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HAL the malicious computer goes where ICEL fears to tread

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 09, 2010

Pope Pius XII did not use a computer word-processing program. We know that with certainty, since the programs weren't available in his lifetime. But if MicroSoft Word had been on the market in 1954, when Pius XII released his encyclical Sacra Viginitas, it would be easier to explain some passages of the English-language version that now appears on the Vatican web site.

The puzzlement begins at the start of the 3rd paragraph:

Indeed, right from Apostolic Times New Roman this virtue has been thriving and flourishing in the garden of the Church.

Huh? Confused? Read on and you find some other puzzling lines:

Several Times New Roman in the course of his comparison between marriage and virginity the Apostle reveals his mind…

and

All holy men and women have most carefully guarded the movements of their senses and their passions, and at Times New Roman have very harshly crushed them…

and

.. a prudent knowledge of those problems which our Times New Roman have brought to the fore.

By now you get the picture. For some reason the word-processor replaced each occurence of the word "times" with the name of the popular font: "Times New Roman." It was user error, no doubt; the charism of infallibility does not extend to data entry. That's one of "the problems which our Times New Roman times have brought to the fore." 

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Show 6 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Lisa Nicholas, PhD - Jun. 19, 2010 5:14 PM ET USA

    Apparently the Vatican does not check its "track backs" -- the errors are still there!

  • Posted by: - Jun. 15, 2010 1:14 PM ET USA

    It sounds like these are "Global Find and Replace Errors!"

  • Posted by: msorensen71798 - Jun. 10, 2010 12:28 AM ET USA

    Modern technology does not obviate the need for profreeding.

  • Posted by: Salome - Jun. 09, 2010 4:22 PM ET USA

    And it still wouldn't have fixed the Latin typo in the first paragraph.

  • Posted by: Saint Jimbob of the Apokalypse - Jun. 09, 2010 1:06 PM ET USA

    "..Save us from the fires of Helvetica..."

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Jun. 09, 2010 12:47 PM ET USA

    The only thing you can do is say a small prayer and sing an Arial.

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