iPad for the altar

Fr Padrini with his iBreviary

Fr Padrini with his iBreviary

An Italian priest has developed a new application that will enable priests to celebrate Mass with an iPad on the altar instead of the regular Roman missal.

Father Paolo Padrini,  parish priest in Tortona, north Italy and consultant with the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said the free application will be launched in July in English, French, Spanish, Italian and Latin.

Two years ago, Fr Paolo developed the iBreviary, for use on an iPhone.  More than 200,000 people have downloaded this application, he said.

The iPad application is similar but also contains the complete missal - containing all that is said and sung during Mass throughout the liturgical year. Upgrades are expected to feature audio as well as commentaries and suggestions for homilies as well as musical accompaniment, Fr Paolo explained.

Fr Paulo said he didn't think books would disappear, but he thought the new iPad would be an additional useful resource for priests, especially those who have to travel and celebrate Mass in different places.

Speaking at a press conference he stressed that both the iBreviary and iMissal have been launched on his own initiative, with his own money and are not official Vatican projects. But he added that the Vatican has praised the iMissal as a novel way of evangelising.

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