Response by the Archdiocese of Seattle

By now, everyone probably has seen the wonderfully funny phony news release about Microsoft acquiring the Catholic Church. Well, some people didn't get the joke, and Microsoft was deluged with calls, so they released an official retraction to the bogus story, which made the news around here. I saw the following piece in the Bellevue Journal-American, and in case you didn't see it, here you go. A real Christmas present from the Catholic church -- a sense of humor (at least in the archdiocese of Seattle).

Seattle, Washington: Microsoft Corporation wasn't very amused last week by the fake story about it supposedly acquiring the Catholic Church, but the phony news account didn't bother the Archdiocese of Seattle, which issued a tongue-in-cheek response Monday.

"We could have had a material as well as a spiritual Christmas," joked John A. McCoy, public affairs director for the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle. "We could have had a software bonanza in the collection basket."

Church officials pretended to be disappointed by Microsoft's formal denial Friday of a fake story floating around the Internet that said it would buy the Roman Catholic Church. The archdiocesan public affairs office faxed a press release to the local media with the headline "Church Hopes Dashed as Microsoft Denies Acquisition Bid."

The release listed several reasons why a church- Microsoft deal might have been beneficial. The church, for example, might have helped Microsoft develop better icons for its software programs.

"We've had 2,000 years of working with icons. Microsoft Windows has only done it for three. We could have helped," the release read.

"We're trying to show that the Catholic church has a sense of humor," McCoy explained.

Archbishop Thomas Murphy was not quoted in the release, but he approved it before it was faxed to the media, McCoy said.