A few days ago something called “Confession: A Roman Catholic App” made its way into the Apple App Store and got a lot of attention. It’s a two dollar app designed to help you examine your conscience in order to “participate in the Rite of Penance” and it makes it a point to proclaim that it’s got the Catholic Church’s seal of approval:
The text of this app was developed in collaboration with Rev. Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Executive Director of the Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Rev. Dan Scheidt, pastor of Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Mishawaka, IN. The app received an imprimatur from Bishop Kevin C. Rhodes of the Diocese of Fort Wayne – South Bend. It is the first known imprimatur to be given for an iPhone/iPad app.
The only problem? Based on what a spokesperson is saying, the Vatican isn’t very happy about how people are using this app:
It is essential to understand that the rites of penance require a personal dialogue between penitents and their confessor. It cannot be replaced by a computer application. I must stress to avoid all ambiguity, under no circumstance is it possible to “confess by iPhone.”