Like some of our readers, I’ve never personally asked God for his forgiveness, but recently I’ve come to realize that most of us, religious or not, seem to be indulging in some form of confession on a pretty regular basis.
A cup of tea with a housemate; a gossip down at the pub; a drunken phone call to an ex, we’re all just dying to reveal those intimate secrets. Perhaps we’ve done something we aren’t too proud of and want to get it off our chests, or maybe we just want someone to take our side, turn around and say “wait a minute, you are so in the right!”.
Many religions regard confession as a tool to absolve the wrongdoer of his sins, with Catholicism, so far, holding the monopoly on organized confessions in the form of the Sacrament of Penance. Well, read on, because that’s all about to change.
Whatever the reason, if you need someone to share your sins with but don’t want to make the journey to church, worry not, there is a service just waiting for you; online confessions!
They’re the latest craze in digital religious practice, now you too can confess, repent, and be forgiven, all from the comfort of your own home. Just log on to your preferred site and get typing! They’ve seen everything, from love stories to sex addicts, poetry to death threats.
I even read one posted by a boy who couldn’t stop urinating in sinks (I’m not making this stuff up!).
The internet presents great new opportunities for religious practice, information exchange and now virtual DIY confessions. But what do the powers that be have to say about this new phenomenon?
There’s been some debate, but the consensus in the Catholic world is that the internet is great for providing spiritual guidance, but online confessions fall short of the mark. Without a priest present the sins can’t be truly absolved in the eyes of God, and as for privacy, the internet conjures up a whole host of other issues.
Well, even so, if you’ve been behaving badly and the telltale twinges of guilt are starting to gnaw away, why not check it out? If nothing else, you’ll get a chance to see what naughty things other people have been getting up to.
Who knows, you might end up feeling like a saint by comparison!