Confession is now not just what you do in church, there is an iPhone app for it! Scroll through the App Store and you can find it – but you do not actually get pennance from your phone.
The app created by Little i Apps, LLC can be used on iPhones and iPads. It has an imprimatur — “in the Catholic Church an imprimatur is an official declaration by a Church authority that a book or other printed work may be published,” Wikipedia noted. The title of the app is a little misleading, it is actually an aid to track sins and the penance given by the priest.
“With a personalized examination of conscience for each user, password protected profiles, and a step-by-step guide to the sacrament, this app invites Catholics to prayerfully prepare for and participate in the Rite of Penance. Individuals who have been away from the sacrament for some time will find Confession: A Roman Catholic App to be a useful and inviting tool,” the app description describes.
Those with major sins can password protect them, but the app does not have the protection of the confessional for legal purposes.
As one reviewer explains “it does not and can not take the place of confessing before a validly ordained Roman Catholic priest in a Confessional, in person, either face to face, or behind the screen. Why? Because the Congregation on Divine Worship and the Sacraments has long ruled that Confessions by electronic media are invalid and that ABSOLUTION BY THE PRIEST must be given in person because the Seal of the Confessional must be Protected and for the Sacrament to be valid there has to be both the matter and the form which means THE PRIEST.”
It may be a little misleading when initially purchased, but the app does inform people it does not take the place of actual confession. So apparently you can go to mass online or watch it on television as your commitment but you can’t use your phone to confess.