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Confession: There's an iPhone App For That 192

Posted by Roblimo
from the Does-Apple-get-30%-of-each-confession? dept.
slshwtw writes "Pope Benedict XVI has recently encouraged priests to blog and promoted Christian Netiquette. Now apparently the Roman Catholic church has sanctioned a 'Confession App,' available through iTunes for $1.99. Apparently it doesn't replace 'traditional,' in-person confession, but walks one through the process, even suggesting sins you may wish to confess."'
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Confession: There's an iPhone App For That

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @08:20PM (#35144998)

    but walks one through the process, even suggesting sins you may wish to confess.

    Like a checklist?

    Have you sodomized a child? (Y/n)
    Have you coveted your neighbour's wife? (Y/n)
    Have you murdered an infidel? (Y/n)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Like a pricelist?

      Sodomized a child: $100
      Coveted your neighbour's wife? $30
      Murdered an infidel? $400 credit

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        Sodomized a child: $100
        Coveted your neighbour's wife? $30
        Murdered an infidel? $400

        Taking the Lord's name in vain: Priceless.

    • by Moraelin (679338)

      As I keep saying, if God didn't want me to covet my neighbour's ass, He wouldn't have given her such a magnificent ass ;)

      • by alvinrod (889928)
        What the hell do you need a donkey for anyhow?
      • Re:Heh (Score:4, Insightful)

        by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @10:08PM (#35145980)

        As I keep saying, if God didn't want me to covet my neighbour's ass, He wouldn't have given her such a magnificent ass ;)

        You sure ? After all this is the guy who put a fruit tree in the middle of a garden and put a "do not eat" sign on it. He's a bit of dick like that.

        • As I keep saying, if God didn't want me to covet my neighbour's ass, He wouldn't have given her such a magnificent ass ;)

          You sure ? After all this is the guy who put a fruit tree in the middle of a garden and put a "do not eat" sign on it. He's a bit of dick like that.

          Wow. Really? You have a pretty messed up view of god there pal. You also don't seem to believe in personal responsibility. Man was given a paradise to live in with all the food he could ever eat, immortality, a wife, the peace of mind of naivety with just one simple rule. Not 10 commandment but just one and man still had to screw that one up.

          • by Golddess (1361003)
            And yet, being an omniscient* being, He knew in advance that Adam and Eve would eat from that tree he put there.

            *Depending on who you ask.
          • Wow. Really? You have a pretty messed up view of god there pal. You also don't seem to believe in personal responsibility. Man was given a paradise to live in with all the food he could ever eat, immortality, a wife, the peace of mind of naivety with just one simple rule. Not 10 commandment but just one and man still had to screw that one up.

            You do realize that it didn't actually happen [wikipedia.org] right ? It's an allegory about not listening to wimmenfolk or about never questioning authority or some other positive message like that like that, I forget. I'm really a big believer in personal responsibility but I'm also pragmatic enough to know that "you don't put the cat next to the milk" as the dutch saying goes. I was actually going for a funny mod but got an insightful instead, you got to love Slashdot.

            • You do realize that you are posting one interpretation as it was indisputable truth don't you? So... we are all supposed to just agree with you?

    • I was so ugly when I was a kid, even the priest ignored me.

    • "but walks one through the process, even suggesting sins you may wish to confess."

      If one makes it through life in the Catholic Church to the point where they have an iPad or iWhatever they don't need an app to tell give them suggestions for confessions. Trust me, they'd know. :) I'm sure many would be happy if just telling them to their app was good enough to save a trip to the box.

      • if there were an android version.

        It's sorta brilliant: if you know you have to take out your phone and mark a sin, you might be less likely to commit it. I did a quit-smoking program like that once — you had to simply mark if you were smoking. But those few seconds of "ahh, gotta get out the paper, mark it down..." etc could make it not worth the trouble.

        (But yeah, i was hoping I could use the sin app, then pass the phone to the priest and he could TAP some kind of auto-penance before giving me lec

    • by popo (107611)

      Are you under the age of 12? (Y/n)
      Are you male? (Y/n)
      Are you currently alone? (Y/n)
      Do you have FaceTime installed? (Y/n)

  • So... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by headkase (533448) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @08:24PM (#35145030)
    How much different is this from the dystopia in THX-1138 where they have Automated Confession Booths [youtube.com]?
  • would it actually send your confession anywhere? Since your confessions are supposed to be anonymous and strictly confidential, you might as well pipe it to /dev/nulll...
    • by bugi (8479) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @08:29PM (#35145086)

      Is it a cloud app?

    • Why bother to RTFA? "If you are worried about all your personal sins being viewed in cyberspace, fear not -- the app customizes each user's list and is password protected for privacy. Once you go to confession, your nefarious revelations are wiped away."

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by sznupi (719324)
        So it's just a digital version of those little books with portions of catechism, prayers, checklists for sacraments (for example - confession), etc.? Plus a notepad? (even safer, actually!) Not much of news...
        • More of an expert system, as best I could tell from the article, rather than a simple checklist.

          • by sznupi (719324)
            Isn't a checklist (and not very simple ones; guidelines / "mood setting" lecture / etc. there) basically an analogue expert system, in a way?
    • by sznupi (719324)
      Anonymity isn't particularly inherent - you might as well be in quite intimate relation (I'm going to hell for this pun ;) ) with your confessor. And similarly, nothing forces you to maintain strict confidentiality; that is of concern only to your confessor (well, I believe there is also some rule about maintaining the confidentiality of accidentally heard, etc., confession of someone else's)
    • by c0lo (1497653)

      would it actually send your confession anywhere? Since your confessions are supposed to be anonymous and strictly confidential, you might as well pipe it to /dev/nulll...

      No need for it... the modern gadgets have enough computation power to support Eliza and her descendants.

  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @08:26PM (#35145052) Homepage

    Martin Luther is spinning in his grave.

  • by DudeTheMath (522264) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @08:32PM (#35145108) Homepage

    Please, people. Ha, ha, funny. RTFA.

    "[T]he new app doesn't replace traditional confession. You still have to go to a priest for absolution. ... It leads you through an 'Examination of Conscience' to help you figure out what your real sins are -- and not just by retreading your run of the mill 10 Commandments."

    In sacramental preparation, Roman Catholics are taught to privately undertake an examination of conscience before entering the confessional. This is just, shall we say, an expert system for the process.

    • by Bieeanda (961632)
      Not just by retreading the Ten Commandments? What, does it sift through your Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare data to figure out who, what, and where you've been up to?
    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

      Darn. I was hoping this would do away with all of the pesky washing and cleaning and bleaching between the crimes and the absolution. No more having to worry about being hit by a bus between when you hit someone with a bus and drive in to the confessional.

      COMPUTERS, Y U NO FORGIVE?

  • If you're Catholic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rsilvergun (571051)
    isn't an iPhone kinda incompatible with your religion? It's a large, unnecessary expenditure of money and resources when there are millions of poor. Plus it's a status symbol, and I'm pretty sure pride is a sin (correct me if I'm wrong, not a Catholic)...

    It's like the guy in the $80,000 SUV with Jesus on his license plate. I think he's missing the point...
    • by torstenvl (769732)

      My iPhone cost me $25 after trading in a used hand-me-down during a sale at RadioShack. Hardly a "large ... expenditure of money," unnecessary or not. And I don't see how it's a status symbol at all.

      • Yeah, but that's just the cost to you. There's a much larger societal cost to getting an iPhone to you. You're just not seeing that cost because it's heavily subsidized by your monthly bill from AT&T, plus reduced by cheap Chinese labor with no environmental regulations. There was just a story about Chinese business men not bringing factories to the US because, although they'd save a bundle on shipping, the cost of meeting our environmental regulations was too high. Plus there are stories of the Chinese
        • by torstenvl (769732)

          What does that have to do with either my spending too much on luxury goods or pride? And in any case, you have presented no evidence to substantiate your claims.

        • Alaska is sending fresh water to China in oil tankers, kind of a scary thought since I like drinking water and I don't want to compete with 3 billion Chinese for it...

          What? No we're not. A few insane people are thinking about it (we've got plenty, just bring your own jar) but the catch has been the tanker. You can't just clean out anything floating and put potable water in it and the costs of making a new purpose built water tanker seem to be too high. Everything from freezing the water to shipping it in giant plastic bags has been proposed, but nothing yet has come of it.

        • Yeah, but that's just the cost to you. There's a much larger societal cost to getting an iPhone to you. You're just not seeing that cost because it's heavily subsidized by your monthly bill from AT&T, plus reduced by cheap Chinese labor with no environmental regulations.

          And while you were typing this reply - did you think about where your computer's parts were made?

    • by Nerdfest (867930)
      Forget the cost, what about the required Steve worship? Maybe the Pope was waiting until he stepped down.
    • by gmhowell (26755) <gmhowell@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @08:42PM (#35145228) Homepage Journal

      Clever way of calling iPhone users idiots who couldn't possibly find utility in a particular device. Kudos on the subtle troll. Much better than comparing Jobs to the Pope. Or to Job.

    • Obsession with status would be closer to envy than pride. And the whole charity thing... well, it says to give to the poor and be willing to sacrifice what one has for the common good but most people don't interpret that as meaning "to be poor". Kinda hard to keep a large faith going if you don't let the faithful have nice toys.
      • Yeah, but, is the purpose of Christianity to keep a large faith going? After all, I'm talking principle here rather than practicality. And wanting the iPhone would be envy, but I was talking about the feeling of superiority one gets by having the latest and greatest phone...
    • by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @08:52PM (#35145326)

      [If you're Catholic] isn't an iPhone kinda incompatible with your religion?

      No. A particular persons decision to purchase an iPhone given other uses of the money may or may not be prudent, and certainly might be influenced by any number of sins, but the iPhone isn't inherently incompatible with Catholicism.

      It's a large, unnecessary expenditure of money and resources when there are millions of poor.

      Catholic teaching does not prohibit purchasing expensive items which are not essential to survival.

      Plus it's a status symbol

      Purchasing an iPhone out of vanity would certainly be sinful, but the fact that society treats it as a status symbol does not make the device itself inherently sinful.

      • If you gave all your money to the poor, as Jesus commanded, you would not afford an I Phone.

        • Being Catholic means to follow orders from Vatican. Reading the bible and trying to interpret yourself what Jesus told, this is a dangerous protestant behavior.

        • If you gave all your money to the poor, as Jesus commanded, you would not afford an I Phone.

          If you gave all your money to the poor, you also couldn't afford a meal.

          And, of course, those you gave your money did the same with the money that was now theirs, neither could they.

          But Jesus didn't say everyone should give their money to the poor, he told a rich man who was trying to approach salvation as a checklist of items to mark off that that's what he needed to do beyond what he already had. The most common interpretation of that interaction is that it has essentially the same message as the story of

      • by GauteL (29207)

        "Catholic teaching does not prohibit purchasing expensive items which are not essential to survival."

        It does not explicitly forbid it. But the church quite often brings up the saying of it being easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into heaven. Because the issue is so controversial (and probably frowned upon by many rich backers, never mind the public at large), the church is fairly silent on the issue and leaves it up to the individual to decide whether it is sinful

        • Because the issue is so controversial (and probably frowned upon by many rich backers, never mind the public at large), the church is fairly silent on the issue and leaves it up to the individual to decide whether it is sinful to buy unnecessary expensive items when you could have given the money to the poor.

          Wrong. The Church is not silent on the matter, its a key part of the social doctrine of the Church. You seem to be mistaking the absence of a one-size-fits-all simple rule that lets people be lazy, look up a yes-or-no answer, and do no moral reflection for silence on the issue, but that is a mistake.

          See, e.g., The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church [vatican.va] , Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (2004), which addresses this at many places. A few selections follow:

          At paragraph 178:

          The Church's social teaching moreover calls for recognition of the social function of any form of private ownership that clearly refers to its necessary relation to the common good. Man “should regard the external things that he legitimately possesses not only as his own but also as common in the sense that they should be able to benefit not only him but also others”. The universal destination of goods entails obligations on how goods are to be used by their legitimate owners. Individual persons may not use their resources without considering the effects that this use will have, rather they must act in a way that benefits not only themselves and their family but also the common good. [...]

          And at paragraph 3

    • by retchdog (1319261)

      have you seen the vatican?

    • I don't know what world you're from where Catholics think it's a sin to buy anything expensive, but it sure isn't a sin to buy a freaking iPod. This app helps you figure out what to confess about when you go to confession. Yes, it's a sin to buy too many expensive things, but an iPod of all things isn't even close to that limit. Troll harder next time.

    • isn't an iPhone kinda incompatible with your religion? It's a large, unnecessary expenditure of money and resources when there are millions of poor.

      God helps those that help themselves ... to an iphone. The catholic church, while having its ascetics like the franciscan monks, has never been anti materialistic.

      Plus it's a status symbol, and I'm pretty sure pride is a sin (correct me if I'm wrong, not a Catholic).

      Pride is a sin. Buy an iphone + buy this app and confess pride-fullness, problem solved.

      • Christianity per se is anti-materialistic.

        To receive absolution you have to repent. If you really repent of having bought a status symbol you would give it away.

    • by D Ninja (825055)

      I'm not a Catholic, but, to be fair, spending money on yourself is not necessarily incompatible with religion. Yes, it does say in the Bible that it will be "easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven," but it's not because the person is rich. (For those who don't know, Jesus makes this statement after a rich man asked him what he needed to do to enter heaven. Jesus told him to go and sell his possessions and then follow Him. The rich man went a

    • by Sparx139 (1460489)
      Depends on the person and their own individual beliefs - that, and you're assuming that all Christians actually follow what they say, and have a real faith. I know many Christians from various denominations that attend church simply because they were raised that way - "Sunday Christians" who act very piously then proceed to bitch about others, turn away from people in need and generally do everything that they shouldn't be doing.
      I'm a Christian (not Catholic though), and sadly I have to agree with a lot of
  • Is this a repentance on the part of the iPhone?

    After all, it was Apple that brought us into this mess of sin in the first place.

  • by David Gerard (12369) <slashdot@NospAm.davidgerard.co.uk> on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @08:37PM (#35145164) Homepage

    ... a new high score!!!

  • Profit? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by samos69 (977266)

    1. Write confession app
    2. collect confessions + phone number / email address
    3. ????
    4. Profit!

  • by l00sr (266426) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @09:06PM (#35145444)

    I see nothing in the article to support the claim that this app has been sanctioned by the Catholic Church, besides the fact the author seems to be a priest, and seems to like it. This is an app developed by a private company [littleiapps.com] with no official connection to the Church (and a horribly broken website, to boot).

  • Seeing that it can help you find out how you've sinned, I'd like to see a penance calculator in the next version. For example: you could enter that you watched a naughty movie, and it would respond with 10 Hail Mary's per girl with a 5x multiplier per cup.
  • "Customers who confessed this sin also confessed..."
  • For I have sinned. I jailbroke my iphone, carrier unlocked it to use on TMobile, then I downloaded a cracked version of Confession App through installous. Also Angry Birds.

  • Does it still suggest sins you might be interested in committing? I don't need a confession app, but a checklist might actually come in handy...
  • Will the app borrow the Amazon or Netflix technology and come up with, "People who confessed to this venal transgression also confessed to ...."
  • Can someone atleast google the nickname / login of the person submitting the story. http://www.google.com/search?q=slshwtw [google.com]
  • The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops also have pretty good movie reviews [usccb.org] where they cut directly to the chase as it were. Like their review of Black Swan :

    "Darren Aronofsky's nightmarish, morally muddled drama plays on the extremes of sexual repression and debauched license and, whether read as insisting on the necessity of indiscriminate experience or as a cautionary tale, presents its heroine's experimentation with voyeuristic excess. Strong sexual content, including graphic lesbian and nonmar

    • by 1s44c (552956)

      The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops also have pretty good movie reviews [usccb.org] where they cut directly to the chase as it were. Like their review of Black Swan :

      "Darren Aronofsky's nightmarish, morally muddled drama plays on the extremes of sexual repression and debauched license and, whether read as insisting on the necessity of indiscriminate experience or as a cautionary tale, presents its heroine's experimentation with voyeuristic excess. Strong sexual content, including graphic lesbian and nonmarital heterosexual activity, as well as masturbation, drug use, a few instances of profanity, much rough and some crude language and numerous sexual references. O -- morally offensive.."

      Makes me actually want to watch it.

      That reads like it was some kind of porno, which it totally wasn't. The Catholic's who wrote that would no doubt be happier seeing small boys dancing instead.

      I thought it was a pretty good film.

    • by Gwala (309968)

      Well, you might want to watch it; but you only should if you think you might like "David Lynch does a snuff film".

      • Well, you might want to watch it; but you only should if you think you might like "David Lynch does a snuff film".

        It just keeps sounding better and better :-)

  • by jensend (71114)

    I thought everyone who owned an iPhone prayed to Jobs (thrice daily, while facing Cupertino), has WWDC and Macworld Expo instead of communion, confessed their dalliances with non-Apple products to Geniuses at the Apple Store, and did penance by lashing out at those who criticize Apple products online.

    Wouldn't being involved in Catholicism violate their First Commandment or something?

  • "Speak into microphone. When you hear the beep, confess."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ihD3dTVHcoY#t=134s [youtube.com]

    .
  • by six11 (579) <johnsogg@c m u . edu> on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @11:42PM (#35146668) Homepage

    I am the electrono-priest. Please, describe your problems. Each time
    you are finished talking, type RET twice.

    Forgive me father, for I have sinned.

    Tell me something about your family.

    They aren't talking to me anymore.

    Why do you say they are not talking to you anymore?

    Just what I said. They don't speak with me.

    What makes you believe that?

    Empirical evidence?

    Maybe your plans have something to do with this.

    What plans are you talking about? I didn't mention plans.

    I don't understand.

    That makes two of us.

    Is it because makes two of us that you came to me?

    Hey you're the priest. Who should I go to, Steve Jobs?

    Earlier you said makes two of us?

    You heard correctly.

    Is it because of your life that you are going through all this?

    Tautologically speaking, I suppose my life is the reason I'm going
    through anything at all.

    How do you reconcile the people you hang around with?

    I pay them. Can we get to the bit about my sins please?

    You mentioned that makes two of us?

    Father are you brain damaged?

    You seem to dwell on your family.

    Who is that back there?

    I'll ask the questions, if you don't mind!

    Ezra is that you? Oh for Christ's sake.

  • That will be 10 Hail Marys and 4 LOLs ...
  • Gee I guess now you can confess your sins to your phone and pay your "penance" by credit card over the phone.

    "Oops I just slept with a hooker" Quick where is my iPhone I need to confess my sin NOW!

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