Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How long has it been since my last confession? There's an app for that!

How many people are familiar with this scenario: "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been...um...um...about 6 months since my last confession." I know, I have. Six months is my default answer because I usually go to confession at least that often. Now, I recognize, that I should go much more often, but it's a catch-22. Confession makes me nervous so I don't go very often even though I would like to, and if I were to go more often it wouldn't make me nervous! It's a crazy cycle.

Thankfully, I feel like Little i Apps understood my predicament and has provided some help. They have created a new iPhone app titled, "Confession: A Roman Catholic App", which has received an imprimatur from the bishop of Fort Wayne/South Bend, IN. This application provides an examination of conscience, a walk through of what to say at confession, 7 possible Acts of Contrition and it remembers the date of your last confession for you. It also remembers your examination of conscience so you could enter sins when you realize you've sinned and it will be there when you review it before your next confession. This is another problem I have when I wait so long in between confessions, I don't feel confident that I have remembered everything during my examination of conscience.I am very excited that I have an easy way to make the sacrament of confession less daunting and I hope that this will lead me to a higher frequency of partaking in this wonderful sacrament.

While I see this application as useful and enriching in my relationship with God, the media is struggling to understand it. Some people think that the Catholic Church is performing sacramental confession via iPhone. This misunderstanding was such a problem that the developers quickly updated the app to include the following disclaimer, "This app is intended to be used during the Sacrament of Penance with a Catholic priest only. This is not a substitute for a valid confession." Others have reported that the Vatican has warned against this app, when in reality, a representative from the Vatican reminded people that the app was not to be used in lieu of an actual sacramental confession.

The most recent uproar has occurred over one of the explanations listed under the Sixth Commandment, "Have I been guilty of any homosexual activity?" Wayne Bensen, of Truth Wins Out, condemns the app as, "cyber spiritual abuse that promotes backward ideas in a modern package" and says, "Gay Catholics don’t need to confess, they need to come out of the closet and challenge anti-gay dogma."

Now, let's be honest here, this new app is not espousing new church teaching, it is simply displaying it in an easy to use format. So I struggle to understand where people are finding issue with the app itself. The Church's teaching on the sinfulness of homosexual actions are no different today than they were two weeks ago before the app was released. If anyone is upset by the inclusion of homosexual activity in the list of sins, they shouldn't criticize the authors of the app, they should take the issue to the leaders of the Church. Just like if I created an iPhone app displaying the constitution of the United States and someone took offense to some of the content, it would do them no good to criticize me, they should take the issue to the legislature. However, while our country is a democracy, thankfully, our church is not. It is a monarchy, led by our King and Savior, Jesus Christ. So if we have a problem with a teaching of the Church we should take it all the way to the top; we should take to Christ in prayer, asking Him to help us understand and accept the truth of His teachings.

No comments:

Post a Comment