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Catholic Church Approves 'Confession' iPhone App


The Catholic Church has given its blessing to an iPhone app which lets users confess their sins, the BBC reports:

"Now senior church officials in America have given it their seal of approval, in what is thought to be a first. The app takes users through the sacrament - in which Catholics admit their wrongdoings - and allows them to keep track of their sins. It also allows them to examine their conscience based on personalised factors such as age, sex and marital status - but it is not intended to replace traditional confession entirely. Instead, it encourages users to understand their actions and then visit their priest for absolution."


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  1. Juicy! Whoever invented this is going to be sitting on a gold mine of confession-content. I really hope there is a breach ...

    Posted by: Matt | Feb 8, 2011 8:29:46 AM

  2. What's next?

    In App purchases of indulgences????

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 8, 2011 8:48:07 AM

  3. My question is how this may affect ecclesiastical privilege. If i confess over my iphone, and it later becomes part of an e-discovery in a criminal or civil case, will this well documented history of my "sins" be protected by priest penitent privilege. It raises procedural questions about e-discovery and the control the church may have over protecting the sacrament. Will privacy go the way of facebook in these cases. Any thoughts Ari?

    Posted by: Eric | Feb 8, 2011 9:14:41 AM

  4. @bill: the entire itunes store is an app for indulgences.

    Posted by: mld | Feb 8, 2011 9:15:53 AM

  5. It is really sad that people live in such guilt / fear / shame that such an app is even considered. Thank god I'm an atheist!!

    It is just a matter of time before the Church figures out how to extract money from its followers via this or similar apps.

    Posted by: Chadd | Feb 8, 2011 9:16:30 AM

  6. Have you molest children since your last confession?

    If you are a priest skip to next question.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Feb 8, 2011 9:17:28 AM

  7. Yet another tool for these people to relieve themselves of any personal responsibility.

    Posted by: ichabod | Feb 8, 2011 9:26:50 AM

  8. @ Posted by: ichabod


    Posted by: Rowan | Feb 8, 2011 9:47:59 AM

  9. Just as with any "Online" written text/tweet/post, once you write it and hit send its in the "Clouds" (no not Heaven), and is there in perpetuity! This is NOT what the church had in mind when the sacrament of Penance was instituted. It is to be oral and between the priest and the penitent! I would never suggest or advocating the use of this app......see Eric above i have to agree 110% with him

    Posted by: alexInBoston | Feb 8, 2011 10:24:56 AM

  10. Wow, talk about "phoning it in."

    And what a weird scenario this would make: If two people in a hospital on their death beds were handed their iPhone with this app. The one with Verizon gets a clear signal, confesses, says a few hail Marys and passes on to check in with St. Peter...while the other has AT&T and can't get a's going to happen, at least on SNL.

    Posted by: ross | Feb 8, 2011 12:21:05 PM

  11. LOL @Ross.

    As if Roman Catholicism weren't enough of a joke already....

    Posted by: Buster | Feb 8, 2011 12:43:15 PM

  12. This is either an abomination or hilarious or both.

    Posted by: johnny | Feb 8, 2011 1:19:40 PM

  13. A fool and his money are soon parted, either through tithes or mind-bogglingly stupid iPhone apps.

    Posted by: Iko | Feb 8, 2011 5:53:37 PM

  14. BWA-HAHAHAHAHAHA! This is the STUPIDEST thing I have ever seen, and for the Roman Catholic church to sanction it only underscores their priorities.

    Besides - I think the iPhone is over-rated anyhow - ANDROID RULES!

    Posted by: CARIBTONY | Feb 8, 2011 7:37:34 PM

  15. First, the app doesn't replace the sacrament of confession (now referred to as Reconciliation), but as a tool to help with the examination of conscience. This is just a checklist, and they've been around for this purpose for hundreds of years. The app doesn't grant absolution, only a priest can do that. One of the purposes of Confession is to help people be better, not to reinforce shame. Everybody sins - even if you prefer calling it 'doing bad stuff' - and an examination of conscience helps to identify areas in your life you may need to work on. You may not have mugged someone this week, but you were snarky to the bank teller. An examination of conscience helps you work on that.

    Posted by: sluggo | Feb 9, 2011 11:48:00 AM

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