I fear that people might use it as a way to just go through the motions of a checklist without thinking about their past month or so (or longer) since their last confession. I also think it might lead many to scrupulosity. Thinking that we can never be any good. “There it is in black and white–I’m horrible.”
It also seems very heavy handed and while I’m the guy who always claims that the internet isn’t as impersonal as most think, I found this experience left me quite cold and didn’t thrust me into deep contemplation about my sinfulness but rather, just kept me checking off boxes.
Somewhere in this app there needs to be a more encouraging tone. Especially for those who haven’t been to confession in ages. If someone saw a large list of sins without a bit of encouragement and welcoming language I doubt that this app would be enough to get them to come back to the sacrament.
Lastly, how many people will abuse this? And just use the app to provide a vertical experience of the sacrament (between them and God) but not a horizontal one (reconciling with the community through the church’s representative).
Read the rest of his review, where he describes in depth the process of using the app.
Meantime, for another opinion, check out Fr. Z’s review, wherein he describes it as “useful but flawed.”
And, for dessert: Maureen Dowd’s take.
UPDATE: Phil Fox Rose over at Busted Halo is offering his assessment of the app:
Despite its mission, there isn’t enough hand-holding for the person who hasn’t been to confession in a long time and perhaps on impulse buys this $2 app in hopes of reconnecting. The app should have help screens and gentle welcoming language, rather than just thrusting them into a list of sins. It’s not the right tone for the intended audience. All in all, though, I give the folks at Little iApps props for trying to create a useful tool to make our regular spiritual practice a little easier to maintain.
And then there’s The Anchoress, who has also chimed in:
For Catholics who are poorly catechized, poorly trained in the faith, this app seems to me to be one of those irresistible shiny objects that, when grabbed, proves to be a double-edged sword.
Read the rest to see her concerns.