National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

Confession App Doesn’t Replace Sacrament

Fact of Life

BY The Editors

February 27-March 12, 2011 Issue | Posted 2/18/11 at 6:35 PM


“iPhone users now have a Church-approved app that could actually be beneficial to their souls — Confession: A Roman Catholic App — for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch,” wrote Register senior writer and blogger Tim Drake recently at

“Developed in South Bend, Ind., by Little iApps, 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, executive director of the U.S. 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-South Bend Bishop Kevin Rhoades. 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, La., 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.”