Vatican Forbids Confession by iPhone

There's an app for that, but using it doesn't count

By Greg Wilson
|  Wednesday, Feb 9, 2011  |  Updated 10:00 AM PDT
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Vatican Forbids Confession by iPhone

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When it comes to confession, Apple is once again the forbidden fruit.

The Vatican said that iPhone users cannot employ the gadgets to confess their sins. The statement, from Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, came after an iPhone application was launched and sanctioned by the Catholic Church in the United States. But officials clarified that it can be used to guide the faithful in the sacrament, not carry it out.

"One cannot speak in any way of confessing via iPhone," Lombardi said, adding that confession required the presence of the penitent and the priest.

"This cannot be substituted by any IT application," Lombardi added.

Confession: A Roman Catholic app takes Catholics through the sacrament and includes a "personalized examination of conscience for each user."

The $1.99 application, marketed by LittleiApps, was never intended to  is not designed to replace going to confession but to help Catholics through the act, which generally involves admitting sins to a priest in a confessional booth.

Vatican officials have used sites like Facebook to “spread the word of God,” though some have warned  about the dangers of social networking with strangers on the Internet.

Selected Reading: Reuters, Bloomberg News, Christian Science Monitor.

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