If you're Catholic, you understand the importance of going to confession. If you can't make it to church on any given day, you can now send confessions to a priest on Snapchat — for real. @PriestDavid is the anonymous priest behind this new, high-tech method of going to confession; according to an interview he gave with News 4 San Antonio, he's been a member of the Catholic clergy for 23 years. As to how the project started, he recalled getting the idea to help a college student and thought it would be a great way to reach younger members of the church.
However, clergy members in the San Antonio area have spoken out against @PriestDavid's practices. One such critic is Reverend Tony Vilano, who said that "The church teaches when you go to confession, you should go to a priest either behind a divider or face to face." Whether confession can be adapted to use the powers of the Internet remains to be seen. The Episcopal Diocese of West Texas has also issued a statement against this practice and the priest behind it; they stated that they recognize the reach someone like @PriestDavid has on social media, but also noted, "Episcopalians are not asked to present private confessions to a priest; instead, confession is offered in worship, as part of the church's liturgy."
Despite the cold shoulder he's received from church officials, though, people across the country have spoken in praise of @PriestDavid. A simple Twitter search proves his impact, with hundreds of people singing his praises:
If you want to send your confession to @PriestDavid, do it quickly, since he's not going to remain a permanent fixture on Snapchat. He is only going to be hosting confession until March 16th, although there's no clear reason as to why he's only doing the experiment for such a short period of time. So if you have some things you'd like to get off your chest, now is the time to do it!
What do you make of this innovation in social media? Do you think that digital confessionals could be the next big thing in Catholicism?