In an article published earlier this year in , a fortnightly magazine backed by the Vatican, entitled “Hacker ethics and Christian vision”, he did not merely praise hackers, but held up their approach to life as in some ways divine.
Mr Spadaro argued that hacking is a form of participation in God's work of creation.
Mr Kelly takes literally the words of his friend Stewart Brand, whose “Whole Earth Catalog” quipped, “We are as gods and might as well get good at it.” Mr Kelly, a Christian, says the ability to create artificial life will come with great parental responsibility and suggests that artificial worlds will need to be imbued with moral value.
“This causes a kind of revival of religion,” he says, “because religion has been thinking about this issue.” From the outside, hacking computer code has largely been viewed as a technical discipline, not as a theologically rich vision of how to live.
“In a world devoted to the logic of profit,” wrote Mr Spadaro, hackers and Christians have “much to give each other” as they promote a more positive vision of work, sharing and creativity.
He is not the only person to see an affinity between the open-source hacker ethos and Christianity.
But computer hackers might give the kids some competition, according to Antonio Spadaro, an Italian Jesuit priest.
(He uses the word hacking in its traditional, noble sense within computing circles, to refer to building or tinkering with code, rather than breaking into websites.
Such nefarious activities are instead known as “malicious hacking” or “cracking”.) Mr Spadaro says he became interested in the subject when he noticed that hackers and students of hacker culture used “the language of theological value” when writing about creativity and coding, so he decided to examine the idea more deeply.
Researchers discovered that it was possible for hackers to determine Ashley Madison passwords where users employed codes that were too simplistic.
Passwords are the first line of defense in remaining secure online, and dating websites aren’t doing enough to protect their users.