You probably heard about a Chicago man who registered PopeFrancis.com back in 2010. Shortly after Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina was elected Pope, the lawyer who registered PopeFrancis.com offered to donate the domain name to the Vatican and the new Pope.
PopeFrancis.com is now being used, and a Whois search shows that Direzione delle Telecomunicazioni SCV at the Vatican is now the registered owner of the domain name. I am not sure when the Vatican took possession of the domain name since it appears to have been made a private registration in mid-March through April.
The website looks very similar to the Vatican’s own website (perhaps the same). From the standpoint of Google, this might not be a good thing because of the issue of duplicate content, but perhaps the company will let this transgression slide. As of right now, the only PopeFrancis.com page indexed in Google is the Go Daddy landing page that was previously used.
It would be a wise move to build a unique website on this domain name, at least from the standpoint of search engines. At the present time, a Google search of “Pope Francis” shows that the Vatican’s website is currently the 5th result. Perhaps a website on PopeFrancis.com would change that.
More information on this can be found in Ellen Jean Hirst’s article on the Chicago Tribune’s website.