A new “confession” app for Apple iDevices has been released, meaning you will never have to go to church again – well, not really. While “Confession: A Roman Catholic App” is unlikely to be enough for some Christians, it has received the blessing of the Catholic church.
This app has been developed by Patrick Leinen, who says it is intended “for those who frequent the sacrament and those who wish to return.” It provides a step by step guide to the sacrament, along with password protected profiles, a guide to the sacrament, and a list of acts of contrition.
Confession: A Roman Catholic App has received the imprimatur from Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese, which makes it the first ever app to receive the stamp of the church. It has also received the OK by senior church officials in the US and Britain, who say it can be used by Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
The app first asks you to register your name and sex, along with other information such as whether you are married and what state you live in. I was always under the impression that confession was supposed to by anonymous, but apparently virtual confession is not. You can then choose between a selection of “custom sins”, and pick prayers in either English or Latin. When you hit the “finish” button, you even get a quotation from a Catholic Saint.
“Our desire is to invite Catholics to engage in their faith through digital technology,” Leinen said. “Taking to heart Pope Benedict XVI’s message from last year’s World Communications Address, our goal with this project is to offer a digital application that is truly ‘new media at the service of the Word.”
Benedict XVI said: “To proclaim the Gospel through the new media means not only to insert expressly religious content into different media platforms, but also to witness consistently, in one’s own digital profile and in the way one communicates choices, preferences and judgments that are fully consistent with the Gospel.”
“Individuals who have been away from the sacrament for some time will find Confession: A Roman Catholic App to be a useful and inviting tool,” Leinen also said on a press release on his website.
However, both Leinen and the Catholic church have said that Confession: A Roman Catholic App is not supposed to replace real confessions, and the words at the end of the virtual confession process carry an implicit invitation to visit a real life priest.