They say there is an app for everything. And now, we have seen it all.
Apps for our mobile devices are supposed to make things easier for us. With one-touch, we can transfer money through our bank. With another touch, we can reserve a table for 2 at the swanky new restaurant downtown. And now, with a single touch, we can deal with that pesky annoyance in our lives – SIN!
Yes, there is an app for SIN now.
For $1.99 you can download a confession app. You select your sin and it suggests an appropriate Act of Contrition for you. It will even allow you to add a sin should you find yourself committing an offense that is not featured on the “most popular” sin list.
Before you comment that this is an attempt to ridicule the Catholic Church, this app was actually designed by the Roman Catholic Church. (I wonder if it was actually blessed by it as well).
Mind you, this is the church that has been steadfast in keeping true to their rituals no matter how antiquated or how many people complain about the church being out of touch. This is the church whose last major change was to actaully face the congregation and speak English now is promoting of a way to skip one of its fundamental sacraments by making a mobile app? Although they say this app will compliment and promote in-church confession, we all know that once you have an “app for that”, you never go back.
I don’t get it.
Confession – also known as the Sacrement of Reconcilliation – is one of THE most sacred events in the Catholic faith. A time where you can be alone with God, examine your conscience and come to the realization that you have sinned against God. Then, you humbly come into the presence of a priest so that he may absolve those sins in the name of Christ so that you can once again be made whole and may bask in the grace of God.
As far as interactive experiences go, this is pretty big. No matter what your faith is, when the entire experience is centered around you talking with God and praying for forgiveness from the Creator of the universe, I would say that is a MOMENT.
So why would the Catholic Church create something to potentially drive more people away from an entire experience like that?
It is like the “beer app” where you can pour beer into a glass (on your phone, of course). After the glass is “full”, when you tilt the phone, it looks like you are drinking the beer and the glass becomes empty. But no matter how realisitc the beer looks, you are not drinking a beer. All you have is an empty glass.
For the church who is in support of the confession app I would recommend putting more effort into making the real experience of confession better. Find out why people don’t like confessing their sins to a priest and come up with a solution to enhance the entire church experience. Stop looking for gimmicks and provide an experience that actually fills their souls and provides a lasting effect.
The Catholic church is probably hoping that people will have so much fun using the app that they will come back to the church to do the real thing. My guess is that they won’t.
No matter how many times you “pour the beer” on your iPhone, you will never feel its real effects. It will never replace the emotional experience of sharing a cold beer with an old friend.