ROME — An Internet search for the Vatican through Google threw up a link to a website called www.pedofilo.com, the Italian word for paedophile, on Saturday.
The link, among the first options offered by the search, apparently surfaced early Saturday, Italian news agency ANSA reported, adding that it connected to an apparently empty site.
A spokesman for Google Italy, Simona Panseri, told ANSA it was not clear if this was a result of hacking.
“I cannot confirm if it is an attack because I have not had any more precise information from the US engineers to understand the nature of the problem,” he told the agency.
The Vatican is battling allegations of abuse by paedophile priests and allegations of high-level cover-ups in several European countries, after similar scandals swept Australia and the United States in 2004.