Q. A new app for the iPhone and iPad allows people to make confession with a virtual priest. According to its makers, the “Confession: A Roman Catholic App,” which is on sale at Apple's iTunes store, offers “a personalized examination of conscience for each user.”
The user enters personal data such as sex, age and marital status, and is presented with a list of check-boxes to describe their sins and who, if anyone, they've offended. A second page allows the penitent to enter a list of lapses. Pressing the “finish” button brings up a random spiritual quote from a Catholic saint. The app also displays lists of prayers and the Acts of Contrition.
The makers have stressed that the app isn't supposed to replace attending confession in person, and senior members of the Catholic Church in America and the UK have approved the program. Its makers say they were inspired by a recent speech by the Pope in which he urged Christians to use new digital and social media.