Vatican: No iConfessions

Just days after the release of an iOS app billed as ''the perfect aid for every penitent'', the Vatican has warned that confession via app is a no-go.

Confession: A Roman Catholic App, hit the App Store last week and offers a DIY approach to confession, allowing users to run through a list of commandments in order to identify their sins and even add their own.

The app has forced the Vatican to take a clear stance on ''digital confessions'', the AFP reports. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said a face-to-face dialogue between faithful and their confessor could not be replaced by technology.

''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'," he said.

Developer Patrick Leinen of South Bend, Indiana-based company Little iApps said his app was inspired by Pope Benedict’s general prayer intention for January 2011, in which His Holiness urged young people ''to use modern means of social communication for their personal growth and to better prepare themselves to serve society''.

He also claimed the app received an "imprimatur" from Bishop Kevin C. Rhodes of the Diocese of Fort Wayne, suggesting it was approved by the Catholic Church.

Image Credit: Little iApps

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21 Comments

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leeoniya said,
my eReligion is nice - i have an eMassAttendantBot that goes to eMass every Sunday - perfect attendance record, too!

+1

So everyone's on the same page, the app is not claiming to offer the sacrament of reconciliation (penitence or confession) through the app or via the iPhone/iPad. It is just offering a check list of things to consider when one does an examination of conscience prior to confession. They've been distributing pamphlets on proper examination of conscience for ages. This seems to be a handy digital equivalent that you could review before confession.

And thus when you currently search for this on the web you get such conflicting titles as "Vatican ban apps" and "Vatican formally approves app", referring to the exact same story.

The Vatican did neither. They commented (nothing "formal") that the app is fine for its intended purpose, preparing to confession, but had to clarify for some confused users that the app does not replace confession.

And that's it. I am so annoyed anytime the media reports on something the Vatican said or did because it's always so badly misrepresented.

@Dr_Asik - That actually clarifies things, as looking at the screenshot it seemed the app was never designed for the act of confession itself. It's annoying to see articles that are so misleading.

''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'," he said.

Says the person who wants you to visit their church in person so you can walk past the collection tin and empty your wallet into it.

If I want to confess my sins to God, I don't need to go and sit in a wooden box and have another human being "forgive me". Only God can forgive me. Last I heard, priests did not have a direct line to God.

TCLN Ryster said,

Says the person who wants you to visit their church in person so you can walk past the collection tin and empty your wallet into it.

If I want to confess my sins to God, I don't need to go and sit in a wooden box and have another human being "forgive me". Only God can forgive me. Last I heard, priests did not have a direct line to God.


Yes they do...
Priests have a secure tunneled connection set up for Skype to call the one and only Skype contact.

This is why we pay for multi-cam chat on Skype now: We subsidize God's obsessive AV use on Skype. Of cause God is on an eternal free subscription.

GS:mac

TCLN Ryster said,
Says the person who wants you to visit their church in person so you can walk past the collection tin and empty your wallet into it.

I think this is exactly what in app purchases were designed for, buy your salvation for just 59p!

TCLN Ryster said,

Says the person who wants you to visit their church in person so you can walk past the collection tin and empty your wallet into it.

If I want to confess my sins to God, I don't need to go and sit in a wooden box and have another human being "forgive me". Only God can forgive me. Last I heard, priests did not have a direct line to God.

That "collection tin" that you walk past is for the poor and is labeled as such. You must have it confused with the a collection during Mass which helps to pay the bills so the lights stay on, the building has heat in the water, the priests have something to eat, the priests have their medical expenses covered, that the secretary at the rectory that handles arrangements for weddings and funerals is paid, etcetera.

Contribution to either is entirely optional and no one pressures you to contribute. The only thing that does pressure you to contribute is your conscience. Of course, Confession is separate from Mass, so you never encounter the collection basket when you go for Confession.

By the way, why would God forgive you? If you do not demonstrate some sort of effort to obtain forgiveness, do you think he will give it to you? Confession in combination with amending your life is what does that. Failure to attempt either is a lack of effort on your part.

Edited by Shining Arcanine, Feb 10 2011, 2:34pm :

Solid Knight said,
Lol @ Confession. It's between you and God and not you, some dude, and God.

right.. what the difference, telling some guy your problems, or telling a phone... go tell a bartender...

Solid Knight said,
Lol @ Confession. It's between you and God and not you, some dude, and God.

If you are not willing to confess to one of God's priests, then you really are not willing to confess at all, are you?

It is easy to think you confessed when confessing does not mean you actually did anything. It is much harder when it involves some sort of action. Just saying "oh, I confess" is not good enough. That is like saying "oh, I won't be intoxicated today".

Shining Arcanine said,
If you are not willing to confess to one of God's priests, then you really are not willing to confess at all, are you?
Or confess to implicated parties, where appropriate.

Kirkburn said,
Or confess to implicated parties, where appropriate.

In those cases, priests usually require people to do that. They always give people instructions on what to do and people are required to follow them.

Shining Arcanine said,

If you are not willing to confess to one of God's priests, then you really are not willing to confess at all, are you?

I personally don't see the point in confession to begin with. Now, that might be because I was not raised as a catholic, or it could be because I am not religious to begin with, no matter that I'm christian.

Either way, why would you need a priest to confess in the first place? Because the church says so, that's why. Looking at the picture up there.... what the hell does "Surrender myself to God's word as taught by the church" mean? Why do I have to listen to a priest, do they have a phone line straight to God? Does God talk to them?

And to quote a movie: "God is inside you and all around you. Not in the buildings made of wood and stone. Split a tree and you will find Him. Lift a rock and He's there." So you tell me, why do we need priests in the first place?

Metodi Mitov said,

I personally don't see the point in confession to begin with. Now, that might be because I was not raised as a catholic, or it could be because I am not religious to begin with, no matter that I'm christian.

Either way, why would you need a priest to confess in the first place? Because the church says so, that's why. Looking at the picture up there.... what the hell does "Surrender myself to God's word as taught by the church" mean? Why do I have to listen to a priest, do they have a phone line straight to God? Does God talk to them?

And to quote a movie: "God is inside you and all around you. Not in the buildings made of wood and stone. Split a tree and you will find Him. Lift a rock and He's there." So you tell me, why do we need priests in the first place?


im catholic and i think confession is total bull.
doesnt matter what the hell you do, as long as you confess, your cleansed

Solid Knight said,
Lol @ Confession. It's between you and God and not you, some dude, and God.

Isn't there always a middle man?
In this case it's "some dude" -- if you go to church, then there's "some other dude" who claims to have a direct line to god.
I honestly don't know which one is more pathetic.