Confession 2.0

Not being a Catholic, or at least not these days, the idea of anonymous confession doesn't hold much appeal for me. But I did take note of a recent article on the growth of online confession called Forgive us, father; we'd rather go online. In the article, Ashley Fantz writes:

Already a repository for too much information from bloggers divulging their every intimate thought, the Web recently extended its reach into territory the church once dominated. Tens of thousands of the guilty among us are visiting confessional booths at, and and unburdening themselves anonymously.

I wonder who they think they are really confessing to.

6 thoughts on “Confession 2.0

  1. Hello Matt,
    I could figure out how to load these pics of Buddhist Background Jesus from my facebook site. so here is the site address
    The His metta,


  2. The article points out that the majority of confessions are sexual. Given the voyeuristic nature of reading other people’s sexual confessions I wonder if exhibitionism forms part of the attraction of these online confessionals.
    I suppose that is the wisdom of the Catholic sacrament of confession being private (though even here there is scope for a more limited exhibitionism). But the growth of online confessionals would be an open invitation to any with exhibitionist tendencies.


  3. The trouble with the catholic confessional thing is that it doesnt encourage anyone to take any real and consistent truly adult responsibility for their presence and actions in the world.
    It thus acts as a cultural device for reducing the masses to children and hence to be controlled by “father” priest and “father” pope.
    It also lets people of the hook (or perhaps cross) so to speak. Or of going through the difficult process and crisis of growing up.


  4. They are talking to themselves, because there is no one else to talk to… LOL! The culture evolves… humans alone in a universe of energy and molecules… no one else to talk to but your computer…


  5. “But the growth of online confessionals would be an open invitation to any with exhibitionist tendencies.”
    Mike, I tend to agree with you there.
    John, care to explain further? No doubt many Catholics would disagree with you so some elaboration would be advisable. Are there any psychological studies you know of that would support your view? What else informs it? From my personal experience I would say we are better off confessing direct to the one’s we’ve wronged (God and others) without an intermediary but, then again, sometimes I do find it helpful to talk through issues with a third party. And when you think about it, counseling is often nothing more than a secularized version of this. Is seeking counseling always juvenile in your view?
    Sun Warrior, I have read more than a few science fiction stories that play on similar scenarios. Hopefully they can serve as a warning to us!


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