This reminded me of a case several years ago when a European company set up a telephone hotline to hear confessions by phone. That one did not meet with Church approval. I told my acquaintance that I would have to look it up, and that it was probably not confession, but an examination of conscience.
First, the app in question was approved not by the Vatican, but by a bishop in Indiana. Second, the app does not replace confession, but can be used by a penitent to assist in examining his conscience before entering the confessional.
Fox News reports:
The app is not designed to replace going to confession but to help Catholics through the act, which generally involves admitting sins to a priest in a confessional booth. Catholics still must go to a priest for absolution.
Little iApps said Bishop Kevin Rhoades, of the Diocese of Fort Wayne in Indiana, officially authorized the app for Catholics to use.
I can’t help but wonder how many Catholics (and non-Catholics) have been fooled into thinking that either (1) they can purchase an application for their mobile device that will absolve them of their sins; or (2) that “the Church” would approve the sale of such an application.