What’s The Number To The Confession Phone Line… Must You Have A French Connection?
French church criticises ‘confession’ phone line
(AFP) March 1, 2010 PARIS — A pay telephone line for French Roman Catholics to confess their sins drew criticism from bishops on Monday.
“For advice on confessing, press one. To confess, press two. To listen to some confessions, press three,” says a soothing male voice, welcoming the caller to “Le Fil du Seigneur”, or “The Line of the Lord” service.
“In case of serious or mortal sins — that is, sins that have cut you off from Christ our Lord, it is indispensable to confide in a priest,” warns the 0.34 euros a minute service.
The Conference of French Bishops, which groups the country’s Catholic leaders, warned in a statement that the line had “no approval from the Catholic Church in France.”
The site was set up this month at the beginning of the Christian fasting period of Lent by a group of Catholics working for AABAS, a small Paris company that provides telephone messaging services, its creator told AFP.
It does not offer absolution for sins, which only a priest can provide, said the creator, Camille, who asked for her second name not be cited because she had received threats about the service.
“The idea is to confess sins which are not capital sins, but minor sins, directly to God,” she said, adding that the line received about 300 calls in its first week.
Callers do not talk to a person but are offered an “atmosphere of piety and reflection,” where they can listen to prayers, music and other people’s confessions and can opt to record their own.
The bishops said telephone services had a role to play in lending an ear to the aged, isolated or those with disabilities, but “it is unacceptable to allow confusion over the notion of confession,” they added.
“For the Catholic faithful, confession has a sacramental meaning and requires the real presence of a priest.”
Camille said part of the money received for the calls goes to charity. The service costs 0.34 euros (0.46 dollars) a minute plus a connection charge for mobile phones, though a cheaper non-charity line costs 0.12 euros. The line says on its website that it aims to encourage youngsters to confess at a time when church attendance is “in free-fall.” Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.
FOX NEWS REPORTED THE FOLLOWING:
Catholic Bishops Outraged by ‘Confession’ Phone Line
Tuesday, March 02, 2010 http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,587783,00.html?test=latestnews
The Roman Catholic Church in France is objecting to a new pay telephone line set up to receive people’s confessions, AFP reported.
The phone line, called “Le Fil du Seigneur,” or “The Line of the Lord,” was set up at the start of the Christian fasting period of Lent by a group of Catholics working for a small Paris company that provides telephone messaging services.
It doesn’t claim to offer absolution for sins — that’s still left to a priest — but a woman identified by AFP as one of the line’s creator said the idea is to confess minor sins directly to God.
The Confederation of French Bishops said the line had not been approved by the Catholic Church in France.
“For the Catholic faithful, confession has a sacramental meaning and requires the real presence of a priest,” the bishops said in a written statement.
The group behind the phone line — which charges 46 cents a minute — says a portion of the proceeds goes to charity.
There is nothing new under the sun! Below is a 1955 artical from Time Magazine:
Religion: Confession by Phone
The best-known Roman Catholic priest in Germany today is Father Johannes Leppich, 40, whom the Communists denounce as the “Black Goebbels,” and conservative Catholics call the “Red Father.” Leppich moves tirelessly across the country, preaching and demanding help for the poor. To spread his gospel, Jesuit Leppich has used posters, picture slides, and last week he was busy with a new evangelical idea: “confession” by telephone.
“Thousands of people come to me,” he explains, “but I thought how many more might come if they didn’t have to look me in the face or tell their names.” In Nürnberg, a few months ago, he ran newspaper ads announcing that anyone with troubles not involving such matters as a loan or a new apartment should call a certain number after 8 p.m. Within three days Father Leppich had four priests manning “God’s Own Switchboard,” as he calls it. Many of the callers are Protestants, and, for Catholics, the system often breaks the embarrassment and fear that may have kept them from confession for years. For absolution, penitents must talk directly to a priest; the church does not recognize telephone confessions. But, says Father Leppich of his telephone service, “it really is a confession—one that’s a little easier on the confessor than the stuffy confessional box.”
It’s definitly worth getting to know a bit more about this innovative Jesuit that was thinking WAY before his time!
Dirk Bitzer writes the following at www.geschichte.nrw.de:
The Jesuit father is known by this nickname: his invective finds a target everywhere.
Pater Leppich is unstinting in his efforts to reclaim Roman Catholics whose church attendance record is not up to scratch. The press, the unions, even the Christian Democratic Chancellor Adenauer get a good drubbing at the hands of the choleric cleric, who publicly expresses doubts about the chancellor’s record as an observant Catholic.
Leppich’s oratory is entertaining: his closing “sermon”, after a several days of preaching, in Cologne is heard by some 40,000 people. While many are indeed converted back to the straight and narrow, many are simply amused.