In a shock move this week, the Catholic Church has given the go ahead for the launch of an iPhone application that helps sinners undertake confession without visiting a priest.
Marketed as "the sinner's guide to salvation", it takes the worshipper through all the stages of confession and is invaluable for those who are unable to leave their home or who otherwise find it impossible to attend church.
A church spokesman said "We have long been aware that there are many of our flock for whom the traditional method of accessing the confessional is impractical. This tool of the modern age will hopefully address this issue ".
When the confession has been completed and accepted by the application, the sinner can then choose what particular penance they wish to suffer.
While repeating the appropriate number of Hail Marys into the iPhone will no doubt be one of the more popular options, there are other forms of penance available.
If the more masochistic user selects the "Chair" option, a series of electric shocks will salve their conscience.
Should fasting be the preferred punishment of choice, the user merely has to press the "Size Zero" option and all their bank accounts are electronically frozen for a week so they can't buy any food.
And last but not least, if celibacy is what's desired, the user presses the "Ugly Betty" option and their facial features are altered unfavourably for the appropriate period.