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The Catholic church has approved an iPhone app
that helps guide worshippers through confession.
The Catholic church has approved an iPhone app that helps guide worshippers through confession. The launch of an iPhone app that guides Catholics through confession has prompted a furious response from gay rights groups, who accuse it of "promoting anti-gay spiritual abuse". "Confession: A Roman Catholic App", which costs £1.19 from the Apple iTunes store, has shot to 26 in the download charts, behind Sims 3 and Resident Evil 4: Platinum. The app allows "a personalised examination of conscience for each user", and has already won the backing of senior members of the Catholic church. A spokesman for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales said it was a "useful tool to help people prepare for the sacrament of reconciliation". Among the questions users are asked is: "Have I been guilty of any homosexual activity?" Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, a group that campaigns on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people, accused the app of "helping to create neurotic individuals who are ashamed of who they are". "This is cyber spiritual abuse that promotes backward ideas in a modern package," said Besen. "Gay Catholics don't need to confess, they need to come out of the closet and challenge anti-gay dogma. The false idea that being gay is something to be ashamed of has destroyed too many lives. This iPhone app is facilitating and furthering the harm." Gay rights groups have become concerned at the use of technology to target minorities. Besen pointed to the Manhattan Declaration app, which was released last October on the back of a 5,000-word petition drawn up by several Christian groups, and opposed LGBT rights and gay marriage. A furore among liberal commentators prompted iTunes to pull the app from its store. A spokesman for the Confession App's creator declined to comment. However, the company has insisted it did not write the questions, which were posed by Catholic priests.