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Are you a sinner? There’s an app for that! Church approves confession app

Feb 8, 2011 By Abraham 23

The Catholic church has approved an app that lets you track your sinning so that you can offer a more accurate confession.

First you select the commandment you broke, then you check off the individual ways you did so.

If your evil is more outlandish than the creators of the app expected when they wrote up the list of possible transgressions, that’s OK. You can enter your own custom iniquities as needed.

Even noncatholics might be interested. Because, who doesn’t want their feelings of crushing guilt to be extremely thorough and specific? Am I right?

Hopefully, in the next version, they’ll add a submit button you can press once a week rather than actually going to talk to a priest.

(via Engadget)

23 Comments

  1. Melanie says:

    I showed this to my Catholic friend. She pointed out that it’s a matter of time before some hacker gets ahold of everyone’s confessions. I think she just made the best case against this.

  2. Nathania Johnson says:

    Doesn’t 1 Corinthians 13 talk about love not storing up grievances aka *not* keeping a record of sins?

  3. Rebecca says:

    I know I should take this in the spirit in which it was intended, i.e., light-hearted fun, but as a Catholic, examining my conscience is a serious matter. It’s not “storing up grievances” or “recording sins” but taking time to really reflect on ways that I have sinned against God and my neighbor and then seeking forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation. Also, please note that the Catholic Church did not create the app. It has nothing to do with guilt but of truly examining one’s relationship with God and becoming more aware of sin and the need for grace and forgiveness.

    1. Lindsey says:

      As a Protestant peering in, that is one of the things I appreciate about the Catholic Church and the process of how they do confession. And while I think this app is kind of ridiculous, I have to say that I usually don’t think of my sins in terms of breaking the commandments. I definitely don’t always further delineate as that app does. Could I benefit from this? Absolutely.

    2. David says:

      This. I’m an Orthodox Christian, and we too have the Sacrament of Confession. A lot of my evangelical friends have accountability partners to give them someone trusted to talk to about sins they’re having trouble with. It’s the same idea. I see my priest privately every few months, and we talk about where I am spiritually, what’s been weighing on my heart, and what sins have been present in my life, and he gives me advice and prays for me.

      Maybe Heath Ledger should be asking me WHY SO SERIOUS, but it bothers me to see an important part of my faith made fun of, especially by fellow Christians.

      1. Dianne says:

        I am also Orthodox. Sure, I see why those of you who find this funny are laughing, and I had a bit of a similar response at first. But pretty soon, I saw that this looks like the developers have simply put a very old type of text on the phone. Lists of questions, based on the Ten Commandments or the Beatitudes, designed to help you examine your conscience in preparation for confession, have been around for ages. There is nothing strange about them. They’re simply tools to help you think, privately, about what you need to confess and discuss with your priest. Someone just got the idea to make it a digital app, which isn’t such a big deal. If you hold simplistic prejudices against the Catholic (or Orthodox) practice of confession and think that this app is evidence thereof, you’d be wrong. At least I’m pretty sure that you wouldn’t know what you’re talking about if you think this little app tells you what you need to know about confession.

        Heck, Rebecca said it all better. What she said.

        Like David, I’m dismayed that Christians are ridiculing confession. And some of you have clearly directly ridiculed Catholicism and the sacrament of confession, not just this app, and that’s behavior I didn’t expect on this blog. But it’s not even so much about being personally offended as it is sadness that so many are so contemptuous of things that have been central to Christianity for many centuries.

        1. Russell says:

          You’ve hit the nail on the head haven’t you. This is something that “Christians” have done for centuries. However, its hasn’t been biblical for as long as there has been a bible.

          Catholicism is wrought with traditions not grounded in scripture. These Priests are guilting a billion people to hell by making them follow pointless traditions rather than what the scriptures actually say.

          Read the bible. Read about Martin Luther. Read about Tertullian. Stop blindly following Man… open your eyes and follow God.

          1. David says:

            Unbiblical? Really?

            James 5:14-16 – Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

            We practice the anointing of oil as well – it’s the Sacrament of Holy Unction. The Biblical description of the ministries of both John the Baptist and the Apostle Paul contain references to confession of sins. And I find it interesting that you refer to Tertullian for support, as Tertullian was one of the strongest advocates of apostolic succession as a necessity for the legitimacy of a Christian community.

            Look. I’m not trying to start a fight here. I have a lot of Protestant friends, and I respect their beliefs. But you can’t make the Catholic or Orthodox churches go away by closing your eyes and saying “sola scriptura,” and it’s ignorant to sneer at our sacraments as unbiblical when there’s more support in Scripture for interpersonal confession than there is for the solitary confession of sins that Evie mentioned below.

          2. Russell says:

            in reply to david below…

            keep reading the bible. keep reading Tertullian. YOu’ll get there.

            Quoting a scripture that says to go to the elders of the church to pray for you, hardly proves the “sacrament” of confession to be legit. do you know what an elder is? learn Greek. You can trust that presbuteros does not mean Catholic priest.

            interpersonal confession is for accountability not to absolve sin.

            we are discussing one of hundreds of things the catholic church has made up. fabricated.

            how about indulgences? People believed in those as ardently as you do in confession. i’m just sayin.

          3. KFB says:

            Russell, while I may agree with you doctrinally, the way you’re acting and representing Protestantism as a whole is what’s really “unbiblical” in this whole discussion. Don’t say you’re rebuking, as the Bible tells you to, for this is not gentle, biblical rebuke. There is a place for boldly proclaiming the Word, unafraid, but that’s NOT what you’re doing. It’s arrogant and condescending personal attack and self-confidence. The Catholic in this discussion has clearly been more gentle and humble than it ever occurred to you to be. I say this coming from a strongly Reformed perspective, and it saddens me to see you treating a brother (which he IS, catholic or not). Even if you take the extreme position, and consider him not a Christian, the way you’re talking to him in no way reflects how the Bible says we should act.

  4. Aaron says:

    well I never expected that, but I still prefer salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone as revealed in Scripture alone to God’s glory alone, thank you.

  5. Evie says:

    Those are some good self examination questions but it’s not biblical to take your sins to the a priest in a box to absolve you. You can go straight to God through Jesus to confess (which means to ‘say the same thing as’). Only God can absolve your sins, not a priest. But it wouldn’t be a bad thing to examine ourselves in light of the 10 commandments like that app does.

  6. Tracey says:

    This doesn’t offend me, as some here are offended. I see the intent of the post. What offends me are the multitudes of denominations who believe they “have it right.” No one group of Christians has all the right doctrinal beliefs. But what we DO have is one saviour, Jesus Christ. He stands between us and God as our mediator of sin. That is all you need. What Aaron said.

  7. Tracey says:

    Yep, me bad…not what I meant at all! I meant, Jesus is the mediator between us and God and we don’t need a priest or a saint for that, just Jesus.

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