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Filipino bishops reject text confessions

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has responded to requests to consider the use of mobile phone text messaging and other technologies to expedite reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

According to The Philippine Star, CBCP secretary-general Hernando Coronel said the use of text messaging, email, and fax is "unacceptable".

He said: "We have to protect that confidentiality and we insist on personal confession of the penitent to the priests."

Based on a survey done by the CBCP last year, Coronel said, some 44.9% of Catholic youth rarely receive the sacraments. Despite this figure, Coronel said Catholics should celebrate the Lenten season by confessing their sins the traditional way.

"Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, so we are encouraging Catholics to confess their sins but the confession has to be personal. They should go to priests and ask pardon with a contrite heart."

Philippine Star

4 Mar 2003