Fun_People Archive
23 May
The World'S First E-Con Application

Date: Tue, 23 May 95 01:08:48 PDT
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: The World'S First E-Con Application

Forwarded-by: bostic@CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: <jkessler@SMTP.SPD.USACE.ARMY.MIL> (Jack Kessler)
Forwarded-by: F. Conway@IM@SPN

                          PITTSBURGH DIOCESE OPENS

                 Saves Time, Stress for Penitents, Priests

   The Diocese of Pittsburgh is leading the Catholic Church and the
Internet community into new territory with an "electronic confessional"
that allows people to admit their sins and receive penance online.

   The groundbreaking service has been approved for a 180-day trial period
by the Vatican as a bona fide alternative to in-person administration of
the sacrament of reconciliation.  The 24-hour interactive service, hosted
at Carnegie-Mellon University, is reachable at the home page on the World Wide Web.  It is compliant with most
Web browsers, including Netscape and Mosaic.

   Usage of the electronic confessional has risen steadily since the site
was opened Feb. 29, diocesan sources say, driven higher in recent weeks as
students from Carnegie-Mellon, Duquesne University and the University of
Pittsburgh returned from spring break.

   Monsignor Timothy Blessing, the diocese's online monitor for this
service, told EMMS that typically an online confession lasts 15 to 20
minutes, slightly longer than the in-person version of the rite.  The
"chat" feature of the service allows a person to offer explanations and
pose questions.  Penance is delivered online but can be performed after
logging off.

   "The actual confession takes a little longer than it does in church
because it takes longer to type for most people than to speak," Blessing
said.  "A 14.4 modem certainly makes things go faster, but even without
that, we're looking at no travel time and less likelihood of a long wait
for the faithful," Blessing said.  [I think they're ignoring the double
advantages of cut and paste from previous sessions, and push buttons for
common sins. Ed.]

[...  -psl]

[=] © 1995 Peter Langston []