Pope bans confessions on phone, Web
The Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenuda III, that is. “Phoning it in” is, of course, slang for doing something halfway. According to an AFP news-service dispatch, the pope decided the faithful shouldn’t be phoning it in when it comes to penance. His objection was based on privacy grounds:
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.
“Confessions over the telephone are forbidden, because there is a chance the telephones are monitored and the confessions will reach state security,” the independent Al-Masri Al-Yom quoted Pope Shenuda III as saying.
The leader of the Coptic minority also said confessions over the Internet were invalid because they might be read by websurfers.