Tag Archives | Religion

Absolve Your Sins With an iOS App

For those of the Catholic faith, the confessional is an important rite to be forgiven of the sins of daily life. It seems like it was only a matter of time before a mobile app was created to do just that. Confession was developed by Little iApps in conjuction with two Catholic priests, and was given an imprimatur — essentially the blessing of the Church that it is not damaging to the faith — the first time an mobile app has been given such an honor.

Pope Benedict made embracing the Internet and technology a priority as a means to connect to other faithful. Indeed, Benedict has been very technology-forward — the Vatican has its own official Twitter and YouTube accounts — and has made other efforts to spread the word of God online.

No word if Benedict’s seen Confession though, which costs $1.99 on th App Store. What the app will do is track the user’s last date of confession, as well as give the confessor a guide through the pennance process. In case you forgot how you sinned, Confession will keep track of that too. Don’t know how you may be sinning? The app will even attempt to give you an “examination of conscience” to see how you can live a more sin-free life.

Don’t worry about revealing your sins by some nosy onlooker: the app is password-protected, and once you confess, it’s wiped away forever. It’s not intended to absolve you of those sins though, you’ll still have to pay a visit to your local Father.

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Saving Steve Jobs

As I left Apple’s iPad launch last Wednesday, someone thrust a pamphlet into my hand. Nothing startling about that–there are often folks handing out literature outside these events, and they usually turn out to be from either small Apple-related companies or organizations that are unhappy with the company’s DRM.

This pamphlet, however, was…a religious tract. From Jews for Jesus, the quixotic organization which devoted the brochure to a particularly quixotic purpose: addressing Steve Jobs directly, comparing the noted Buddhist to Jesus Christ, and arguing that he should accept Christ as his savior.

It’s certainly not the first time certain parallels have been drawn between the co-founder of Apple and the Son of God: Googling for “Steve Jobs Messiah” returns a scary quantity of results, Apple fans have long been compared to disciples, and the iPhone and iPad have frequently been called the Jesus Phone and Jesus Tablet, respectively. But I don’t know of anyone who’s taken the idea as far as Jews for Jesus, which peppers the pamphlet with both obvious religious allusions (Adam, Eve, and the apple) and unexpected ones (telling Jobs that his “NeXTStep” should be to ask God for “a new OS.” I understand that Jobs’ firing by John Sculley represents the Crucifixion, but I’m not enough of a Biblical scholar to figure out whether it’s the founding of NeXT or Jobs’ return to Apple that parallels the Resurrection.

At first, I thought that the pamphlet was a custom job for the iPad event , but it’s several years old, as evidenced by its lack of mentions of the iPhone, let alone the iPad. (The later is a particular shame given the rich scriptural possibilities in the mere notion of Apple tablets.)

After the jump, the flyer in full (as reprinted from Jews for Jesus’s online library of PDFs). It’s the first religious document I’ve run here, and I have a hunch it’ll be the last…

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Pope Looks to Preach to Internet Faithful

While many observers of the Catholic church speculated that Pope Benedict XVI’s time as the head of the church would be nowhere as revolutionary as that of his predecessor, The Holy See is making his own mark on the future of the church. Benedict has asked priests and ministers to employ new technologies to spread the church’s message even further than before.

The church’s “World Day for Social Communications” will take place on May 16, and according to the Vatican the topic will be “The Priest and Pastoral Ministry in a Digital World: New Media at the Service of the Word.” Benedict believes that in order to keep the church relevant — especially among youth — digital mediums must be used effectively.

“Priests stand at the threshold of a new era: as new technologies create deeper forms of relationship across greater distances, they are called to respond pastorally by putting the media ever more effectively at the service of the Word,” he wrote in a message posted to the Vatican website.

Of course, this would not replace the traditional service, but for those who may not be able to attend on a regular basis employing digital mediums will help the Church maintain a greater connection with its parishioners.

This is not the first time Benedict has discussed the potential for the Internet when it comes to the Catholic church: in last year’s message, he called on his priests and followers to begin using the Internet to spread the word of the church, however at the same time value the importance of real-life social interaction.

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