News Burst: Nuns get surfing habit

Breaking a former papal edict, the Vatican has announced its permission for convents to have access to the Internet and even limited use of mobile phones and faxes.

Theological concerns about the effect of modern technology will still forbid television and radio, but the internet is no longer off-limits as long as it is used "only in circumstances of a religious nature."

"In a cloistered religious existence the mass media must be used with sobriety and discretion," the Vatican's statement says, requiring caution to be applied to quantity of information as much as to content.

Italian theologian Carlo Molari told the BBC that Nuns should exercise self-restraint in their surfing. "Obviously one has to be trained in order not to let oneself by led away by desire," he said.

The Vatican's own web site ( includes web video broadcasting and audio clips of Papal Masses.