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February 10, 2011
Confessional Relations on the iPhone

We just posted on the growing presence of social media and mobile messaging in public relations. Now we note that the Catholic Church in the U.S. has approved an iPhone application designed to assist Roman Catholics, particularly those who have lapsed, through confession. The $1.99 app, "Confession: A Roman Catholic App," works on iPhones, iPads, and iPods. We hope we're not sounding irreverent, but this seems an ultimate form of digital relations.

The app isn't intended to replace the confessional booth itself, simply to prepare for confession. The Vatican issued a statement that confession "requires a personal dialogue between the penitent and the confessor. It cannot be replaced by a computer application." Offered by Little iApps of South Bend, IN, it allows "a personalized examination of conscience for each user, password-protected profiles, and a step-by-step guide to the sacrament." It has been approved by Bishop Kevin C. Rhodes of the Diocese of Fort Wayne. 

Clearly, the app is a further indication that digital means as a modality for preparing for, if not accomplishing, all sorts of relationships are now commonplace. As we've been noting, this has profound implications for practicing the public relations craft itself.

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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