Wednesday, February 9, 2011

App-ostolic Succession

Posted By on Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 10:14 AM

There is now an app for Catholics who don't make it to the confessional booth as much as they'd like. That's right, a confession app. [via CNN]

A practical concern: if the app functions at all like a confessional booth, users will presumably enter their "sins" into the app in some way. And apps store user data. Even if it's password protected, PASSWORDS GET HACKED. (Google "celebrity sex tape" and tell me they don't.*)

According to the blog CNN cites, this is the first imprimatur (permission given by the church for publication) for a digital application.

On some level, I understand why the church would think this is a good idea - Kids love apps, right?

In the constantly expanding realm of digital technologies, every business/brand/entity has had to find where they fit in. But in some cases, those efforts to fit in only serve to highlight the total irrelevance of the business/brand/entity in the lives of the people they're trying to reach.

The idea that a sheet of plastic with flashing pixels can somehow absolve your mortal soul because a particular bit of code was sanctioned by the church is just silly. It's a collision of science and superstition that confronts our common sense.

When I see certain institutions fighting to maintain relevance, I think back to this bit from Bill Hicks:

Will the Confession App help the Catholic Church recapture that oh-so-coveted 18-24 demographic? I doubt it.

But then again, religion survived the printing press and the shift from manuscripts illuminated by the hands of cloistered monks to mass-produced Bibles (which I'm sure at least one monk called heresy).

* don't actually Google that. You'll get in trouble at work and end up knowing more than you want to about something called a Kardashian.

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