People can be finicky about confessing sins. Likely it has always been so. It struck me as illustrative that the parody apps came out before the real thing.
In the news this week is the release of a Church-endorsed (imprimatur and all) iPhone application to help a penitent make a good examination of conscience and confession. This is not the confession booth app where you can confess and have others give you the thumbs up or down. Or this one.
Check this one out.
From the web site, here are the features:
- Custom examination of conscience based upon age, sex, and vocation (single, married, priest, or religious
- Multiple user support with password protected accounts
- Ability to add sins not listed in standard examination of conscience
- Confession walkthrough including time of last confession in days, weeks, months, and years
- Choose from 7 different acts of contrition
- Custom interface for iPad
- Full retina display support
There’s a certain salaciousness that comes with confession in the talk show/celebrity era. Tabloid headlines at grocery checkout plead for my interest in some famous person’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. I don’t think the current culture is averse to sin as much as they make a spectacle of it. And mockery raises it’s ugly head too. Every serious ethical or moral person has a balance to maintain: how to maintain a healthy balance between confidence and contrition and avoid deceiving oneself in any sort of indulgence at either extreme.
That said, this looks like a good development. Used in concert with a good spiritual director, I can see it being very useful. Any confessors seen penitents with iPads or iPhones lately? This was one of the testimonials on the Apple site:
As a straying Catholic looking to come back to the Church more fully, this app gave me the extra confidence I needed to go to my first confession. The examination of conscience was a great start in taking a look at my wrongdoings. Unfortunately, my confession did not follow the guidelines on the ‘confession’ section of the app, but I believe that was because my priest chose to go a more unorthodox route(?).
I’d be very interested in seeing what the liturgical expectations in this app are. Does it include Scripture readings as the rite suggests? Any users out there with feedback on it?