Confession is a part of the life of a Christian. The Bible talks about the importance of confession to be free from our sins. Each Christian denomination conceptualizes confession in a different way. As far as I know only the Catholic Church has a structure way of conceiving confession. In this structure the person reviews their conscience, goes to their priest, tells them all their sins, the priest assigns them a penance and once the penance is accomplish the sins are forgiven.
I’m not against confession, or technology for that matter, but I’m pretty baffled by the new I-phone/I-Pad confession application that Apple has recently released. The position of the Catholic Church is that they approve of it, but that it’s not a substitute for face to face confession. What does that even mean? If it’s not a substitute, those using the application would still have to do the face to face? Then, what’s the point!
I also question the potential legal implications for those using the application. Maybe I need to layoff my crime shows but, how confidential will that application be? We know that priest are the only ones covered under legal privilege of any conversation from someone confessing to them, which I think is unfair for other religious leaders, but that’s another conversation. At the same time it’s known that if someone commits a crime or an indiscretion it would be covered under the traditional confession, but if the phone is tapped, could the police potentially have access to that information or even a private investigator?
From the spiritual standpoint, I think it would miss the purpose of confessing to another human being. We confess to God for the purpose of forgiveness, but as indicated in James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” Confession to another human being is for the person’s own healing. How much of the counseling, prayer and healing can occur during this electronic process?
As much as I favor technology to compliment with information our spiritual walk, this is one of those occasions were in my opinion you can’t substitute human contact.
Just my humble opinion, comments agreeing or disagreeing are all welcome!
- Bless me, Apple, for I have sinned (guardian.co.uk)