For those with a burning need to unburden themselves, one Roman Catholic archdiocese has launched what is thought to be the world’s first interactive GPS-powered “confession finder”. Using similar technology to the dating hook-up app Tinder, it guides the penitent from their current location within the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh to the nearest church offering confession or celebrating mass.
Developed by the archdiocese and the technology company Musemantik, the new service, available on iPhone and tablet devices, is officially named “The Catholic App” but looks certain to be nicknamed “Sindr”. It was officially launched in front of the dome of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome and amid the skirl of the Scottish bagpipes by Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh, who was in the Vatican for official business. “The idea was really inspired by the Holy Father himself,” Cushley told Vatican Radio. “He said to be imaginative about what to do for the Holy Year of Mercy.” Cushley launched the app in Rome at St. Peter’s Basilica, saying that it is “how the Catholic Church brings the mercy of God and the joy of the Gospel to our contemporary world.”
“This is 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,” he said. Dr Maciej Zurawski, founder Musemantik, added: “Websites are losing popularity – what is needed to engage with the mobile generation is an app that is smart and personal, an app that is like a companion, a friend that takes the initiative to inspire you – that’s the vision behind the Catholic App.”