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Bishops set against online confession

New iPhone app 'can only be a guide' without a priest

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  • ucanews.com, reporter, Manila
  • February 14, 2011
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Confessions must be made in person and not online, an official from the Philippines Catholic bishops’ conference has said.

“The nature of the sacrament is that confession should be a person to person dialogue between the penitent and the priest,” said Monsignor Pedro Quitorio III, the conference’s media director.

He was reacting to confusion over several reports which suggest a new iPhone application called “Confession: A Roman Catholic App” will enable people to confess their sins online.

The application aims to help Catholics who haven’t gone to confession keep track of their sins.

“How can you gain absolution if there is no priest?” Monsignor Quitorio, said.

He said confessions should be made according to Canon Law.

“Unless it’s pastorally unavoidable, confessions should be made in a confessional box using procedure according to the sacraments,” the monsignor added.

“The purpose of the application is just to help the faithful go about making a confession. It’s not about confessing directly,” Monsignor Quitorio clarified.

Still, he said, it’s good that the issue has given the Church the opportunity to talk about confession.

“Every misunderstanding is an opportunity for knowledge…. This is an opportunity for us to explain what confession is, particularly to the young,” he said.

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