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Priest's reservations on new confession app

Catholic Church officials in the US and the UK have given their blessing to the iPhone app that seeks to help prepare people for confession. But Father Brian Lucas of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference warns that its function is limited, the ABC reports.

  • Australia
  • February 10, 2011
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The priest's remarks echo reservations voiced by Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi.

“It’s certainly not intended in any sense to be any form of electronic confession,” Father Lucas, general secretary of the ACBC, said.

“In the Catholic Church practice of the sacrament of confession or reconciliation is a personal encounter with God, through the instrument of the priest and that’s something that’s done very personally and very privately.”

“This particular app is really a catechetical tool or a religious instruction tool.”

The confession app can’t replace the confession, because a priest, not a gizmo, gives absolution.

The Catholic News Services quotes Father Lombardi as saying that while the app can help Catholics prepare for confession, it cannot substitute for the sacramental encounter between a penitent and a priest.

“Confession: A Roman Catholic App” for Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch was recently released as a way for Catholics to prepare for and participate in the sacrament of penance. Some recent press reports, however, have suggested that the application could replace in-person confession,” Fr Lombardi said.

“It’s essential to understand that the sacrament of penance requires a personal dialogue between the penitent and the confessor, and absolution by the confessor who is present.

“This is something that cannot be replaced by any application. One cannot speak of a ‘confession via iPhone,’” he said.”

FULL STORY

Catholic Church welcomes iPhone confession app (ABC)

IPhone confession app ‘no substitute’ for the sacrament (The Guardian)

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Screenshot from Confession: A Roman Catholic App on itunes.apple.com?
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