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Author Topic: Egypt's Coptic pope bans phone confessions  (Read 3196 times) Average Rating: 0
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stashko
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« on: January 07, 2009, 03:59:58 PM »

CAIRO (AFP) - Egypt's Coptic pope has banned the faithful from confessing their sins to priests over the telephone because intelligence agents might be listening in, a newspaper reported on Friday.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081226/lf_afp/egyptreligionchristiancoptsconfession;_ylt=Av5_6indS5JsxZHeePVfe9o7Xs8F





« Last Edit: January 07, 2009, 04:06:06 PM by stashko » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2009, 06:36:26 PM »

^Well, this should hardly be surprising, but I'm more shocked that he didn't ban it because, well, a confession is just simply NOT a phone conversation.  Of course, and correct me if I am wrong, the Coptic faithful may well be doing this because it has become dangerous for the Copts in Egypt to practice their faith, but I will be that some are doing that because of not wanting to face their priest directly.  I wonder if something like that will happen here in the states.

No disrespect was intended towards any of my coptic brethren especially as I am not familiar with the situation they face in Egypt.
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2009, 06:47:08 PM »

Phone confessions are more common than you think. Some people live rather far from a parish, and many priests are far away from other priests.

Of course when one meets another in person it is good to have the absolution prayed over them in person, but I don't see anything wrong with confessing over the phone in cases of necessity.
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2009, 06:57:03 PM »

Is it possible that some sort of safety issues may be part of the reason?
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2009, 12:47:13 AM »

What about confession via text messaging?
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2009, 12:57:49 AM »

Does anyone even do that?   Shocked
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2009, 01:01:00 AM »

What about confession via text messaging?
Of course, if your confessor leaves his cell phone in his car and his car gets broken into (all before he even knows you left him a texted confession), there goes the confidentiality of your confession.
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2009, 01:52:11 AM »

How about Confession via Video Conferencing?
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2009, 02:04:26 AM »

Of course, if your confessor leaves his cell phone in his car and his car gets broken into (all before he even knows you left him a texted confession), there goes the confidentiality of your confession.

I am having trouble totally understanding the concern over public knowledge of sins, so perhaps you can clarify for me.  My priest explained that it was the common practice of the earliest Christians to confess their sins aloud to one another; to publicly announce all of their wrongdoings so that they would be accountable to their brothers and sisters in their repentance.

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Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed (James 5:16 KJV).

Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of (St. John the Forerunner) in Jordan, confessing their sins (Matthew 3:5-6 KJV).

Only after the Roman empire adopted the Christian faith and began to suppress "paganism" did this public confession really cease in the church, and the reasons were very practical.  As Christianity rose in popularity, many churches came to be filled with spectators in addition to the faithful.  So for the faithful to publicly confess sins became a problem because any number of spectators could easily ruin someone's life and reputation by having access to all of their wrongdoings.

So confidentiality makes sense, but generally speaking I do not understand why people would become so upset if many sins did make it into the open.  After all, wouldn't that simply be retaining the traditions of the early church, as we Orthodox so much enjoy?
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2009, 02:12:49 AM »


So confidentiality makes sense, but generally speaking I do not understand why people would become so upset if many sins did make it into the open. 

I don't know about you, but my sins can be pretty embarrassing.   Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2009, 02:24:54 AM »

So confidentiality makes sense, but generally speaking I do not understand why people would become so upset if many sins did make it into the open.  After all, wouldn't that simply be retaining the traditions of the early church, as we Orthodox so much enjoy?
I suppose if you really wanted to, you could confess your sins to anyone and to as many people as you desire; just remember, though, that only a priest can administer the sacramental rite of Confession.  The specific concern I addressed, however, is the utmost secrecy the Church demands of the sacramental confession between the penitent and his/her confessor priest.  When you choose to confess your sins to a priest, the priest hearing your confession is bound by the Church to not share the content of your confession with ANYONE, not even to the civil authorities.  IIRC, a priest can even be defrocked for revealing the content of a confession revealed to him in private.  This is the confidentiality of which I spoke.  (I would wager that a majority of Christians don't feel comfortable confessing their sins publicly for all to hear, so for them the secrecy of the Confessional is the safeguard they need to feel comfortable opening up and talking about the intimate details of their personal lives with someone else.)
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« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2009, 09:21:14 AM »

I could not access the link when I posted yesterday. Pope Shenuda clearly is protecting his flock according to the way of the good shepard.
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« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2009, 12:43:07 PM »

I think there is a misunderstanding here as to what has been going on.

Copts have never confessed over the phone as you are thinking.  The Sacrament has always been in person.

Let's start with an example that's common among Eastern Orthodox too: before modern technology (cars), often there would a isolated churches far away from any others.  The priest's wife and children could not confess to the only priest in town since he is their husband/father... So they would write a letter to their spiritual father confessing their sins, and he would write back to them with any advice/instructions, and telling them they could receive the absolution... which they would then receive from their husband/father.  So the confession is by letter, but the absolution is received in person.

I myself have confessed by email in this way... Something happened and I felt the need to talk to my father of confession immediately... so I emailed him asking for an appointment, and told him the reason in detail.  When I sat with him the next day I just said "you know what I did" and started to go into it, but he said "it's ok, I know" talked about it, and absolved me.

The practice talked about is not in any way confessing over the phone or internet, receiving a e-absolution and that's it.  In fact it can't be impersonal with that, it only makes any sense in the context of a father of confession with whom you have an ongoing relationship.
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2009, 11:22:41 AM »

Here in Australia telephone confessions are not uncommon due to how far flung some of the missions are and how seldom some people are able to see their priest in person.

Personally I prefer not to have phone confessions yet I recognise that I would rarely be able to have confession were they not permitted via phone.

I must check whether this announcement affects us hear in Australia.

Thank you and pray for me please.
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« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2009, 11:50:37 PM »

I read somewhere that Pope Kyrillos VI (the one before H.H. Shenouda III) encouraged frequent confessions, even if it was in the form of a letter.

BTW, I wish the Orthodox church had confessionals like the RCC. It's less...you know...embarrassing, then sitting with the priest one on one. Shocked

Another off-topic question: how does the priest's children and the priest confess? I mean who do they confess to?
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« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2009, 01:56:42 AM »

I just asked this question on another thread a few days ago - through a spiritual Father / father confessor.
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« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2009, 02:34:48 AM »



BTW, I wish the Orthodox church had confessionals like the RCC. It's less...you know...embarrassing, then sitting with the priest one on one. Shocked




Its funny HaHaHa...They heard all kinds of sins ,its nothing new for them under the sun....There not there to judge us ...but to guide us on the right path and to pronounce absolution that  Christ has forgiven us...

Why be embarrassed confessing in front of a priest ,,The lord sees our unconfessed sins every day ,if you must be embarrassed be in front of the Lord for unconfessed sins,,,once confessed he remembers our sins no more.....

There was a thread some where here. that  priests have short memories in remembering everyones sins after confession and absolution.....
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« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2009, 11:31:48 AM »

Stashko:
There was a thread some where here. that  priests have short memories in remembering everyones sins after confession and absolution.....

I've heard that as well, from a priest.
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« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2010, 12:32:31 AM »

How about putting the world aside and going to church and confessing in person. You dont make time for church, you should be so busy with God that you have to make time for the world.
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