The Catholic religion may stick to tradition more than other branches of Christianity, but that doesn’t mean they don’t embrace technology.
The Catholic Church in the United States has approved a new iPhone app that seeks to help Catholics through confession and encourage lapsed followers to return to the faith, reports Fox News.
“Confession: A Roman Catholic app,” which sells for $1.99 on the iPad, iTouch, and iPhone, guides Catholics through the sacrament and has what the company behind the app calls a ”personalized examination of conscience for each user.” Though not a substitute for actually going to confession, the app aims to help Catholics through the act. Catholics are still required to go to a priest for absolution.
“The idea is that you will get a different examination than those around you, so, like, a Catholic mother will not get the same thing as her teenage son, and he won’t get the same examination as say a Catholic priest,” said the app’s developer, Patrick Leinen. “The idea is we’re trying to take something that already exists, which are these examinations, but we’re using technology to tailor it to the person.”
The app will give users a personal examination of conscience, as a sort of reflection of the user and things they should be mulling over before entering confession, Leinen said.
“After you actually finish the examination of conscience, it actually steps you through how to do the actual confession,” Leinen told BBC News. “It helps you sort of prepare to go in and then as an aid, it helps you walk through if you need to.”
After the user goes to confession, the app erases all sins.
“The idea is that it’s supposed to be sort of like the teachings of the Catholic Church,” Leinen said. “When your finish confession, your sins are washed away. Essentially the app does the same thing.”
The app also passed the priest test. Bishop Kevin Rhoades, the Diocese of Fort Wayne, Indiana, officially authorized the app for Catholics to use, Little iApps said.
Leinen added that the app has already helped one man return to the sacrament after 20 years away from it.
“We hope many more will take advantage of this new confession resource,” Leinen said.