders as laity. 

In other corporate news, The Church has denied that HP agreed to change its brand-name to “Heavenly Powers” or “Holy Pontiff,” in exchange to exclusive contracts for the entire Vatican server-farm and upgrades to the 800-series defensebots. 


“That claim is false,” Cardinal Jeanbaptise confirmed. “The 1000-series Swiss Guards are being tested and produced with the assistance of several German firms. We’ll introduce them soon to the lapsed faithful in Europe before a full global deployment on The Holy Father’s next tour.” 

The Vatican also reaffirmed that no Linux clients of any sort will be released for Ex Cathedra. As Cardinal Jeanbaptise put it “we do not accept this Unitarian-Universalist OS as legitimate for the salvation of souls.  Steve Jobs and Steve Balmer, however, would have made excellent medieval cardinals, so we have embraced both Windows and the Mac OS. God’s will be done. See you in-world.” 

46 Responses to “Vatican to Launch Virtual World”

  1. Rebecca

    Oct 15th, 2010

    In b4 the excommunication

  2. Tarheel McCoy

    Oct 15th, 2010

    In the church’s new enlightened doctrine, excommunication just means they block your IP. But you can still get in if you use a proxy.

  3. Glenn Beck

    Oct 15th, 2010

    You know who else was a Catholic?


    There needs to be an official LDS church in SL.

  4. Pappy Enoch

    Oct 15th, 2010

    I done set me up the First Bleeding Heart o’ Jesus Grid with LuterSim(tm)–the Hardshell Baptist release. I got the snake-handlin’ anims workin’ like a charm.

    It run great fo’ about a day an’ I were a-savin’ souls an’ takin’ in donations.

    But then ol’ Billyzbob, that servant o’ Satan, done got into my grid an shut me rite out. He are runnin’ it now.

    He looks just like Prokofy Neva an’ am sayin’ he is Gawd. If’n I blows up my cornputer will it kill Prok dead?

  5. Darien Caldwell

    Oct 15th, 2010

    I’m sure the kid AVs will be welcomed there with open arms.

  6. edna

    Oct 15th, 2010

    Hitler was not Catholic, pure BS.

    More power to the Vatican as far as I am concerned. After all, it isn’t the Catholics beheading and murdering people on a daily basis, and there is nothing in the Catholic Bible that says it is your duty to murder anyone who isn’t Catholic.

  7. c3

    Oct 15th, 2010

    holy mother AGNES of GOD!….oops. shes now a cylon….

  8. Charity Stohr

    Oct 15th, 2010


    Hitler was indeed Catholic. He was raised Catholic, spoke of this allegiance to the God of Abraham and Jesus, spoke out against the evils of atheism, attended Catholic mass regularly, and kept in good with Pope Pius XII. l2/history

  9. Charity Stohr

    Oct 15th, 2010


    And no they aren’t beheading people, just fucking little boys. Apples and oranges right?

  10. Emperor Norton hears a who?

    Oct 15th, 2010

    edna @ “Hitler was not Catholic, pure BS.”

    LOL here we go with the No TRUE Scotsman fallacy

    He was raised a Catholic, was a confirmed a Catholic and above all never renounced being a Catholic.Even his political philosophy, Fascism, originated in a Catholic country, Italy. Kind of no surprise considering he was an Austrian from the early 20th century.

    PRO-TIP The writing on Hitler’s belt buckle translates as “God is with us”

    I can here it now, “but, but Hitler was SOCIALIST like Obama and LENIN!!!” Hitler also killed the Jews like the Spanish Inquisition.

    PRO-TIP Antisemitism isn’t a secularist doctrine.

  11. Doctor Yootz

    Oct 15th, 2010

    If you check our history you will see that we were exactly the same.
    The only difference is that we had the age of enlightenment and the most civilized countries strictly disconnected church from gouverment.

    Without that we still would burn some old ladies, blacks would still be slaves, and i would probably end up pilloried or worse.

    so, no, better dont give them more power (back)

    Like that we are “olny” bothered with hunderds of raped children and several million africans that have aids because the pope told them that god doesnt like condoms.

  12. Pappy Enoch

    Oct 15th, 2010

    Some feller name o’ “Cardinal Fang” done nailed this on the outhouse door:

    “You contemptible bumpkins THINK that we are not monitoring your every word on that vat of sin called the Alphaville Herald. We will strike when least expected. His Holiness is collecting the IP addresses of those who must be cleansed in the licking flames, though their immortal souls may be saved if they RECANT their heresy before my officers…”

    It done gone on about 5K words after that. Too short for Prokofy Neva, but look out! Them rascals from Rome am after us!

    I hope they gits Jumpman Lane first. He gots a nice butt and mouth and that will distract ‘em enuff so’s I kin run off.

  13. corona anatine

    Oct 15th, 2010

    poe says
    New technologies and the progress they bring can make it impossible to distinguish truth from illusion and can lead to confusion between reality and virtual reality. The image can also become independent from reality, it can give birth to a virtual world, with various consequences — above all the risk of indifference towards real life,”.

    impossible to distinguish truth from illusion and can lead to confusion between reality and virtual reality.

    says a believer in ‘god’

    the Irony

  14. edna

    Oct 15th, 2010

    Our history lessons are fading for some apparently. Hitler was no more a Catholic than he was a Jew. He simply decided to pretend to be a Catholic because with nearly half his country being Catholic he feared that the Catholics in his country and the Catholic church would revolt and disrupt his scheme if they knew that he vowed secretly to completely eradicate Christianity from Germany. He later went on to exterminate approximately 3,0000 catholics in his death camps.

    ‘You are either a Christian or a German, you cannot be both.’ -Adolph Hitler 1933

    As far as comparing some fame seeker’s unverified accusation that he had homosexual relations with some nutty priest back in 1953 with the extermination of millions and millions of people, that’s preposterous.

  15. Tracey Humphreys

    Oct 15th, 2010

    Will this new grid have homosexual relations with nutty nuns too? Cool!.

    Hope they allow gambling as well.

    What is everyone going going on about Hitler for?
    I seen all his YouTube vids He is a lousy actor, he just shouts a lot.

  16. Scree Raymaker

    Oct 15th, 2010

    This game and Planet Michael should team up.

  17. Charity Stohr

    Oct 16th, 2010

    If you think there’s only one allegation of sexual molestation in the Catholic priesthood, you are clearly delusional. It’s a plaguing problem so much so that they actually had Ratzinger dedicate his time, before being elected Pope Shithead XVI, rearranging priests around the world to avoid prosecution. Then goes to England and tried to dissuade the fact there’s a huge rape fest in the Catholic Churches there by claiming the real problem is secularism for causing the Holocaust. Funny considering the Vatican allowed the atrocities of the Holocaust to happen by intentionally remaining silent on the issue to to the fact Hitler was (in their eyes) a good Catholic and they were staunchly anti-semitic up until the 1960s. Even more funny when you realize he was alive and saw it all first hand.

    Well Hitler is long dead now and the only thing the Church is actively doing we can condemn is buggering little boys. Something, as it appears, you help finance the protection of.

  18. edna

    Oct 16th, 2010

    @ Charity Yes, one documented allegation of homosexual activity in Boston, priest accused of the homosexual activity is long dead. Any other “accusations” are simply internet babble.

    Your homophobia is going to rot your brain and eat you alive my friend. Relax, it is 2010, no “homos” are waiting to jump out from under your bed and get you. They’ve got better things to do.

  19. corona anatine

    Oct 16th, 2010

    Only Christians or muslims would consider jews guilty of crime as a race
    because only those two religions include attacks on jews for killing jesus

    which is strange – because according to the christian veiwpoint it was essential that christ died – so logic would suggest according to that veiwpoint that the jews were doing ‘god’s work and helping – so where the crime ?

    and for the islamics it is probably sufficient cause for hatred that jewes are not muslims

  20. corona anatine

    Oct 16th, 2010

    “homos” are waiting to jump out from under your bed and get you.

    why would they need to jump out ?

    they could just make a hole in the mattress : )

  21. corona anatine

    Oct 16th, 2010

    Relax, it is 2010, no “homos” are waiting to jump out

    problem is, homophobia tends to be fairly timeless

  22. Nelson Jenkins

    Oct 16th, 2010

    @ edna

    The problem isn’t that they’re homophobic, it’s that they’re pointing out that priests are being hypocrites for preaching their homophobic beliefs while being homosexual themselves. You’ll find that very few people on the internet, aside from christfags and teenage girls, are actually homophobic.

  23. corona anatine

    Oct 16th, 2010


    the idea of christFAGS being homophobic

    why teenage girls tho ?- why would they be especailly homophobic

    surely they should be less – cos gays males would give them less hassle ?

  24. Nelson Jenkins

    Oct 16th, 2010

    @ corona anatine

    I’m personally curious as to why you refuse to utilize your shift key and what you meant by your first two lines.

  25. edna

    Oct 16th, 2010

    @ Nelson

    Catholic priests don’t preach, they solemnly recite mass. It is the evangelical Christians that preach. Anyway, I’ll take your word for it. If you know for a fact what priests are saying than you obviously attend Catholic mass quite regularly. I’ve only been to couple of funerals and baptisms so I can’t dispute what a church goer like yourself has to say.

  26. Nelson Jenkins

    Oct 16th, 2010

    @ edna

    I’ll concede that they don’t preach, but that doesn’t make them any less ignorant and stupid. By the way, atheists know more about mainstream religious beliefs than those who actually believe in them.

  27. Arc Vyper

    Oct 17th, 2010

    This is a joke, right?

  28. Tracey Humphreys

    Oct 17th, 2010

    @Arc Vyper


    The Holy Roman Catholic Church is NOT laughing matter, Arc.

    /me says three ‘hail Marys’, gets on her knees to pray for forgiveness for Arc’s soul and takes a big swig of communion wine.

  29. Doctor Yootz

    Oct 17th, 2010

    “Catholic priests don’t preach, they solemnly recite mass. It is the evangelical Christians that preach.”

    uhm, no. catholic priests preach.
    and please dont come up with the evangelical ones, those are even more crazy than the catholic ones.
    i mean, come on!
    Earth is six thousand years old, and adam and eve lived together with the dinosaurs???

    They can belief what ever they want, but they also want to teach that crap at school, and thats not ok.

  30. Senban Babii

    Oct 17th, 2010

    @Doctor Yootz
    “Earth is six thousand years old, and adam and eve lived together with the dinosaurs???”

    Preposterous! Adam and Eve living with dinosaurs, what nonsense!

    Everyone knows that was Doug McCLure and Raquel Welch.

    Religion needs to gets its facts straight!

  31. Doctor Yootz

    Oct 17th, 2010

    @Senban Babii
    everyone that is touched by his noodly appendage knows the truth!


  32. archie

    Oct 17th, 2010

    Wait until the griefers move in
    that should be fun fun fun

  33. hobo kelly

    Oct 18th, 2010

    Wellsum, I dun asked a friend what used to be altar boy when he was way younger, I dun asked him to gime me one sentence what describes the Catholic church. I reckon he told me: “Well, the only meat a Priest can eat on Fridays is Nun…” Ya get what cha pay for I reckon.

  34. Glenn Beck

    Oct 19th, 2010

    Silly Catholics, everyone knows John Smith > The Pope.

  35. Glenn Beck

    Oct 19th, 2010

    Joseph Smith*

    Sorry, rum was buy one get one this week at Right-Aid

  36. corona anatine

    Oct 23rd, 2010

    Religion needs to gets its facts straight!


    Religion does’nt do fact
    only blind faith

  37. Ava Cartier

    Oct 28th, 2010

    Well, I’ll be dogged. Guess we at the Atheist Center should roll out an invitation to tea.

  38. grinch

    Jul 25th, 2011

    ZOMG this grid is ripe for the pwnage, fuck yes i can see lulz abound for miles and miles with these morons, its just opensim with a few thingys and whatchmacallits added, every exploit and then some is available :) Your viewer channel isn’t locked down either XD

  39. Nelson Jenkins

    Jul 25th, 2011

    @ grinch

    The stories and information posted here are artistic works of fiction and falsehood.
    Only a fool would take anything posted here as fact.

  40. Senban Babii

    Jul 25th, 2011

    What? Nelson, are you telling me the thing about the 800-series defensebots isn’t true?

    For this I converted to Catholicism!

  41. grinch

    Jul 25th, 2011

    You don’t say really ?

  42. His Eminence Bonaventure Ignatius Loyola Jeanbaptiste

    Jul 25th, 2011

    Of course it is all true. The only error is that the 1200-series is now being tested on a selected group of heretics beta testers.

  43. someone unimportant

    Jul 25th, 2011

    Nelson Jenkins: “By the way, atheists know more about mainstream religious beliefs than those who actually believe in them.”

    Really? and that’s why you get

    Doctor Yootz: “and please dont come up with the evangelical ones, those are even more crazy than the catholic ones.
    i mean, come on!
    Earth is six thousand years old, and adam and eve lived together with the dinosaurs???”

    Which is only a small percentage of non catholic christians who believe that, the rest of them don’t.

    Sure some atheists know a bit about religion and a few actually know a lot about it and what is detailed in religious texts from more then just Christianity. But most atheists have no clue what they’re talking about and are just parroting the same BS.

    Like “Without religion there’d be world peace” or “strictly disconnected church from government. Without that we still would burn some old ladies, blacks would still be slaves, and i would probably end up pilloried or worse.” As if all christians are pro slavery and believe in witches and that each and every armed conflict in history have had religion as it’s cause.

    Or the homophobia thing, that always makes me LOL. In my home town, we’ve had an openly gay pastor in our protestant church. That should be impossible if Christians were such gay hating bigots as some atheists would like us to believe.

    As a disclaimer; yes, I am a Christfag. I’m protestant Christian, and gay. And I believe in evolution and an old Earth and an even older, ancient universe.
    If you can believe that :) If not, that’s fine with me. To each their own as they say.

  44. Yep

    Jul 25th, 2011

    Go getem Tiger :D

  45. Reader

    Jul 25th, 2011

    old thread, who cares?

  46. Doctor Yootz

    Jul 30th, 2011

    someone unimportant
    ….Which is only a small percentage of non catholic christians who believe that, the rest of them don’t…..

    so i was right, right?

    Of course there are some other non catholic christians that dont belive that bullshit.
    But they dont do it right and will endup in hell for it.
    Also they weren’t the topic of my post, so i dont see why i have to be your example.

    Feel free to belive in ghosts if you want, as long as you dont blow up cars to punish nonbelivers, and dont teach it at school, im ok with it.

Leave a Reply