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Confession app ‘no substitute’ for the sacrament

By on Thursday, 10 February 2011

A Vatican official has said a new iPhone application can help Catholics prepare for Confession, but cannot substitute for the sacramental encounter between a penitent and a priest.

“Confession: A Roman Catholic App” for Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch was recently released as a way for Catholics to prepare for and participate in the sacrament of penance. Some press reports have suggested that the application could replace in-person Confession.

Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said: “It’s essential to understand that the sacrament of penance requires a personal dialogue between the penitent and the confessor, and absolution by the confessor who is present.”

“This is something that cannot be replaced by any application. One cannot speak of a ‘Confession via iPhone’,” he said.

Fr Lombardi said the new application could be useful in helping people make an examination of conscience. In the past, he said, Catholics would sometimes use written questions and answers to prepare for confession, and that’s something that could be done today with the aid of a digital device.

The application, developed by a small firm in Indiana, is based on the Ten Commandments. It was designed in part for people who have been away from the Church and want the opportunity to go to Confession.

  • Esnofla

    Why do people just love to blow things out of proportion??? I guess it is because we live in a day of age were everything is up for change and too many are up to no good. People are so used to tradition being changed overnight. And yet, who in the world would like to go to confession via the phone? A personal relationship is what we all desire. Confession is the one place in the world where I can open my heart and my soul and it will not appear the next day on facebook!!! You gotta love it!