As technology advances the Vatican seems to cautiously acknowledge this fact. In 2009 the Catholic church celebrated its World Communications Day with a theme of “New Technologies, New Relationships: Promoting a Culture of Respect, Dialogue and Friendship.” The Vatican actually emailed its message to 100,000 young Catholics globally, indicating that they desired the recipients to either forward the message or publish it directly on their websites. In its message the Vatican also announced that it would take indeed be taking proactive steps to embrace the Internet and social media, indicating that soon they would offer videos of the Pope on YouTube!
In his message, Pope Benedict stipulated that if used properly, by taking a creative and correct approach, the current and evolving technology could help people, who desire connections with others, share in the search for goodness, as well as beauty and truth.
Put to the Test!
Now there is a company that has created an iPhone app that may clash with the Pope’s “New Technology” stance. The U.S. based company Little iApps LLC has created an app designed to allow confession into a cell phone. The “Confession: A Roman Catholic App” allows the user to essentially make a confession through a “personalized examination of conscience for each user, password protected profiles, and a step-by-step guide to the sacrament.” By entering personal data such as sex age and marital status the user is presented with a list of check boxes to describe their sins and who they might have offended. Imagine if it directly dialed that person for an on the spot apology! Now that’s an app!
On the second page the user can enter a list of lapses. If you are actually at mass while engaging this app is that considered a sin? After pressing the finish button the user is presented with a random spiritual quote from a Catholic saint. Great, sins are forgiven! Time to head home and catch the rest of the game right?
Vatican Approves Apparition, Not Application!
The makers of the device worked diligently with the Catholic church and actually received an imprimatur, or official permission for publication, from a Catholic bishop– in this case, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. However, in a statement from the Vatican the Rev. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, said last week, “One may not speak in any sense of confessing via iPhone.” He went on to say, “Sacrament of Penance necessarily requires the relationship of personal dialogue between the penitent and the confessor and absolution by the confessor present.”