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Cell Phones in Church? Vatican Embraces New iPhone App

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Cell Phones in Church? Vatican Embraces New iPhone App
December 23, 2008
By Michael Dinan, TMCnet Editor


And we were always told to shut off our cell phones in church.
Well, one of Earth’s holiest places reportedly is embracing some of the planet’s most popular, cutting-edge technology.

The Associated Press is reporting that the Vatican City is backing new technology that brings its priests’ book of daily prayers onto iPhones. An agency with the Vatican – the central authority for the Roman Catholic Church – apparently is embracing “iBreviary,” an iTunes app that was created by an Italian Web designer and a hi-tech priest, the Rev. Paolo Padrini.
The 35-year-old reportedly has created a digital version of the Breviary – the book of daily prayers.
After Padrini, pictured right, told Vatican officials that technologies such as the iPhone (News - Alert) are already used widely by the church, the so-called “Pontifical Council for Social Communications” approved the father’s creation.
According to the AP, the application includes the Breviary prayer book – in Italian, English, Spanish, French and Latin. Another section includes the prayers of the daily Mass, and a third contains various other prayers.
It isn’t clear how widely used the new app will be among church leaders, but it appears that the technology has managed to stay off of a list of the worst iPhone apps, compiled by London-based IT research firm Ovum.
As TMCnet reported, one such application is an iPhone program that gained notoriety over the summer, called “I am Rich.” It was initially available on the iPhone application store, although later removed. At a cost of $999.99 (the highest possible price for an application) purchasers received no more than an icon on their iPhone stating “I am Rich,” which when activated launched an animated, shining gem.
The new iBreviary application – pictured left – costs far less money (about $1.10), and it’s been downloaded about 10,000 times in Italy. Upgrades are free.
According to the AP, Monsignor Paul Tighe, secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said the Church “is learning to use the new technologies primarily as a tool or as a mean of evangelizing, as a way of being able to share its own message with the world.”

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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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