December 23, 2008

New iTunes Application Wins Vatican Support

A new iTunes application that brings the book of daily prayers used by priests onto iPhones has won the support of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

The iBreviary is the creation of Rev. Paolo Padrini, a tech-savvy Web designer and Italian priest.  The application includes the Breviary prayer book in Italian, Spanish, French, English and Latin, and soon in German and Portuguese.  The prayers of the daily Mass and various other prayers are also part of the application.

Padrini said the official version of iBreviary was released earlier this month, at a price of euro 0.79 ($1.10), with future upgrades included at no cost.  The formal launch comes after the application was downloaded roughly 10,000 times during a free trial period in Italy. All of Padrini's proceeds will go to charity.

Monsignor Paul Tighe, secretary of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Social Communications, lauded the new application on Monday.

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," he said in an interview with the Associated Press.

Pope Benedict XVI, a classical music enthusiast who reportedly received an iPod in 2006, has sought to use new media as a way to reach out to young people.  During last year's World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia, he distributed mobile phone text messages to thousands of registered pilgrims with messages citing scripture and signed with the tagline "BXVI."


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