Vatican Accepts Credit Card Donations — on Faith

Pope John Paul II now accepts all major credit cards.
The Vatican in Rome recently entered the era of modern charity by accepting donations through credit cards. Security experts, however, criticized the fact that the Holy See asks donors to take such a large leap of faith — by sending credit card information via fax to Rome.

“You’re giving anyone the possibility to use your card information for fraud,” IT security consultant Martino Bana told zoomata. “It’s not just a question of trusting Vatican employees, but trusting that the info you send over the wire via fax won’t be intercepted. It doesn’t make sense.”

Donations to the Vatican still go through the Peter’s Pence office, named after a penny tax Catholics were forced to hand over in Medieval times. Today’s Church, however, collects more than a few coins in voluntary donations — last year’s take was nearly 53 million USD, up 1.80% from the previous year.

Mons. Ramón Castro of the Peter’s Pence office said the Vatican does not have plans to process credit card donations through the official web site and invited those concerned about security to send a check by mail instead. Vatican officials recently reported that the Pope’s virtual home is under constant attack by around 30 hackers every day and 10,000 viruses per month. Experts like Bana insist that the cost of installing and maintaining a secure server is the only safe way to donate by credit card. ©1999-2008

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