Religion: Breathless Confession

It was just a short notice in Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's official newspaper. "A hygienic acoustic device for confessors," it read, "has met with . . . great praise. It is a patented pigeonhole called Filtravox, usually rectangular in shape, but capable of being applied to any opening in the confessional. Confessors have too often been exposed to the bad breath of penitents, who may even be ill ... The airtight membrane of this device protects the confessors from contagious germs."

Last week Romano Barberis of Milan and Paolo Scanzoni of Rome, who...

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