Catholic Priests, Staff Caught Using Church Computers To Watch P0rn

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Catholic Priests, Staff Caught Using Church Computers To Watch P0rn

A Cologne Catholic priest and other staff were discovered to have used church computers to view p0rn.

On Friday, the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper reported that around 1,000 attempts to view restricted sites were logged when the organisation ran a month of tests on its IT security systems.

The church disclosed that the tests, conducted between May and June last year, were not specifically to investigate the behaviour of staff or clergy.

According to the newspaper report, most of the suspicious activity in computer history concerned p0rn0graphic sites, with about 15 people involved in the act, including a senior priest.

The church informed BBC that the information was collated during a routine check of its IT security’s ability to block access to sites that “pose a risk (violence, p0rn0graphy, drugs, etc)”.

The church also stated that using the church computers for watching p0rnography is strictly prohibited, and so is accessing material on drugs and violence. It said although it was “aware of the difficulty of the issue”, it did not believe any crime was committed.

It added that there was “no evaluation of the specific content behind the URLs” in question” but “no indications of criminally relevant conduct.”

Also, a website for the Catholic Church in Germany,, reported that public prosecutors were separately investigating a layman identified among the 15 on suspicion of possessing “criminal content”.

The church informed BBC News that it was cooperating “fully with the state authorities” and that the person concerned was “no longer active” in the organisation.

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The vicar-general of Cologne, Guido Assmann, said the church was “very aware” of staff attempting to read blocked content on church computers, but he was “pleased that our security systems were effective”.

“We have a large number of dedicated and reliable employees, and it pains me greatly when the behaviour of individuals casts a shadow over their work,” Mr Guido said.

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Dominic Edem

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