Tim Drake is an award-winning writer and former journalist and radio host with the National Catholic Register/EWTN. He currently serves as New Evangelization Coordinator for the Holdingford Area Catholic Community in the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota. He resides with his wife and five children in St. Joseph, Minn.
Readers may recall a recent post about the offensive Penance App that came out in December that makes a mockery of the Church.
Well, iPhone users now have a Church-approved App that could actually be beneficial to their soul – Confession: A Roman Catholic App – for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Developed in South Bend, Ind. by Little I Apps, for those who frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and those who wish to return to it, this App is an aid for the penitent. It provides a personalized, password protected, examination of conscience and a step-by-step guide to the Sacrament.
The text of the app was developed in collaboration with Father Thomas Weinandy, OFM, executive director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices, and Father Dan Scheidt, pastor of Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Mishawaka, Ind. The app received an imprimatur from Diocese of Fort Wayne Bishop Kevin Rhodes. It’s the first known imprimatur to be given for an iPhone application.
The timing couldn’t be better. For the 45th World Communications Day address, Pope Benedict XVI emphasized that new media, “if used wisely, can contribute to the satisfaction of the desire for meaning, truth and unity which remain the most profound aspirations of each human being.”
The confession aid is priced at $1.99 and is available for download from Apple’s iTunes store. According to developers, the application has already aided one man in returning to the Sacrament after 20 years.
While it’s the first app to receive an imprimatur, it’s not the first app to help penitents prepare for the Sacrament. Six months ago, Travis Boudreaux, of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, created Mea Culpa, an examination of conscience app to be used prior to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It, too, is available from the iTunes store.