"Anonymous decided today to besiege your site in response to the doctrine, to the liturgies, to the absurd and anachronistic concepts that your for-profit organization spreads around the world," the hackers said on the Italian-language version of the Anonymous website, according to the AFP.
"This attack is not against the Christian religion or the faithful around the world but against the corrupt Roman Apostolic Church."
It also made several other unfounded accusations, saying the Church was responsible for burning books of “immense historic value,” of executing its critics, of interfering in Italian internal matters and of being responsible for the “enslavement of entire civilizations,” according to The Washington Post.
The same group tried to hack the Vatican website last year but failed, then set its sights on the website of World Youth Day in Madrid.
The incident occurred a day after five alleged computer hackers in Britain, Ireland and the United States were charged after a leader of the group, Hector Xavier Monsegur, aka Sabu, became an FBI informant. According to the indictments filed Tuesday in Manhattan, the hackers who represent Anonymous, Lulz Security and other international hacking groups were each charged with two counts of computer hacking conspiracy and face up to 10 years in jail.
The group is responsible for high-profile cyber attacks last year on Sony Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting, private intelligence firm Stratfor, and others.
In addition to the Vatican attack, the group also retaliated for the arrests by hacking the website of PandaLabs, an internet security firm.
"We are Antisec we'll fight till the end," said a message posted on PandaLabs' hacked home page. "To FBI and other s - - - s come at us bros we are waiting for you."
The attack, which occurred during the afternoon hours, managed to shut down the Vatican's website for several hours and disabled internal mail servers.
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