Tuesday, 8 February 2011

'Appy now, Father?

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Hot on the heels of the Pope's endorsement of blogging and social networking last month, the makers of the Confession iPhone app ( "the perfect aid for every penitent") have proudly announced that the Catholic Church in the US has approved their product for use by sinful believers.

As I'm sure you've already worked out, the app allows Catholics to confess their sins from the comfort of, well, wherever they happen to be at the time, although according to Reuters it "is not designed to replace going to confession but to help Catholics through the act" – the bad news for armchair Catholics is that they "still must go to a priest for absolution".

Which may leave you wondering if there's any point whatsoever in the app, although its designers, Little iApps, would firmly disagree. In welcoming the official endorsement, provided by Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne, Indiana, they pointed out that they were cashing in on heeding the Pope's call to embrace new media by inviting "Catholics to engage in their faith through digital technology".

So there you go. Although if you're a UK-based Catholic who has worked out exactly how an iPhone app could possibly help you through the act of confession and decided that it is something you would like to try, don't get too excited. Speaking to the BBC, a spokesperson for the Church in England and Wales merely said that they "would look into the issue".
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