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The Catholic Church has rolled out a new application for smartphones and tablets allowing the faithful to find the nearest Mass times or active confessional for the absolution of their sins.
On Tuesday, Scottish Archbishop Leo Cushley announced the launch of “The Catholic App” outside Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, surrounded by pilgrims and seminarians from his archdiocese and accompanied by the sound of the Scottish bagpipes.
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The new app—dubbed “Sindr” after the popular Tinder dating app—lets users quickly scroll through parishes in the area to find a Mass or schedules for the sacrament of penance or even Eucharistic adoration.
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The archbishop said the new app offers “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.”
Developed by Musemantik, the app is set to go active in the early part of 2017 and will provide interactive maps showing users the location of the nearest churches and the services provided there.
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According to Dr. Maciej Zurawski, the founder of Musemantik, websites are losing popularity and giving way to apps for mobile devices, so the Catholic App is on the wave of the future.
“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,” he said.
Developers of the app say they hope it will increase the number of Catholics attending church, and suggest it may help younger Catholics to be more engaged in their faith, as they are the biggest users of smartphones and tablets.
Although the app is currently being launched only in the archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, it may soon be picked up by other Catholic dioceses around the world.
Though especially useful for travelers, it also offers help to locals, such as spiritual materials and weekly inspiration quotes.
The head of the Vatican’s Communication Department, Monsignor Dario Viganò, praised the initiative, and congratulated the Archbishop for being “so imaginative” in responding to the Holy Father’s call to “bring the mercy of God to modern society by means of modern communications.”
“That’s why I’m sure that the Church in many other parts of the world will sit up and take note of this launch today,” he said.
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