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"Computer Confession" irks German Catholic Church

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"Computer Confession" irks German Catholic Church
Thought you guys might get a kick out of this tidbit: "Computer Confession" irks German Catholic Church BONN, Germany - A new software program that offers shy cybersinners the chance to confess to their own computers drew a rebuke on Friday from Germany's Roman Catholic Church, which was clearly not amused by the novel disc. "This does not conform to the Catholic understanding of confession," a spokeswoman for the German Conference of Bishops said. "You cannot have sins forgiven by the push of a button." The "Confession by Computer" disc, marketed by the Cologne-based Lazarus Society, lets users select their shortcomings from a list of 200 failings that can be customized for especially original sinners. "As soon as the sin is selected on the basis of the Ten Commandments, the computer searches out an appropriate penance," the disc's promotional literature says. It displays on screen or reads out audibly the words to the prayers "Our Father" and "Hail Mary," then suggests how to get in touch with priests, ministers or a pastor on the Internet. The "Online with Jesus" disc, dreamed up by a Duesseldorf programmer and developed with the help of theologians, also offers more than 50 prayers, the text of the rosary, the order of the Catholic mass and a Protestant church service. "The sermon, written specially for this disc, can be read or listened to," it added. Lazarus, which describes itself as an ecumenical humanitarian organization, is selling the discs for 78 marks ($52), 4 marks of which will go to charity. It said the disc is no replacement for personal encounters in the confessional, but this has not assuaged the Roman Catholic Church's concerns. "I don't see this as a joke," the bishops' spokeswoman said. "It could lead to a false understanding of confession." Copyright, Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved
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Entered on: 05/07/1998
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