Need to confess your sins? There’s an app for that

Holy app!  For less than $2, you can now wipe your slate clean with a confession by utilizing the “Confession” application, available on iTunes for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Yes, you read right — confession online.

“Confession,” was developed by Patrick Leinen, a 31-year-old Internet programmer. The application allows users to confess their sins and conduct sacraments over the Internet.

Leinen claims that the whole point is to encourage people to go to church.  Exactly how, pray tell, might this encourage you to go to church?  The app allows you the convenience of not having to go to church to confess your sins by way of cell phones and computers.

Confessions are sacred, holy if I might add, and therapeutic for the soul.  To trivialize confessions to an app seems shallow and sacrilegious, and opens users for a violation of privacy.  Imagine baring your soul over the Internet and somehow your confessions were made public by hackers?

Leinen claims they tried to make the app as secure as possible. The app customizes each user’s list and is password protected for privacy. But, haven’t we all heard that before?  There are frequent leaks of private information over the Internet from sites, which offer similar assurances.  Are you willing to take that risk considering there is no guarantee of privacy on the worldwide web?

The USA Patriot Act reduced restrictions on the government’s legal ability to monitor the public’s communications, including the Internet. That law was recently supported by the Obama administration. Critics have sought to revise various sections to enhance civil liberty protections of all Americans.

So, where do we draw the line when it comes to technology and its growing efforts to simplify our lives?  We live in a progressive, modern world of technology, but there are certain activities and rituals that should remain status quo because of their sacred nature.

Technology has given us the ability to see life unfolding cell by cell. Technology defied gravity by producing airplanes. And technology allows us to view parts of the universe we may have never known existed.  There is no doubt that technology has produced the greatest enhancements to mankind.  But even with all of that, the spirit of a man or woman seeking absolution cannot be healed over the Internet.

Officials in Rome have declared that an app cannot serve as a confessional.  The online confession does not give absolution, which means Catholics still have to go and pay their priest a personal visit.

I believe that confession is a sacred act, a time for reflection and healing of one’s sins.  It does not belong on an app, and if it is convenience that we are looking for, then we are missing the boat on confession all together.

Here’s my confession: the only purpose this app serves is to seduce consumers into buying another gadget or service that is merely an attempt to capitalize on their incessant need for convenience.

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