Is That a Priest in Your Pocket, or Is Your Conscience Just Re-Booting?

Feb 8, 2011
Jenny Inglee is a Los Angeles-based journalist and the Education Editor at TakePart.

Calling all Catholics, have you visited the confessional lately?

If not, "Confession: A Roman Catholic App" will fully prep you for a chat with your priest about your sins.

Have you confessed your sins lately? (Confessions: A Roman Catholic App/iTunes)

The app—approved by church authorities—offers a custom examination of a user's conscience based on age, sex and vocation. Advancing screens then walk the repentant wrongdoer through the sacrament. The company shilling the app says it is the "perfect aid for every penitent."

Perfect in that the app is like a good catechism lesson, but without Sister Margaret Mercy and her merciless steel-ridged ruler.

Now, don't get too excited, all you knuckle-rubbers out there. Users can't confess their sins to an iPhone and expect a Get Into Heaven Free card. Catholics using the app still need to visit a flesh-and-blood priest for absolution.

Patrick Leinen, one of the app's creators, told Reuters that the motivation for designing the app was to "invite Catholics to engage in their faith through digital technology."

Leinen claims that the app helped at least one man return to the sacrament after 20 years. "We hope many more will take advantage of this new confession resource," he said. Leinen is well-advised to hope so. Stray Catholics called back to the fold by "Confession: A Roman Catholic App" could translate to stray folding money.

The app costs $1.99. So far, it has a four-and-a-half star rating on iTunes. If only the Pope could be convinced to give it some product placement....

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