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'Anonymous' takes down Vatican website

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The Vatican website was taken down by the hacktivist group "Anonymous" on Wednesday. (Source: Creative Commons) The Vatican website was taken down by the hacktivist group "Anonymous" on Wednesday. (Source: Creative Commons)
Anonymous has claimed responsibility for attacking the websites of the FBI, Department of Justice, Bank of America, and the MPAA. (Courtesy John Cook) Anonymous has claimed responsibility for attacking the websites of the FBI, Department of Justice, Bank of America, and the MPAA. (Courtesy John Cook)

(RNN) – Italian hackers with the group Anonymous took down the Vatican website Wednesday.

In an online statement, they accused the Vatican of historical transgressions, including burning books, executing critics and leading people to believe in a "pay to get access to paradise" plan. The hackers also claimed the Catholic Church allowed children to be molested by clergy, the protected the guilty when the abuse was discovered.

They said the attack was not intended at "the true Christian religion and the faithful around the world, but to the corrupt Roman Apostolic Church and all its emanations."

"You refuse to decree practices and object [the] result of progress, such as condoms or abortion, as clinical wounds to eradicate," according to the statement.

A Vatican spokesman confirmed the attack but declined to comment on the source, according to USA Today. Several other Vatican-related sites were taken down, including the site for its newspaper.

The actions took place one day after criminal charges were unsealed against four members of Anonymous in Europe and two in the U.S. The Associated Press reported a hacker-turned-informant known as "Sabu" helped catch the suspects.

Anonymous is the self-described "Air Force" of the Occupy movement. It occasionally targets the websites of businesses or organizations.

Some of the websites the group previously shut down include the Department of Justice, FBI, MPAA and Bank of America.

The group also claimed credit for recording a conference call between U.S. and British investigators assigned to catch them.

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