Skip to comments.Confessing to 'sins' is booming in America (Evangelicals and Protestants take up practice)
Posted on 09/22/2007 6:09:42 AM PDT by NYer
Americans are flocking to confess their sins as Protestant churches have joined their Catholic counterparts in modernising the sacrament of penance.
Thousands of people are attending confession at weekends and just as many are posting their repentance on videos that are played back to congregations or shared on websites such as YouTube.
New technology is fuelling the boom, but so is clever marketing by Churches that are portraying confession as a form of self-improvement — always popular with Americans — rather than some sort of punishment.
Church leaders also attribute the boom to the fashion for self-analysis peddled by daytime television programmes such as The Jerry Springer Show and to a wider theological trend in which Christians are looking for firmer moral guidance.
Some Protestant churches are trying to make confession less forbidding, allowing people to shred their sins in paper shredders, for example.
In a shopping mall in Colorado Springs, three Catholic priests are available to hear confessions six days a week in a small office equipped with a box of tissues and the Ten Commandments.
The priests say they hear 8,000 confessions a year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Pope ordered priests to make confession a priority in February, but the changing attitude of Protestant denominations is more surprising.
Although some theologians say that Martin Luther opposed private confession to a priest, the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church – which has 2.5 million members – voted this summer to revive the ritual after ignoring it for a century.
The Catholic Church opposes group confessions and those conducted on the internet but some of its US parishes have had considerable success with special confession events.
More than 5,000 people attended a "reconciliation weekend" in Orlando, Florida. A "24 Hours of Grace" penitence open house held by five parishes in Chicago drew 2,500 people. A rotating team of 70 priests listened to their confessions.
Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando sent out 190,000 pamphlets in March asking local Catholics to confess.
He told the Journal: "Every day on Jerry Springer we see people confessing their sins in public and, certainly, the confessional is a lot healthier than that show."
Protestant denominations are less averse to using new technology in their confession drives. More than 7,700 people have posted their sins on ivescrewedup.com, a confession website launched by the evangelical Flamingo Road Church in Florida.
The XXX Church, an anti-pornography Christian group, videotaped members confessing their use of pornography and put the video on YouTube. It has since been watched 15,000 times.
Jordy Acklin, 21, a student who appeared in the video, said: "There's a reason why they talk about confession in the Bible – you're not supposed to keep it inside you. The weight just goes off your shoulders."
What about the sins that are 'retained'?
Like the Eucharist during the liturgical movement and Mary in recent years, Protestants are slowly rediscovering the value in what they rejected 500 years ago and which the Catholic Church has known all along.
How does that work?
These bogus "confession" practices don't have the safeguards (or the validity) of the Real Thing.
Good news here!
It doesn't ... that's just the point. It's as bogus as igniting them on a barbeque. Only a priest can forgive sins - in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
in essence, our separated brethern, welcome to the party....
Adoration chapels that look like dentists' waiting rooms, with the Blessed Sacrament in a gold canister up on a brick mantel with sometimes not even a potted plant.
Catholic school graduates who are as ignorant as dirt concerning the truths of our Faith. (One of Nancy Pelosi's grown daughters, a Catholic University graduate, said a few months ago that the Pelosi family had, collectively, 100 years in Catholic schools, and not once was any of them told that homosexual acts were sinful.)
And Confession neglected. My parish of 800 households schedules confessions for 45 minutes a week. How about yours?
Listen to this old hypocrite Mrs. Don-o. I need a good Confession myself. Maybe I'll elbow myself into going this afternoon.
Well, what do ya know!
And THAT is supposed to replace hearing the priest, acting as Jesus, say our sins are forgiven? rme
You're right, but look on the bright side. If what jacero10 says in #3 is true, this could eventually evolve into the Real Thing. And that would be cause for celebration.
Seriously, it is a shame that so many spiritually beneficial and holy practices were tossed out by so many churches.
Confessing your sins on a video, on Jerry Springer, shredding them in a shredder might be viewed as good.
But they are all missing THE key element of the Sacrament of Reconciliation — the absolution of God, through the prieist.
These people do not KNOW if their sins are truly forgiven; they are just assuming that they are. Not so. There is a lacking element. And Catholics know what that is!
**45 minutes a week. How about yours?**
Our priest had 60 minutes scheduled on Saturday evenings and has added 30 minutes on Wednesdays. Our parish had grown from approximately 500 families five years ago to over 1000 families this year.
Says something about what is happening!
Yes, frequent Confession is good. Used to go every six months. Then went to every two months, then every month, now I don’t let myself go over two or three weeks. It’s amazing how aware I have become of my sins.
The Words of Absolution as so important! And Protestants don't have it because their ministers are not ordained sacramentally.
|1449 The formula of absolution used in the Latin Church expresses the essential elements of this sacrament: the Father of mercies is the source of all forgiveness. He effects the reconciliation of sinners through the Passover of his Son and the gift of his Spirit, through the prayer and ministry of the Church:
Sorry, I didn’t mean to come across as bragging, just realizing more and more the sins that I commit.
LOL, that may come, that may come... ;-)
**What about the sins that are ‘retained’?**
And what do they say and do to show that they are sorry for their sins and firmly resolve to amend their ways?
Some of the things cited seemed more showmanship that sorrow. Just my opinion.