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Ego te appsolvo

As I’m sure many of you have heard, there’s now a brand new Confession App on the market for Roman Catholics — available for iPhone and iPod Touch for a very reasonable $1.99! Appararently it’s gotten the imprimatur from at least one Catholic Bishop, and I was surprised to learn that it was developed in conversation with Catholic theologian Thomas Weinandy.

What are the theological implications of this? I submit that it falsifies, in pretty much every way, John Milbank’s thesis about there being a Catholic “alternative” to modernity.


  1. Myles wrote:

    Tetzel rides again!

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Permalink
  2. Hill wrote:

    All they did is take fairly standard confessional manuals and turn them in to a checklist. It’s actually far less interesting than one might fear/hope. So if you think using a confessional manual is good, but using a confessional manual in which the text is represented on an LCD screen that fits in your pocket is bad, then I could see being upset with this.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Permalink
  3. Hill wrote:

    In other words, it’s like saying Christianity is screwed because you can get the Bible on your iPhone.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Permalink
  4. Halden wrote:

    Weren’t you the guy I remember saying that he wished the Bible had never even been translated into modern languages? :)

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Permalink
  5. Hill wrote:

    I’m still sympathetic to that position, if not totally wedded to it. I would include Latin as a modern language, as well. I think it would have been a better use of the premodern cultural momentum of Christianity if we had employed it as an excuse for Greek and Hebrew to be universally read. Shoot… might have even avoided the Great Schism and all of the problems Augustine caused with the East.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Permalink
  6. Hill wrote:

    There’s obviously no getting that cat back in the bag, though. I am in favor of more draconian policing of ridiculous translations, however.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Permalink
  7. dan wrote:

    I think reading the Bible on an iPhone might be a problem…

    (just to pick one sample article).

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Permalink
  8. John wrote:

    This is just indicative of how laughable pop catholicism has become.

    The confession was always a joke any how.
    There was never any rigorous moral demand to change ones actions and never do or commit whatever “sin” or “sins” one was confessing, again.
    It was thus another device for letting people of the hook of being completely responsible for their presence and actions in the world.

    Just as the doctrine of “original sin” does.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Permalink
  9. Gene McCarraher wrote:

    Prediction: The next innovation will be Mass via Skype. It would certainly do away with the need for costly church buildings.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Permalink
  10. Hill wrote:

    Honestly, it’s difficult to understand how what you are saying has anything to do with the facts here.

    Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 9:46 am | Permalink
  11. Nathan Smith wrote:

    The Pope has put the ban on the app. I suppose it will still appear in the app store. =P

    Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink
  12. Charlie Collier wrote:

    I want an app for penance.

    Friday, February 11, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink
  13. Halden wrote:

    I could also go for one dispensing extreme unction.

    Monday, February 14, 2011 at 11:51 am | Permalink
  14. roger flyer wrote:

    I like this add on from the article:

    “The sinful suggestions the app offers are inventive and even age appropriate.

    An example given by iPhone is, “I think my cousin is hot, but I’d never go there because it’s socially unacceptable…” OK.”

    I think the Vatican might want to hire a copywriter/editor (with a thorough Catholic education) to screen potential ‘priestly’ suggestions on the app confessional.

    I was also wondering if the iPhone screen could show the inside of a confessional with the suggestion of a screened priest on the other side of the door…? And might we buy a pair of 3D glasses to increase the sense of reality?

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 5:30 am | Permalink

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