Adding new vices
Forgive me iPhone for I have sinned: The absurdity of the new Confession App
Feeling sinful? There's an app for that.
It's been a long 500 years, but finally Catholic souls can again be cleansed without a visit to the priest. In the middle ages one had to buy pricey get-out-of-hell-free cards known as indulgences from traveling pardoners — what, you think cathedrals grow on trees?!
These days the same absolution can be gained by spending $1.99 for the Confession application for iPhones and iPads. It even comes with the Roman Catholic seal of approval via an imprimatur from Fort Wayne, Ind., bishop Kevin Rhodes.
OK, technically the Vatican says that the app isn't meant to replace an in-person confession, just to help Catholics prepare for a session by including a proper confession script and a list of potential sins. You can check off sins you are guilty of and add new sins you've come up with. (Also please list them in the comments! CultureMap's Steven Thomson needs something to do this week.)
Frankly we think the app could be improved by adding some of the Urbanspoon functionality — enter a sin, and your frequency of sinfulness, shake the screen and the confession app pops up the appropriate penance. For example, impure thoughts 10-plus times per day = three rosaries and seven Hail Marys.
It could free up time for the decreasing number of priests as well as help Catholics on the go get good with God. What better to bring lay Catholics back to the fold? If this doesn't work, there's always Buddy Christ.