Italian police black out 'blasphemous' websites

Wednesday, 10 July 2002, 3:14 PM EST

Italian authorities have shut down five Internet sites which reportedly carried blasphemies against God and the Virgin Mary, following a complaint by the Vatican's newspaper.

The paper says a special police unit has taken over the sites due to what it has termed unrepeatable words which accompanied the name of the Madonna.

The police have since blacked out pages on the sites, so that surfers can now only find the words: "Site seized by the Head of Rome's Special Police Force, on the orders of Rome's Chief Prosecutor."

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