Vatican lending out iPods to noisy pilgrims

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If you're a loudmouth pilgrim touring St. John Lateran in Rome, the Catholic Church has a plan to make you shut up: free iPods!

Noisy and boisterous tourists have been ruining the experience of the holy cathedral, so the Vatican has instituted a pilot program in which cathedral-goers will be given free iPod Touches specially loaded with an informational St. John's Basilica app. The app will quietly guide you through the art, architecture, and history of the cathedral, and all without you having to ask your girlfriend if you can borrow her Lonely Planet. Visitors must only part with their valid government-issued ID to rent out one of the iPods, which were specially made to be nothing but digital tour guides — so if you were planning on doing some heavy sinning by stealing an iPod from the Vatican and uploading your Black Sabbath collection onto it, you're out of luck.

The pilot program runs through December. Until then, Vatican visitors: show some respect and hush!