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 was launched last week.

The app, which says that it allows "a personalised examination of conscience for each user", has already won the backing of senior members of the Catholic church.

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 people, accused the app of "helping to create neurotic individuals who are ashamed of who they are".