A novel Confessional aid was introduced in February that immediately became the source of commentary, some of which drew a sharp rebuke from the Catholic League.
The aid, “Confession: A Roman Catholic App,” was developed to prepare Catholics for Confession [an app is a computer application, or program, that can be accessed via a cell phone and other devices to acquire specific information about a variety of subjects].
Specifically, this application guides Catholics through an examination of conscience, tapping into issues addressed by the Ten Commandments. It received an imprimatur from Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
The app was never designed as a substitute for Confession: on the contrary, it makes it clear that only absolution by a priest in the confessional constitutes the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Even though most Internet stories mentioned this, many of the headlines were misleading. Here are just a few of them:
“Catholic Church Approves Confession by iPhone”; “US Bishop Sanctions Cell Phone in Confession”; “Forgiveness via iPhone: Church Approves Confession App”; “New, Church-Approved iPhone Offers Confession On the Go”;  “Catholics Can Now Confess Using iPhone App”; “Confess Your Sins to a Phone in Catholic Church Endorsed App”; “Catholic Church Approves Online Confession.”
Even worse was what Jay Leno said in his February 9 monologue:
“Well, the Catholic Church has come out with a new app for the iPhone. This is real. You can confess right on the phone. How perfect is that? You can now cheat and atone for your sins all on the same device. Perfect for Brett Favre. Fantastic. You know what the name of the app is? I’m not making it up. It’s called ‘Priest in Your Pocket.’ Really. Is that the best name they could come up with?”
The worst part of Leno’s commentary was not that he deliberately misled the public—there is no such thing as Confession on the phone (the app is a preparatory aid)—it was his ugly shot at priests: The name of the app is called, “Confession: A Roman Catholic app.” It is not called “Priest in Your Pocket.”
Leno has an obsession with portraying priests as sexual predators; we have tallied over 30 such assaults.
Contact the executive producer, Debbie Vickers, Tonight Show with Jay Leno, 3000 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank, CA, 91523; Debbie.vickers@nbc.com

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