The Deacon's Bench

It was only a matter of time until someone came up with this nutty idea — and wouldn’t you know, it comes to us from, of all places, France:

pg-32-confession-li_332146s.jpgA premium rate phone line in France is offering Catholics the chance to confess their sins, for 34c (31p) a minute plus connection charge. But French bishops are attempting to disconnect Le Fil du Seigneur – or Line to the Lord – which was launched at the beginning of Lent.

The softly spoken male voice on the line offers touch-tone options: “For advice on confessing, press one. To listen to some confessions, press three,” before warning, “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.”

The telephone service is the brainchild of Camille Hautier, a self-declared Catholic. She said the Line to the Lord does not offer absolution for sins, which only a priest can provide. “The idea is to confess sins which are not capital sins, but minor sins, directly to God,” she said.

Whether God is at the end of the line may be a matter of faith, but callers certainly don’t get the option of talking to a person. Instead they are offered an “atmosphere of piety and reflection” where they can listen to prayers and music.

Some 300 people have called the hotline in its first week – although whether to confess their own sins or just to listen in to other people’s transgressions is not clear.

The country’s bishops were at pains to stress that the line had “no approval from the Catholic Church in France”.

There’s more at the link.

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