Confessions in Second Life?

Hi everyone,

I know the catholic church does not allow confessions via the web but I was wondering if they will revisit the issue with technology like Second Life.

I think the answer is a definitive “no” but I thought I’d ask. From a practical and logistical standpoint, I can understand why. But, if this isn’t allowed, what is the theological reasoning?


The theology is that sacraments are personal encounters of the recepient with not just the grace of God, but with God Himself, and thus need to be done in person by His agent (bishop, priest or deacon in some cases).

So the answer would indeed be a resounding ‘HECK NO’ :slight_smile:

C’mon…why mess with ‘virtual reality’ when the REAL DEAL is right outside your doorstep at the closest Catholic church? If someone really wants absolution, then they should have no qualms about getting to a validly ordained priest. Those seeking the VR version are just fooling themselves, being their own god by going through the motions of ‘playing’ catholic, but in the end it’s fake.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation stems from Jesus’ charge to the apostles:

Matthew 18:18
Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.

They and their** annointed sucessors** are the only ones capable of acting as the conduit of God’s presence on earth during that sacrament. Yes, we confess to a priest, but it is Jesus absolving our sins through the priest and conferring grace from the Holy Spirit to the penitent.

Theologically, that’s the reason why. No bishop is going to annoint a VR character, aside from the fact that it’s physically and technically impossible to do so.

Absolution is no light matter to the person seeking it. If they’re going to take the time to examine their conscience and muster the courage to confess them to somebody there should be some assurance that the absolution and grace are indeed received. I don’t see how that can ever be determined in a virtual reality forum.

The Church would never sanction a ‘make-believe’ church because Jesus’ presence is REAL, as are the graces bestowed to Catholics through REAL sacraments.

I don’t think it’s a good idea…maybe in the future. when the internet is improved Matrix style, it may be that way.

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