.- Developers of a new “confession helper” iPhone application say they found inspiration in Pope Benedict XVI’s call for more youth involvement in social communication.
“Confession: A Roman Catholic App” is the first iPhone, iPad and iPod touch application from the South Bend, Indiana-based publisher Little iApps, LLC.
Patrick Leinen, developer and co-founder of Little iApps, spoke about the program in a Feb. 3 interview with CNA.
He said the app is uniquely designed for cradle Catholics who go to Confession and attend church. It gives a “step-by-step” guide to Confession and a “personalized examination of conscience” based on the user’s age, vocation and sex.
“A priest won't have the same examination as a teen girl or a married man. You will get something unique to you,” he explained.
Users who have not been to Confession in some time have reported that using the app takes away the “intimidation factor” of going to confess their sins.
Leinen added that he and his fellow developers wanted to respond to Pope Benedict’s 2010 World Communications Address, which encouraged using new media to serve God’s Word.
After debating what this meant, the developers decided to make applications that are “in communion with the Church” and “in support of our lifestyle” as Catholics.
Two priests collaborated in the app’s development: Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, the executive director of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices, and Fr. Dan Scheidt, pastor of Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Mishawaka, Indiana.
The developers asked their local bishop for two forms of church approval known as an imprimatur and a nihil obstat. This unique process involved submitting all variations of the app’s text in written form to Bishop Kevin C. Rhodes of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
“All the possible options were sent in,” Leinen explained. “We wanted to make sure that we were really in line with the Church in what we were doing.”
The developers plan to update the program for the Droid phone operating system. They are considering what Catholic applications to do next.
“We really appreciate the response that we've gotten from everyone in the community, lay and religious. We're continuing to look forward to creating these apps, as needed, and we appreciate any suggestions anyone has.”
The app is available through the iTunes store at a price of $1.99.