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Vatican Voices Disapproval for Confession iPhone App

| 11 Feb 2011 00:22
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iPhone apps are no replacement for a priest, says Vatican spokesman.

Confession: A Roman Catholic App, a religious-themed application for the iPhone and iPad, has met with disapproval from the Vatican, despite having received a stamp of approval from a bishop. As you might have guessed from its title, Confession is intended to help Catholic iPhone users confess their sins.

Confession has password protected profiles, which keep track of a user's age, gender, occupation, and the amount of time between confessions. It also contains a step-by-step guide to the sacrament so that users might take part in the Rite of Penance. Confession's developer, Little iApps, worked in conjunction with two priests to make sure all the text was accurate, and the app received an imprimatur - which is essentially the Catholic Church's seal of approval - from Bishop Kevin C. Rhodes of the Diocese of Fort Wayne - South Bend.

Unfortunately for Little iApps, and quite possibly Bishop Rhodes too, the Vatican doesn't agree with the Bishop's assessment. In a statement, Vatican spokesperson Federico Lombardi said that an iPhone app could never take the place of an actual priest, and that under no circumstances was it possible to confess through a piece of software. He said that it was vital that people understood that the Rite of Penance was a dialogue between the penitent and his or her confessor.

This mark of disapproval from the Vatican will no doubt be quite a blow to Little iApps, especially as it was an address by Pope Benedict XVI himself that inspired the studio to make the app in the first place. It also raises some interesting questions about the role of technology in the Catholic Church - and indeed, a lot of other faiths - but those are probably best left to people better qualified to answer them.

Source: Daily Mail

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