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Koreans snub smart phone confessions

Bishops say new apps are no substitute for sacrament with priests

Confession: A Roman Catholic app for the iPhone Confession: A Roman Catholic app for the iPhone
  • Stephen Hong, Seoul
  • Korea
  • February 11, 2011
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Computer applications like the recently released Confession App for iPhones “are not” and “cannot” be substitutes for the Catholic Confession, Korean bishops insist.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea issued a statement yesterday dismissing media reports that Catholics can now make Confession by the app.

“The sacrament of penance requires personal dialogue between the penitent and the confessor,” the statement said.

Local media have aired a series of reports in recent days about the release of ‘Confession: A Roman Catholic App,’ which offers user tips and guidelines to help them with the sacrament online, citing foreign press.

Some of the reports have stated Catholics can make Confessions with the app.

Headlines have included: “Confession by iPhone...approved by Catholic Church,” “Confession by smart phone app” and “Repent now with a smart phone.”

The bishops say the reports are misleading.

The app which is described as the “perfect aid for every penitent” is “not a tool that you can use to confess on your smart phone” but a tool to help Catholics prepare faithfully for Confession, they said.

“Confession via telephone, email or smart phone applications cannot be made and will never be allowed, they stressed.

According to the statement, the Confession app contains tips and guidelines on sacrament procedure as well as prayers for penance that the Church approved.

The app also encourages users to understand their sins and visit their priest for absolution.

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