How to tell wolves from sheep: rogue 'catholic' sites

I’m a ardent listener of Mother Angelica’s EWTN programs.

One day, I typed www.etwn.com accidentally (instead of ‘ewtn’) and it didn’t take me long to find out that it was a rogue site.

A couple days ago I was listening to Patrick Madrid (EWTN’s Openline program) and he referred to listeners to a site called ‘catholic answers dot com’. Well, I type www.catholicanswers.com and that it turned out to be another rogue site. (Of course, I discovered the correct link should be www.catholicanswer.com.

I’m sure there’re numberless such sites that are not Catholic masquerading as one. They are really sinister (I recoil in horror imagining any innocent and well-meaning enquirer going to the wrong ‘catholic’ sites). These rogue sites are wolves in sheep clothing!

Is there a register somewhere (genuiinely Catholic) that one can check if any site purporting or masquerading as Catholic is one?

-Hal

I checked those sites and found them quite similar to those websites that look like search engines or something like that. What did you find on them then?

I thought they looked like those search engines also. In fact on the first one, I found a link where you could buy books by Scott Hahn and other reputable Catholic authors.

The etwn site, though most of that seemed like it was just directing you to places you cold buy resources (I didn’t check it all out), there was one disturbing thing. On the bottom left, there’s a link for ‘n u d e pictures’. I clicked on it, ready to jump right out if I saw anything, but that has links for some awful web-sites. I did NOT click on those! So that is insidious. Kids could be looking for something and find that!

My brother was once trying to find a link to learn something about the Whitehouse. The one in Washington, DC, where the President lives… Well, he was put onto a porn site. Go figure. :shrug:

It happens, and it’s bad. I was searching for a magazine I do business with, found the ‘correct’ name of the web site, and clicked on the link—immediately it took me to one of THOSE sites, where you can’t even close the link!

Seems there’s nothing more important than the rights of pornographers to invade your home any way they can.

:mad:

That was an older version of the White House website created during the Clinton administration.

How apropos.

That .com address has been linked to porn since the late 90s, but I hardly think that the Clinton administration had anything to do with it.

At any rate, Catholic Culture does website reviews (among other things). They are one way to distinguish the wolves from the sheep.

But as others have mentioned, opportunists frequently create websites using a web address that is a variation of some popular site. The OP’s example of ETWN instead of EWTN.com is a good example. They hope to snag viewers who made a mistake.

You don’t? Have you forgotten Gennifer? Monica’s dress? Bill’s cigar?

:rotfl:

The real White House site (like other government sites) is a dotgov, not a dotcom.
This is not the first time I have heard of :eek: this happening.

On the rogue etwn.com site, the porn link is just one example. If you click on the ‘catholic faith’ or ‘catholic church’ link, you could eventually get to ‘MostHolyFamilyMonastery.Com’ and it’s very tragic what faith-threatening contents you will find in there that the uninitiated or innocent inquirer could pick up.

Yes, both ‘etwn’ and ‘catholicanswers’ are search engines but the point I’m trying to get at is if anyone knows how I can access a trusted site that can help me tell the wolves from the sheep.

I think Dale_M has provided a link to ‘Catholic Culture’, so I’m going to try it later and see if it’ll help.

-H

I think that looking at the Catholic Culture website would be your best bet. Not only do they rate the fidelity of the websites (green=good, yellow=caution, red=bad), but they give examples to back up their assessments. Thus, you know why the site is good or bad, which I think is very important. Sometimes the weakness is a glaring opposition to Church teaching; sometimes, the weakness is simply that they don’t screen their links carefully enough. Looking at the examples helps you avoid lumping the two together.

On a related note, I recently wrote how the so-called ‘Culture of Death’ has targeted Boy Scouts, since the link to their flagship magazine Boy’s Life is not boyslife.com. (Take a guess what that refers to!)

Read more at: miserere.org/m/archivedposts/19

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