Need to confess sins? New app in Spain finds nearest priest

December 7, 2016
A young woman says confession to a priest at a temporary confessionals set up in Madrid

Catholics seeking to confess their sins to a priest in Spain can now turn to a new app to find the nearest available cleric.

Confesor GO detects a user's location and shows the location of priests around them who are ready to listen to their sins as well as the shortest route to get to him.

It also provides basic information about the priest, including his name, date of birth and the year he was ordained as well as a list of the Ten Commandments.

"The priest may be in a confessional in a church or some place down the street or at a park in your city," reads the description of the app on Apple's iTunes store.

The app will be launched on Thursday on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a national holiday in Spain which celebrates the belief that the Virgin Mary was conceived without sin.

A beta version has been downloaded several thousand times since it was made available to the public in late September.

The bishop of the northern city of San Sebastian, Jose Ignacio Munilla, is one of around 100 clerics across Spain who have so far signed up to use the app to signal when they are available to hear confession, which usually involves admitting sins to a priest in a confessional booth.

Father Ricardo Latorre, who came up with the app, said he hopes the service will become available in other Spanish-speaking nations in Latin America next year.

"It has generated a great deal of interest and there are many priests from these countries that ask to join. What happens is things take time and it is impossible to do it faster," he told Catholic news website Verdad en Libertad earlier this year.

While Catholicism remains deeply embedded in Spanish culture, regular church attendance in Spain, like elsewhere in Europe, has steadily fallen.

The majority of Spaniards, 59.3 percent, say they "almost never" attend mass, according to a survey published Monday by the Sociological Research Centre (CIS). Just 15 percent said they went every week.

Explore further: Mexico unearths Spanish priest's ancient tombstone

Related Stories

Mexico unearths Spanish priest's ancient tombstone

April 14, 2016

Engineers installing lampposts in Mexico City's historic center have discovered a stone slab covering the tomb of one of the first Catholic priests following the 1519-1521 Spanish conquest.

Spain: Ebola test drug out of supply worldwide

September 22, 2014

Doctors treating a Spanish priest who was repatriated from West Africa on Monday after being diagnosed with the Ebola virus said there were no samples of experimental drug ZMapp available in the world right now, and they ...

Irish Church launches app for would-be priests

October 17, 2011

The Catholic Church in Ireland launched a new app on Monday for young men who are thinking of joining the priesthood, taking a technological leap to reverse four decades of declining vocations.

Recommended for you

Dutch open 'world's first 3D-printed bridge'

October 17, 2017

Dutch officials toasted on Tuesday the opening of what is being called the world's first 3D-printed concrete bridge, which is primarily meant to be used by cyclists.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.