Church hangs up on Internet confessions

Reuters, Mar. 2, 2003

MANILA (Reuters) – The Roman Catholic church has pulled the plug on its Filipino flock confessing their sins via e-mail, fax and mobile phone text messages, according to the Philippine Star newspaper.

Filipinos are among the world’s most avid users of text messaging but modern means cannot replace the traditional way of repenting to a priest, it quoted Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines secretary general Hernando Coronel as saying

“We have to protect that confidentiality and we insist on personal confession of the penitent to the priests,” he said on Sunday.

At least 80 percent of the country’s 80 million people are Roman Catholic but a survey by the bishops’ conference last year showed that nearly half of young parishioners seldom go to confession or receive other church sacraments.

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