Software for Sinners Confession App Comes Under Fire in Germany

A smartphone app for confession? Anathema, says a senior member of the conservative Bavarian party Christian Social Union. The app was developed by Catholics in the US, but has been met with skepticism in Germany.

Confessing has become more convenient with a new smartphone app.
DPA

Confessing has become more convenient with a new smartphone app.


While many smartphone apps purely for entertainment, many were in fact developed with convenience in mind. Recipes on the fly. Navigation through unknown cities. Even identifying stars and constellations.

And confessing your sins. An app developed in the US with the blessing of the American Catholic Church was designed to guide the devout through the process of confessing. Its name: "Confession: A Roman Catholic app."

But not all Catholics are enamored of the digital revolution. A senior member of the conservative Bavarian party Christian Social Union, the sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, has taken time out of her busy, pre-Easter schedule to criticize the app.

A 'Personalized Examination'

"Good Heavens! Whatever will this lead to?" Dorothee Bär, deputy secretary of the CSU, wrote in an editorial for Bayernkurier, the CSU's party newspaper. "Pope Benedict XVI surely had something else in mind when he called on Christians to show more presence in the digital world."

On the contrary, Bär urged Catholics to switch off their digital equipment at times during Easter week, which she said was "a time of reflection for us Christians."

The app retails for $1.99 and was developed with the help of a Catholic priest and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The company that developed it, Little iApps, based in South Bend, Indiana, described the app as a "personalized examination of conscience for each user."

Catholics can enter their sins and recite the suitable prayer selected by the software. The app is not designed to replace going to confession but to help Catholics through the act, which involves admitting sins to a priest in a confessional booth. Catholics still must go to a priest for absolution.

cro -- with wire reports

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