The Catholic Church has launched a new smartphone app helping sinners find the nearest available priest “in real time” to hear their confessions.
The brainchild of Spanish priest Father Ricardo Latorre, ‘Confesor GO’ locates the user’s global position and cross-references the data with all available priests using the app. A list of available confessors appears on the screen in order of proximity to the user.
The faithful who wish to go to confession also have access to the priests’ names, ages and date of ordination to help in the selection process. Since the confessions may take place either in churches or in open public places, like “on the street, at a park or in a plaza,” a picture of the priest can also be displayed for quick recognition.
Once a user chooses a priest, the app shows the distance separating the two, as well as the shortest route to get to the confession place.
The beta version of the app has already been downloaded several thousand times, and the official version became available for free on December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception. In the first few days after the launch, over 100 clerics across Spain signed up to be available for confessions.
Though originating on the Iberian peninsula, developers promise that it covers “all countries in the world where there is a priest willing to listen to confessions and actively associated with the application.” They also invite more priests to sign up for the app, “so that those who need to be reconciled with God may receive forgiveness and peace.”
The new initiative follows hot on the heels of a similar app launched last month in Scotland allowing the faithful to find the nearest Mass times or active confessional for the absolution of their sins.
Scottish Archbishop Leo Cushley came to Rome to announce the launch of “The Catholic App” outside Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, accompanied by pilgrims and seminarians from his archdiocese and serenaded by Scottish bagpipes.
The Catholic app was dubbed “Sindr” after the popular Tinder dating app, and allows users to scroll through parishes in the area to find schedules of Masses, Confessions or even Eucharistic adoration.
The archbishop said the new app offers “a little bit of smart technology that could make a big impact on how the Catholic Church brings the mercy of God and the joy of the Gospel to our contemporary world.”
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