February 14, 2011 ( – The leaders of homosexualist groups have castigated an iPhone app for listing homosexual activity as a sin that Catholics should confess – something one gay leader said amounts to “spiritual abuse.”


“Confession: A Roman Catholic App” has shot to popularity since the debut of its newest version this year. The application, designed to help Catholics prepare for the sacrament of confession, includes among its questions: “Have I been guilty of any homosexual activity?”

Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, said the mention of homosexual sin would “create neurotic individuals who are ashamed of who they are.”

“This is cyber spiritual abuse that promotes backward ideas in a modern package,” he said. “Gay Catholics don’t need to confess, they need to come out of the closet and challenge anti-gay dogma. The false idea that being gay is something to be ashamed of has destroyed too many lives. This iPhone app is facilitating and furthering the harm.”

The app was declared as being free from error by Rev. Msgr. Michael Heintz, PhD, director of the M.Div. program at the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Theology, who has been given the authority in the Catholic Church to review texts to determine if they fully agree with Catholic teaching.

Heintz told Monday that he had not followed the controversy over the application, but suggested that the criticism was misdirected: he noted that the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “while emphasizing the pastoral care that should be shown” to those struggling with same-sex attraction, “reinforces the clear and consistent teaching of the Church since the apostolic era that homosexual activity is objectively sinful.” 

“All men and women are called to chastity, regardless of their state of life or sexual orientation.  In short, there is nothing revolutionary in the App at all, as far as the teaching of the Church is concerned,” said Heintz.

An “imprimatur” – or official authorization for the app to be published – was issued by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

Last November, intense pressure from homosexual activists caused Apple to remove an app for the Manhattan Declaration, a conservative manifesto, that was decried as “hate-filled” because it referenced conservative opposition to same-sex “marriage.”