Twenty-first century Catholic sinners can look to their smartphones for salvation, thanks to a new confession app. The app, appropriately named Confession: A Roman Catholic App, is now available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch through Apple’s iTunes App Store for $1.99.
“This app is the perfect aid for every penitent,” the apps’ iTunes description reads. “With a personalized examination of conscience for each user, password protected profiles, and a step-by-step guide to the sacrament, this app invites Catholics to prayerfully prepare for and participate in the Rite of Penance.”
And the app is not just the work of a contrite app developer. It’s approved for use by the Church itself. Confession was developed by Little iApps in collaboration with two Catholic priests and given imprimatur, an official Church endorsement, by Kevin Rhoades, a Catholic bishop. The developers claim it’s the first known imprimatur given to an iPhone or iPad app.
Users will receive a mobile walk through of the traditional confession process. The app will track the the date of a last confession (a introductory question in confession) and give a reminder of past sins that have been previously confessed. (We imagine that users can scroll through their iPhones‘ past text messages and photos if they need reminding of any current sins that need confession).
However, the confession process is only completed through absolution, and that only comes from a real live priest (maybe that will be offered in an update that supports FaceTime?)
During a service in January, Pope Benedict offered a prayer intention “that young people may learn to use modern means of social communication for their personal growth and to better prepare themselves to serve society.” The Pope also has also launched his own Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Patrick Leinen, Little iApps co-founder and developer, claims that the app has already helped a wayward Catholic reconnect with the Church.