“Forgive me Ipad, for I have sinned. It’s been . . . let’s just say . . . quite a while since I have been to confession. However, I have no excuse now, since I just downloaded this confession app.”
Yes, for $1.99, you too can download Confession: the Roman Catholic App. It is the first digital assistant to be sanctioned by the US Catholic Church. In fact, Pope Benedict XVI emphasized the importance of a Christian presence in the digital world last month.
Let’s try it out:
Enter user info: I better put my real name, birthday, and marital status – no need to break a commandment on the first page. Even used an appropriate password.
Examination of sins: Next it asks a series of questions based on the 10 commandments. Check yes or no. For example, the 7th commandment is You shall not steal. Have I stolen what is not mine? (no) Have I not returned or avoided to make restitution for what I have stolen? (no) Do I gamble, thereby denying my family of their needs? (okay, I did play poker with the guys last week and lost $18. plus, I bought a Super Bowl box score game this weekend – and won $200-yeah!!). Umm, I guess I will check yes. But if I won and won’t deny my family needs . . . never mind, I got it.
55 sin options later, that section is complete. Now I can literally read this app from the confessional booth: “In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Father it has been (a few) years since my last confession. I have sinned in the following ways (the list of up to 55 sins are now listed).” Now it displays the Act of Contrition, it explains I should receive absolution and respond, “Amen.” If the priest says, “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good” answer “For His mercy endures forever.” It does not say what do do if the priest refuses to say this. The next section gives you all the possible prayers for penance.
I’m trying to visualize bringing this Ipad first into the confessional and then reading it while kneeling at a pew. Apparently confessing via an Ipad does not replace actually going to confession. However, for you lapsed Catholics out there, it doesn’t hurt. Plus the next time you log in, it says it’s only been that many days since your last confession.
**Note, this blog is not meant to stir up religious debate. Please respect all beliefs if you comment.