back to article iPhone owners get walked through confessional

Hot on the heavenly heels of Pope Benedict XVI's recent invitation to young people to "embrace digital communication"* comes the iPhone "Confession: A Roman Catholic app" – designed to shepherd sinners through the sacramental process towards divine forgiveness. The Indiana developers of the app – Little iApps – say they "took …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jesus F'king Christ

    Wish I had thought of that one.

    1. findreg

      they aren't the first ones with this idea... has been on the web for years, and they too, have an app for it.

      Beichte = confession

      Is there no IP protection in the Apple Stores?

  2. BongoJoe


    Does not the Cult of the Turtle Neck count as the occult?

    (flames because they think I may be going there...)

    1. hplasm




  3. Wommit

    So this is just


  4. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Have you been involved in superstitious practices...


    Now that's a good one.

    Who knew Catholics had such a sense of irony?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Halo


      Worshipped false idols?

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Cognitive Dissonance?

    "Have I been involved with superstitious practices or have I been involved with the occult?"

    Am I the only one seeing the irony here?

  6. Oliver Mayes

    Missed a trick there

    Should have called it 'iConfess'

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As Tom Lehrer put it

    Get in line in that processional,

    Step into that small confessional,

    There, the guy who's got religion'll

    Tell you if your sin's original.

  8. Jelliphiish

    my eyesight

    may need some help.. i didn't read that as 'walked'.. decency prevents re-iteration of my initial impression.. lets just say i wasn't so much surprised as impressed with their openness.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    I'm disappointed

    Of all articles, surely this one should have referred to the iDevice as the "Jesus phone"

    (not to be confused with the "hey Zeus phone")

    1. Jason Hall

      Judas Phone 4

      And here's me referring to my phone as my Judas Phone, since being an iPhone 4 it's problems were supposedly going to destroy Apple?

  10. Simon Barnes

    intermediary ?

    >> Catholics aren't allowed to talk directly to their god but have to speak through an intermediary

    as an erstwhile Catholic (until 44 years ago) I would say that's not correct, but a hierophant is required for confession and absolution...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Imaginary friends....

    ... not included.

    But I have no doubt that the authors of this app will be doing very nicely from it.

  12. JayB

    New force behind the Jesus Phone

    Burning in Hell, there's an app for that....

  13. Mike Hanna


    No Jesus Phone comments yet?

  14. Admiral Grace Hopper
    Thumb Up

    As Umbert Eco said ...

    "I am firmly of the opinion that the Macintosh is Catholic and that DOS is Protestant. Indeed, the Macintosh is counterreformist and has been influenced by the ’ratio studiorum’ of the Jesuits. It is cheerful, friendly, conciliatory, it tells the faithful how they must proceed step by step to reach — if not the Kingdom of Heaven — the moment in which their document is printed. It is catechistic: the essence of revelation is dealt with via simple formulae and sumptuous icons. Everyone has a right to salvation.

    DOS is Protestant, or even Calvinistic. It allows free interpretation of scripture, demands difficult personal decisions, imposes a subtle hermeneutics upon the user, and takes for granted the idea that not all can reach salvation. To make the system work you need to interpret the program yourself: a long way from the baroque community of revelers, the user is closed within the loneliness of his own inner torment.

    You may object that, with the passage to Windows, the DOS universe has come to resemble more closely the counterreformist tolerance of the Macintosh. It’s true: Windows represents an Anglican-style schism, big ceremonies in the cathedral, but there is always the possibility of a return to DOS to change things in accordance with bizarre decisions.....

    And machine code, which lies beneath both systems (or environments, if you prefer)? Ah, that is to do with the Old Testament, and is Talmudic and cabalistic."

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Even more reason to view religion with suspicion.

    "Catholics aren't allowed to talk directly to their god but have to speak through an intermediary"

    Makes organised religion appear more and more like a money racket.

    1. daldred

      Even more reason to regard Register hacks with suspicion...

      As someone else pointed out (using longer words), that part of the report is simply untrue; Catholics can talk directly to God whenever they want to (unlike those poor atheists who haven't even cottoned on to the fact that God is there yet, and haven't a clue what they're missing out on).

      The Register hack who wrote this bit is presumably a bit short in the religious knowledge department - but I'm sure s/he can find somewhere to confess to that....

      And confession's free, so there's no money involved. Funny the ideas anonymous cowards can get in their heads, isn't it?

      Hmm. Wonder if they've put in a quetion about worshipping false idols, like shiny iphones....

      1. Martin

        We poor atheists?

        "those poor atheists who haven't even cottoned on to the fact that God is there yet, and haven't a clue what they're missing out on..."

        Yep. No idea at all. Poor me. Never mind, I'll cope.

        But there are plenty of atheists who are ex-religion. They presumably DO have a clue what they are missing out on...and have come to the conclusion they are better off without it.

        But that app is going to sell extremely well. Hope he's giving his tithe to the Church.

      2. Robert Simpson

        "those poor atheists"

        I'm more concerned about the poor religious people who have no idea what they're missing outside the mental prison which religious belief imposes.

        Put that in your papal chimney and smoke it.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People will believe ANYTHING you tell them...

    .....and I'm supposed to assume that these religous types are mentally stable??? Please!

  17. Mark .


    Nice how one can get free advertising for a paid-for app... (This is more a gripe at places like the BBC, than the Register - the BBC are supposed to not have advertising, but they'll happily give you free nationwide advertising for your commercial Iphone app - also see . How is that news? Next time I write an app for my Nokia, I'll be sending details to the BBC...)

  18. steward


    I was disciplined at a county college in the US for writing an application like that... in 1981. Seems the sysop was a Catholic and was offended.

    (I must admit that the penance it gave out could be considered offensive, although I thought it was rather poetic at the time: "Four Our Father's, Three Hail Mary's, Two Glory Be's and a partridge in a pear tree.")

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What I want to know is

    How and what is "receiving Communion in a state of mortal sin"?

    And if it is as kinky as it sounds, how many "Hail Marys" it will cost me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      "receiving Communion in a state of mortal sin"

      If a Catholic commits a mortal sin (ie adultery) they are not permitted to receive Communion until they have received absolution for that sin (basically confession).

      Sure Paris knows all about mortal sin.

  20. JaitcH

    Why not go the whole hog?

    The App should include the ability to play the Hail Mary's in audio and then do whatever with the rosary on the screen.

    Then they could have a fully automated version whereby the type of misdeed is selected from a menu, a designated penalty is awarded and the iThingy chants the HM's and then displays the rosary action for the appropriate number of times.

    This way RC's won't have to drop in to the church - saving gas and time, or giving the preacher a good laugh. Best of all there will be no need to drop any coin!

  21. Gerrit Hoekstra

    Contravenes Data Protection Act

    Who owns the sin-records once they have been submitted? The chap with the funny hat, or the rude bloke in the turtleneck? And will the data be allowed to leave EU territory for atonement-processing on other celestial shores?

  22. DAN*tastik
    Thumb Down

    Not giving in to the temptation

    I have friends who own mobile phones made by Apple ( not being religious means I am familiar with tolerance ), and it would be interesting to get them to download that to-do list for me.

    But no way I am sending all those pennies to somebody who is so familiar with the Bible AND I know for sure own a laptop made by Apple.

    Also, has anybody tried to refer to their friends' gadgets made by Apple as mobile / mp3 player / laptop? Some of the owners look confused for a few seconds

  23. OrsonX

    Nobody calling on the (i)phone...

    ...'cept for the Pope maybe in Rome....

    Aaah Purgatory... lucky its PAYG to get out!

    So,... does God have an iPhone then? If not how does the absolution reach him? Has Heaven got Vodafone dialled in? Or is it sent to the Pope for pre-aproval, who then presumably calls the big yin to let him know? Yup, that's propbably it, makes sense that way.

    Flames, because that's where I'm going (unless I buy the app of course!)

  24. Michael Xion

    Anyone read 'Noir' by K W Jeter?

    ....where's the 'full prince Charles' App?

  25. Pablo
    Thumb Down


    So why can't they actually connect you with a priest? Surely there must be some bored priests out there somewhere.

  26. TeeCee Gold badge

    This could be funny.

    This week: Religious iPhone app officially endorsed by Catholicism.

    Next week: Bearded cleric issues Fatwa banning muslims from using infidel iPhones. Calvinists, Lutherans and Hussites burn Apple products.

    Week after that: App store bans all apps with religious content.

    Week after that: Papal Bull issued stating that users of Apple products will be excommunicated.

    Popcorn please......

  27. jm0rr0w

    The Penance Project

    There is a free application for Android devices that is similar called PenanceProject. It helps users do an examination of conscience before the Sacrament and to pray afterwards.

    You can get the application here:

    To find out more about The Penance Project please visit:

  28. Dave 125

    Great questions

    "Do I not give God time every day in prayer?"

    OK, so does a tick mean yes I do, or yes I do not?

    Actually I shouldn't complain. One of my favourite tricks is to answer questions asked in the negative sense with the logically correct answer, e.g. if I _have_ given God time every day in prayer, then the answer to the above is No. (Or does No mean that I have given God time only some days in prayer, as opposed to every day and no days? I'm confused...)

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