CNN tries, fails, to talk about "online confession" intelligently
The article,"Forgive us father, we'd rather go online," begins with the line: "If you can pay for your bills online, why not pay for your sins?"
Hmm, can you guess what's coming next?
Most of the article is standard fare explaining how these websites do business by letting people "confess" their sins anonymously, but then it gets to talking about the Catholic Church:
"The Georgetown University study, which came out in 2005, found a significant decline in Catholics who go to confession. Although the Roman Catholic Church officially opposes online confessions, the Archdiocese of Washington used radio advertisements last year to encourage sinners to return to the sacrament. And in Chicago, Illinois, five parishes hosted "24 Hours of Grace" with rotating priests."You've got to be kidding me. Did the author really just try to claim a contradiction between the Church's opposition to "online confessions" and the fact that the Church advertises traditional confession on the radio ("Although...")?! Even the next sentence about penance services in Chicago do nothing to support the author's conclusion. Yes, the Church is against online confessions; yes, the Church is attempting to make traditional Confession more available. What's so hard about that?
I'm similarly dissapointed by what the interviewed priest either had to say, or what the interview left out. There is no mention of Jesus or God, or that forgiveness actually happens through the sacrament. Instead we get words like "accountability", "responsibility" and "impact." Please.
Bottom line: people are still sinning (surprise) and online substitutes for confession aren't helping people, emotionally or actually (surprise). Oh yeah, and CNN wouldn't know a confessional from a fancy phone booth.