The launch of a new iPhone app which can be used for confession has met with criticism from the Vatican.
The new application, called “Confession: A Roman Catholic App,” originally received support from American officials within the Catholic Church.
But the Vatican have officially responded saying “under no circumstances” can Catholics confess via their iPhone.
“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,” said Vatican spokesperson Federico Lombardi.
“I must stress to avoid all ambiguity, under no circumstance is it possible to confess by iPhone,” he added.
Developed by Patrick Leinen of Little iApps, he said he was inspired to design the app after hearing a papal message from the Pope in January in which he asked “that young people may learn to use modern means of social communication for their personal growth and to better prepare themselves to serve society.”