Bless me iFather, for iSinned: The Catholic iPhone Confession App

The act of confession is one of the most important rituals of the Catholic Church. In it, a penitent sinner asks God through a priest for forgiveness for the sins they have committed. And now, there’s an app for that.

LittleIapps LLC released an iPhone confession app designed to help Catholics “prayerfully prepare for and participate in the Rite of Penance.” It offers features such as “a personalized examination of conscience for each user, password protected profiles, and a step-by-step guide to the sacrament…”

It’s always good to know that there’s an app you can use to check off your sins, one by one. The personality analysis consists of things such as “Do I not give God time every day in prayer?” and “Have I ever received communion in a state of Mortal Sin?” They have their sins organized by COMMANDMENT, so that you can Cafeteria Christian your way to confessing your sins to your friendly neighborhood priest.

Two things we need to make clear though. One, the Church DOES NOT consider this a replacement for actual confession and absolution by a priest. All it does is make a checklist of your sins anyway, so how could you confess them? As a review endorsed by the app’s maker:

Because the Congregation on Divine Worship and the Sacraments has long ruled that Confessions by electronic media are invalid and that ABSOLUTION BY THE PRIEST must be given in person because the Seal of the Confessional must be Protected and for the Sacrament to be valid there has to be both the matter and the form which means THE PRIEST.

In other words, you still gotta go sit in the tiny-ass confessional booth and say your prayers.

The second thing I want to establish is that this is not an official Roman Catholic Church app, (which is what I first assumed.) Although the app was designed under the guidance of several priests and a bishop, it is not a true product of the Church, which I guess also explains the $1.99 price tag. I honestly think this should be free, but since the company doesn’t have the tons of money that the Vatican has, I guess there’s nothing I can Kvetch about here.

What I can say is that this will have a rather interesting effect on confessions…

Penitent: Bless me Father, for I have Sinned.

Priest: In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I bless you. Now, what is the nature of your infarctions?

Penitent: Hang on…need to scroll to the app…k, touched it…entering my password…uhh…

Priest: My son, if you have not collected your thoughts….

Penitent: No father, I have them all here organized on this app, I just need to scroll through all the sins to find the ones I did.

Priest: Right….

(DISCLAIMER: I am not catholic, and have never been in a confession.)

I also love that the app is password protected. I wonder if the app also offers 128 bit encryption of sins? Maybe it uses some of that ancient Holy See stuff that only Dan Brown knows about!

Don’t get me wrong, I think the app is a great idea. It definitely will help the Church get introduced into the world of Technology. Who knows, maybe in 100 years, the Vatican will have Wi-Fi!


About J.T Dabbagian
J.T Dabbagian has a master's degree in Communication Studies, and is a freelance writer, social media & community manager and public speaking consultant.

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