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Father Paolo Padrini. He is the Italian priest who developed the first app sanctioned by the Vatican.
Cult of Mac ran an interview today with Father Padrini, who developed iBreviary, the app that puts morning prayer, evening prayer and night prayers on the iPhone.
iBreviary is currently available only in Italian, but Spanish and English versions are on the way. Padrini works with the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and Cult of Mac talked to him about upcoming app plans as well as the philosophy behind putting religious apps in iTunes.
Father Padrini said he regularluy uses "apps related to TV, newspapers and magazines" as well as "my app iBreviary, which I use for “professional” reasons."
He stated that he is "currently working on several projects, a number of religious apps to enable the faithful to use their iPhones and iPads for prayer and to consult religious texts."
As far as what place religious apps have in iTunes, Father Padrini stated "I believe that religious content is good…for the iTunes store.. but not without careful consideration."
Father Padrini said, "The Church is right to have a presence in these tools" but that he was "very cautious about the economic aspects, which threaten to create a scandal among the faithful and non-believers alike." Cult of Mac reports that proceeds from Padrini’s iBreviary app first funded parish refurbishments, though now the app is offered for free.
However, not all potential religous activites have a place in the App Store, according to Father Padrini. "For me, the sacraments are a completely separate reality from the dynamics of technology. You cannot, for both theological and pastoral reasons, replace a personal encounter with one over a communication tool, especially if you’re talking about the sacraments… The limit of the relationship between Church and technology is a face-to-face meeting... This meeting cannot be replaced by a tool."
When asked about the approval process for apps from the Church, Father Padrini responded with, "No approval is given officially by the Church. At least this is the case in Italy."
For the complete interview, visit Cult of Mac here.
You can follow this author, Adrian Hoppel, on Twitter, if you want to.