Sunday, September 18, 2005

Absolution On-Line?? Is this a Joke?

Someone who's telling us nothing about himself (herself? At least THAT would be modestly entertaining, in a geeky-Catholic way.) has started an on-line confessional. You choose your sins from a list, grade their severity according to a class system, and then -allegedly...maybe- your sins are forgiven. There's a disclaimer that there's no guarantee (ya THINK?) and that if you have any doubts or concerns you should consult your priest.

Well, no need for that. As it happens, I have a brain, too.

Why don't I just install a drive-through window at my house, fling holy water at people as they drive by, and claim to be baptizing them? Reconciliation (the actual name of the sacrament which results in absolution) actually means "restoration of right relationship". And "relationship" kind of has a "with someone" clause. How can the sacraments exist outside a community of faith?

I confessed "failure to serve the needs of the poor -Class C", to see what would happen. (Needless to say, my actual list of sins would be somewhat longer.) I received five Hail Marys as a penance -a significant increase over the three Hail Marys that were my last penance. And I only confessed one sin. Inflation really stinks.

Maybe it really is a joke and I'm too thick to get it? If not, the whole thing makes me sad. I'm no longer surprised when non-Catholics don't understand reconciliation. Former Catholics are among the least well-informed, which is annoying and heart-breaking in equal measure. But practicing Catholics who don't get it?? YOU go consult your priest, for crying out loud.

Oh, for heaven's sake. I wasn't going to provide the link, but I know that Mike is going to go check it out. (gotcha!) So, here it is: Confess

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