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Vatican Bans Confession Via iPhone App

Pope

First Posted: 02/09/11 01:02 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:30 PM ET

(AP) NEW YORK — Got sins? A new app for the iPhone and the iPad seeks to help Catholics prepare for confession, that sacred ritual of seeking penance for sins big and small.

"Confession: A Roman Catholic App" does not purport to take the place of an actual confession. Not even the Catholic Church, tech-savvy as it is with the Vatican tweeting in six languages, would approve that. Rather, it guides you through the Ten Commandments with a slew of questions attached to each.

Check boxes for the sins you've committed – and there are many, as any lapsed Catholic knows. The $1.99 app then guides you through contrition and offers sample text you can tell a real-life priest, which you'll have to find yourself to absolve you of your sins.

The AFP reports the app is not accepted by the Vatican:

The Vatican put its foot down Wednesday over the idea of "confessing" by iPhone, after news that US users can now download an application for the Apple gadget that helps the faithful gain absolution.

"It is essential to understand that the rites of penance require a personal dialogue between penitents and their confessor... It cannot be replaced by a computer application," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told journalists.

"I must stress to avoid all ambiguity, under no circumstance is it possible to 'confess by iPhone'," he said.

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Filed by Bianca Bosker  |