Proving that Apple CEO Steve Jobs indeed has the divine touch, it appears the Catholic Church has for the first time approved – by way of a bishop’s blessing – an iPhone and iPad app for the confessional.
Confession: A Roman Catholic App, which received an imprimatur from Bishop Kevin C Rhodes of the Diocese of Fort Wayne, Indiana, is described by its creators as the perfect aid for every penitent.
The app comes up with a personalised examination of conscience for each user, password-protected profiles and a step by step to the sacrament.
Users can choose from seven different acts of contrition and can calculate the time of their last confession in days, weeks, months and years.
Bishop’s blessing for iPhone/iPad app
The text of the app was developed in collaboration with Rev Thomas G Weinandy, OFM, executive director of the Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Rev Dan Scheidt, pastor of Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Mishawaka, Indiana.
Rhodes’ imprimatur is the first known one to be given for an iPhone/iPad app.
It seems the app is not designed to encourage penitents to avoid going to confession. Moreover, it is aimed as a tool to invite Catholics to prepare for and participate in the Rite of Penance, especially those who have been away from the sacrament for some time.