We live in a world which provides more and more electronic devices which apparently assist us not only in finding information which would otherwise be diffcult to discover, but also to effect appropriate action.
Some decades ago (and back to the 1940s) the Church in Marbella (southern Spain) maintained a list of potential sins (in Spanish and English) which tourists could read and confess, and which priests could read, ask questions, and give absolution. I think it was an excellent idea and, perhaps, it still exists.
But I would suggest that a similar arrangement could be used for Confession nowadays, effectively anywhere, and in any language. Using the telephone or, more comprehensively, through the Internet, the program would identify our sins, and require appropriate details, plus the frequency since the last Confession. The priest could then set out penances and give absolution. The ‘confessors’ would of course need the proper sorrow for their sins, and the proper intention to do better.
I understand that, currently, the Church would not accept the true presence of the priest under such an arrangement. But of course this is illogical. If I speak to you on the telephone we are both in each other’s presence. Why should we not use mechanisms to achieve the same thing? And of course it would be possible to use Zoom (although I have little knowledge of how it works.)
The advantage would be considerable. The rate of Confession has dropped substantially in many areas. What’s it like in your own parish? ‘Computer Confession’ would, I believe, encourage its frequency. I would be happy to use it once a week. And need it!
How about you?