Catholic Church’s Confession iPhone App Asks Users If They’ve ‘Been Guilty Of Any Homosexual Activity’

Confession, the iPhone app from the U.S. Catholic Church that’s been denounced by Popey McPoperstein in Rome, might soon join the company of the Manhattan Declaration app: yanked from the iPhone app store for being anti-gay. Among the questions the app asks users when they are figuring out how many angry birds they must launch in order to be forgiven for their sins is, “Have I been guilty of any homosexual activity?”

The app, which was ranked this week at No. 42 in worldwide sales (not 22, as Truth Wins Out claims), is the brainchild of Internet programming Patrick Leinen, 31; his brother Chip, a a hospital systems administrator; Ryan Kreager, a Notre Dame doctoral candidate; and built with help from the Rev. Dan Scheidt, the pastor of Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Mishawaka, Indiana; and the Rev. Thomas Weinandy, of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. All winners in my bok!

To be fair, it asks more than your homosexuality sins. There’s also: “Have I been guilty of masturbation?”

To which I respond:

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  • Wayne Besen

    Actually — my organization, Truth Wins Out, is correct — it is 22 and not 42 and we would appreciate a correction from Queerty.

    As I wrote the press release I checked the app store to see if the recent media attention had bumped up sales. It had — and at the time of publication the app was listed at 22. I saw it with my own eyes and this is a fact. So, our numbers were actually the most recent ones — not Maureen Dowds.

    Next time, please check with us to see how we came up with our numbers before writing that we got it wrong. We didn’t.


  • David Gervais

    TO Wayne Besen
    I’m sure the number changes by the hour…. It is possible you are both right for the times that you checked.

    Such errors are possible. I did something similar just a few hours ago. I quoted a number of votes against a bill a few hours ago. Between the time I wrote and when someone called me on the number, my source, the official Parliament website, had been updated.

    My error was to not quote my source the first time. Avoid my mistake, give us your source please. After all, the truth wins out.

    And BTW, can you answer my question, posted to an earlier story?
    Does any money from the app go to the church?

    Thanks in anticipation of your considered response.

  • Dave

    I just don’t have a problem with this.

    Look, the Catholic church believes homosexual acts are sins. They’re *allowed* to believe that. And this app is designed to let people track their sins. The whole idea is a bit silly, but it’s even worse if we, from the outside, are going to tell them what sins they’re allowed to believe in.

    The Manhattan Declaration, on the other hand, exists *only* to demonise gays and lesbians. Worse, by encouraging people to be “civilly disobedient”, it encourages people to break the law. (You can bet Apple wouldn’t approve any app that encouraged carjacking or tax fraud, either.) That its survey labels pro-gay positions as “incorrect” may be what got the most attention, but it’s hardly the biggest problem with the app.

    There’s a whole big wide world of difference between the two. We don’t get to tell bigots what they’re allowed to believe, or how they get to practice their bigoted little faith. And an app that lets bigots practice their bigoted little faith in the privacy of their bigoted little confessional with their bigoted little child-molesting priest is not the same as an app whose entire purpose is to encourage people to break the law with respect to gay rights.

  • David Gervais

    Thanks for responding.

    I agree with you. I was defending JD from the implication of sloppy or inaccurate writing.

    Otherwise, I’m more interested in following the money. I think there could bigger ethical issues there than with an app that is going to be joked about on late night TV.

    I wrote my previous comment hoping that you had access to more information than I.

  • Shannon1981

    I don’t have a problem with this either. If they wish to believe that homosexuality is a sin then so be it. We also have the right to say that they are ridiculous and bigoted and misinformed. Just since they aren’t designing apps to spread their hate and/or make our existence illegal, they can be as ignorant as they like. Makes no difference to me, let them wallow in their safe little bigoted world.

  • ewe

    Linking sex and guilt is a christian staple meant to control people by having them love themselves less. It’s nothing short of EVIL.

  • ewe

    @Wayne Besen: Wayne Besen is a champion for all gay people. He is an asset to everyone.

  • ewe

    @Dave: No, the nonprofit catholic church is not permitted to believe homosexual acts are sins because then we would all have to believe heterosexual acts are sins as well. Stop making excuses for this EVIL monstrosity attacking a particular group of people. We do get to expect that society will indeed tell bigots to shut the fuck up and confront their prejudices, biases and ingrained hatred toward other people, especially a hypocritical entity like religious groups who would have you believe they love their neighbor. And you, Dave become part of the problem with your apathy.

  • ewe

    @Shannon1981: You do not get to give the green light to groups to continue attacking ME. So you saying you “have no problem with this” effects ME.

  • tallskin2

    @Dave- “We don’t get to tell bigots what they’re allowed to believe, or how they get to practice their bigoted little faith.”

    Why the hell not?

    If some people have unacceptable beliefs that persecute other people living in the same society, why the fucking hell shouldn’t they be told those beliefs are unacceptable and they must change them?

    We don’t tolerate racist beliefs without giving the racists hell for it, so why not cultists who follow bigoted christianity, islam or judaism?

    Your argument is absurd.

  • DR

    Hey, guess what, there’s a really simple solution…


    It’s that simple. You don’t get to tell people what faith they can and cannot practice in America, and you don’t get to tell them which parts of their faith you do and do not like. And you shouldn’t get to tell them what apps they can and cannot buy, just like you don’t think they should have any say in how Grindr or other gay apps function.

  • ewe

    @tallskin2: So true. Some people think that accepting these statements being put out is akin to honoring freedom of speech or the right to believe whatever personal opinion you want. They delude themselves into believing they are being intelligent and on a higher level than those who are doing the persecuting. These statements made to oppress me are like an intruder coming into your house and telling you to explain yourself. The Catholic church has no right to use gODD to hate gay people.

  • tallskin2

    @DR-“You don’t get to tell people what faith they can and cannot practice in America, and you don’t get to tell them which parts of their faith you do and do not like”

    DR, you shouldn’t be foolish enough to buy the bollocks religious people come out with. Their religions are not immutable, their absurd belief systems have changed over time, developed, adapted. To give but one example: mormons used to have polygamy but under threat of being dumped on from a great height they changed that. Now they are arrested and sent to prison if they have more than one married partner.

    To give another example (albeit a cliched one)- in the old testament Leviticus lists a whole encyclopedia of things Thou Shalt Not Do, including not taking a dump within the city walls, cutting your hair with metal implements, eating shell fish etc, as well as not lying with man as with woman.

    Unless you’re dumber than the average religious yank, I think you can see the point I am making. Yes?

    But to spell it out for you. Yes, we as a society CAN tell religious nutters what they can and can’t believe, or they go to prison. Or society places a HUGE tax on them.

    Whatever technique we want to use to make them stop being unpleasant we are entitled to use.


  • Shannon1981

    @ewe: Hey, they are attacking me too. That isn’t what I am saying. What I am saying is just like we can sit here on the net and call them deluded liars, idiots, bigots,etc. they get to wallow in their BS on their own iPhones or whatever. I don’t like it, and I think its harmful, but who else would purchase an app like this besides people who already think this way? If they want it, let them have it. Ignorance is bliss to people like this.

  • Shannon1981

    Adding… Of course its evil. Of course, as a gay person I find it absurd, and maybe even harmful? IDK how many people, even Catholics, would buy such an app, so IDK how far reaching and/or harmful it would be. But nutters are nutters. Simple. We can lean on them and make a stink about it, but at the end of the day, they blindly follow their skydaddy(or rather, a made up version that suits their own ideals) and that’s that.

  • Zach

    One of the problems with freedom of speech is miscommunication and misunderstanding of what a person thinks is appropriate. I suggest a test for people to map out their positions:

    1. a) Do people have a right to have prejudicial beliefs?…
    b) and express them in some non-violent fashion?
    2. Do people have the right to engage against prejudicial beliefs, so long as they do not resort to violence?
    3. Do private companies have an obligation to permit prejudicial beliefs on their devices, etc., under the notion of freedom of speech?

    I would answer
    1.a) Yes b) Yes
    2. Yes
    3. No

    As long as we’re not calling for religious belief to be criminalized, and as long as religious belief isn’t advocating our deaths, then the principle of freedom of speech should prevail, subject to the normal restrictions in certain settings.

  • DR


    Honestly, I don’t even know how to respond to that I’m laughing so hard. Seriously. That’s the best comment you could come up with?!?

    This is simple. If you don’t want the religious whackjobs complaining to Apple about male nudity in apps (or gay-friendly apps in general), then you don’t get to complain about faith-based apps.

    Left-wing gays need to stop the hating just like the right-wing evangelicals. You’re both fools.

  • Dave

    Look, it’s pretty simple. Do we want to feed these nutjobs’ persecution complexes by doing something that they’re going to perceive—and rightly so—as an attempt to prohibit or attack their actual beliefs, and their right to believe?

    To me, that seems counterproductive. It makes us look like the bad guys. It makes us look like we’re trying to force our opinions onto others, which is usually their m.o.

    We should be challenging their beliefs. We should be debating with them about how their beliefs, and particularly their desire to impose them on others, hurt people. But we shouldn’t be trying to silence them. We’re not the thought police, and in particular we have no right to tell them what they are allowed to believe or how they are allowed to practice their beliefs.

    You can’t just make people think like decent, compassionate human beings by fiat.

    So yes, when their rhetoric rises to the level of inciting lawlessness, that’s one thing. And when it comes to them practicing their bigotry among themselves, that’s another thing entirely.

    But really, all you really need to consider is how much of a shit storm banning this app would cause. Christians of all stripes love pretending that they’re still being thrown to the lions. Any chance they get to play the persecuted, powerless victims—despite the fact that they still are in de facto control of most of the western world—they will jump on. Remember, we’re the bullies and they’re the ones whose “rights” are being denied. Is the thought of them practicing their bigotry amongst one another really so offensive that it’s worth throwing fuel on the fires of their big martyrdom pity-party?

  • ewe

    @Shannon1981: But what you say is not really the truth because we are not talking about you or me or any hater as the individuals we are. I support attacking corporate entities and the catholic church is one of the controlling goliaths of mind control. They should be given no leeway. Religion needs to stay the hell out of intimate sexual and consensual relationships of adults.

  • ewe

    @DR: wrong! The issue being discussed here is gay oppression. Your example using male nudity is all inclusive. That is not what this is about.

  • ewe

    @Dave: I disagree with how your are thinking. Almost all of it. You seem to be making excuses for the perpetrators to continue and gay people to sit back and take it. I don’t want to insult you but you are asking a lot for gay people to remain silent because you feel that these attacks are just ignorant and worthy of being ignored.

  • Shannon1981

    @ewe: I agree it needs to stay out of relationships, but what can really be done about this, I guess is my real question? If we rail against it, we get accused of censorship. We look like the bad guy and they get to play the victim.

    I guess I just don’t understand how we can shut them up without looking like bullies. Dangerous line to walk.

  • DR


    Bull. This is absolutely about the double standard that the gay left imposes on the world.

    Any time anything gay is even remotely scrutinized by the straight person, let alone a Christian straight person, you’re one of the first to jump on the “hetero hate” bandwagon. If this were a gay app and the Church asked for its removal, you’d all be screaming “bigotry!”

    Well guess what, I’m calling you out. You don’t get to cry “discrimination” and “oppression” and then turn around and do the same thing to people with whom you disagree. It makes you look like just as big of an ignorant bully as the ones you claim do the oppressing. Hate is hate whether it’s coming from a right-wing fundamentalist or a left wing faggot.

    You want to be left alone to live your life, then you need to leave them alone to live theirs. But hey, if you want to turn them into the victims, go right ahead. I’ll sit back, and when the backlash hits, all I’ll have to say is “you were warned”.

  • 40ei2

    “Left-wing gays need to stop the hating just like the right-wing evangelicals. You’re both fools.”

    tallskin2 and his atheist peers do not represent gays, left, right, or center. Tallskin2 is simply another bigot, representing at best his own bigotry and hate.

    “This is absolutely about the double standard that the gay left imposes on the world. ”

    Nice fantasy, but it has no basis in reality.

    Frankly, it seems like both you and tallskin2 are simply exploiting GLBTQ people for your own selfish reasons.

  • ewe

    @DR: Bull…. is right. The gay left? Your choice of words are rediculous. Just ask yourself who begins the hate campaign and who is attacking whom FIRST then bother someone else about the so called gay left being the perps here. I am on no hate campaign. Your thinking is completely BACKWARD. Gay people reacting to being attacked are not the aggressors here. You got nerve to attempt convincing anyone that gay people are being “scrutinized.” Policies may be scrutinized not the innate spirit that makes a gay person gay. You are Crazy. Your thinking is completely nutty. Give me an example of when heterosexuality has been justifiably scrutinized for itself alone. You turn things on yourself and then blame the people at the receiving end for reacting to hate dumped on them. You’re calling me out? Before you do honey, you better get at least one example of me attacking straight bigotry by proving gay people were not the recipients of the original attack first. I am not the bully here. I am fighting back and putting you and anyone who initially launches an attack to explain and defend yourselves, your position and your rhetoric because i don’t have to do that for you or them. That is not my responsibility. All you conclude is that there is a nasty “gay left.” Oh me oh my. You sound like Robert Gibbs. Reactions to hate is not hate when it comes from the oppressed. You got it all wrong to place both sides on equal platforms. Haters are not seeking to be left alone living their lives as you contend. They are the first ones launching attacks. That does not make them victims DR. You are just bein plain ol silly. And don’t forget good ol gODD that is pulled out of their hat like a rabbit trick when all else fails.

  • ewe

    @DR: So tell me where it the app that asks anyone of any orientation if they are fucking guilty of heterosexual acts? HUH? Did you get that DR? It’s a fucking question asked of YOU by ME? You got an answer for that or is your answer the gay left is just intolerable? boo hoo.

  • ewe

    @Shannon1981: One cannot be a valid victim when it can be proven they attack first. Standing up with the truth is not bullying and i am not the least bit concerned if some manipulative person attempts to say it is. Additionally i don’t give a shit what these religious nutbags think of me. I care what their intended victims think of themselves.

  • B

    No. 23 · DR wrote, “@ewe: Bull. This is absolutely about the double standard that the gay left imposes on the world. Any time anything gay is even remotely scrutinized by the straight person, let alone a Christian straight person, you’re one of the first to jump on the “hetero hate” bandwagon. If this were a gay app and the Church asked for its removal, you’d all be screaming “bigotry!””

    …. Ewe aside, the fact is that the Catholic Church has been actively trying to hardwire discrimination against gays into the U.S. Constitution. admits as much.

    If they are playing politics and trying to change the rules under which our government operates (that’s what a constitution provides), they should expect to be treated like any other political organization. As Harry Truman said, “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

    But then Truman didn’t mince words. He once said, “I didn’t fire him [General MacArthur] because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that’s not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three quarters of them would be in jail.” ( ).

  • Shannon1981

    @ewe: Of course they aren’t valid victims. But they have brainwashed much of the world into thinking they are.

  • tallskin2

    WOW! this is truly astounding!

    This seems to be a growing trend amongst sky pixie worshippers, when called to account for their homophobic bigotry they retaliate by calling the complainer a bigot! This is happening here in the UK and the US.

    Very effective means of diverting attention away from their vile opinions

    Just to clarify – the word BIGOT actually is defined as someone of religious intolerance! Atheists cannot be bigoted! (Find another word to use to confuse and throw up red herrings, boys!)

    Just because I find religious belief in a sky pixie absurd I am the bigot??? (ok give me some evidence for the existence of your sky pixie)

    Because I call out the homophobic religious bigots for their attitudes I am the bigot??? (ok go tackle the homophobic bigotry of your sky pixie beliefs)

  • DR


    The app covers all sexual morality; one of the 10 Commandments specifically prohibits coveting thy neighbor’s wife, how much more heterosexual can you get?!?, It also covers idolatry, lying, stealing, taking the name of the Lord in vain, and a slew of other sins which are neither heterosexual nor homosexual in nature. But of course since Queerty focuses on one aspect of the app, that’s all the app is about. How sad. This is a GOSSIP site looking for hits, and folks like you are drawn to these topics like moths to flames.

    I actually researched the app before making comments on it. Clearly you did not.


    Bigot is NOT defined as you claim, tallskin. “Bigot: –noun; a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.” or “a person who is intolerant of any ideas other than his or her own, esp on religion, politics, or race.”

    Atheists absolutely can be bigoted, and to claim otherwise is clearly an attempt to redefine the word. But if you prefer, I’m more than happy to fall back on “intolerant”, “ignorant” or “hateful”. Any of them accurately describes your views on religion.

  • DR


    Here’s your answer:

    masturbation, contraception, marital vows, treating members of the opposite sex like meat, refusing to control sexual urges, dressing immodestly, one question regarding homosexuality, and impure thoughts caused by subjecting oneself to impure movies, reading, conversations, etc.

    How, how very thoughtful of them to think that hets commit sexual sins, too! And much like the Bible, most of the questions are either neutral or focused on married heterosexuals.

  • ewe

    @DR: The bible is not a impartial defense. It is inadmissable. You have still not answered my question. Maturbation, immodest attire, movies and the like are not intrinsically heterosexual. It’s too damn bad about you if you get thrown in your face what you give.

  • DR


    How can you suggest that the question “have I objectified a member of the opposite sex” is not directed to heterosexuals?

    If you don’t want to research the app and choose to base all of your comments on Queerty’s article and your own preconceived notions of Catholicism, you are not qualified to have an intelligent discussion about this topic.

  • ewe

    @DR: One need not be heterosexual to objectify the opposite sex. Have you ever heard of a gay clothes designer? Stop diminishing people who challenge your homophobia by saying the topic has not been read about or given any thought. It isn’t going to fly. Your example is not an attack on heterosexual orientation. Attempting to make people feel guilty over homosexual activity is an attack on homosexual orientation. You either don’t get it or you just don’t want to get it. Keep hangin on though. Is that all you got?

  • tallskin2

    @DR – if you can use a dictionary, pick up an etymological dictionary and check the origins of the word BIGOT

Comments are closed.