Last week, the hacktivists leaked personal data of journalists at Vatican Radio
Last week, the hacktivists leaked personal data of journalists at Vatican Radio (Reuters/IBTimes UK)

The Italian branch of the Anonymous collective has taken down the official website of the Vatican again, this time to protest against the sex abuse cases involving Roman Catholic priests.

"Forgive us if we're not too friendly with you, but we are literally disgusted by the Catholic Church's conspiracy of silence over paedophilia cases, sometimes really objectionable," reads a statement published on Pastebin

The collective also denounced an alleged abuse that occurred to a friend of one of the members. "She was raped at 13 years old by a priest, the same one that baptized her," reads the statement.

"We know that the Vatican tends to hide the abuses without reporting them to the police. They care more about their members than of their faithful," adds the statement.

The hack was announced by anon MadHat ToR4KiKi, who tweeted: "#Anonymous - http://www.vatican.va TANGO DOWN! We do what we must,because we can. http://pastebin.com/R20339Qj #LikeABoss #TrollThePope #Anonops"

Last week, the hacktivists leaked personal data of journalists at Vatican Radio as part of its fight to force the station to act over alleged cancer-causing radio waves.

In a statement on Pastebin in Italian, the hactktivists blamed Vatican Radio radio waves for causing high cancer rates and published personal information about the station's journalists in an effort to pressurise the station to act.

The hacktivists' claim was based on a 2010 report conducted by the National Cancer Institute into cancer deaths from 1980-2003 in the Rome suburb of Cesano where Vatican Radio transmitters are located. Italy's Supreme Court ordered Vatican Radio to pay damages to Cesano residents in February 2011 in a case brought over a cluster of leukemia cases traced to radio wave levels exceeding legal limits.

The campaign followed a recent attack on the Vatican website in which Anonymous accused the church of a catalogue of crimes, from book censorship in the Counter-Reformation of the 16th and 17th century to the Spanish Inquisition to the church's role in helping Nazi criminals find refuge in foreign countries after World War II.

UPDATE at 6.08 pm: the website has become accessible again after being offline for two hours.