Forgotten to recycle any newspapers or tin cans recently? Feeling guilty because you neglected to carbon offset your flight to somewhere, anywhere, outside England this summer?
The Roman Catholic Church is at hand with a new line in “green confessions” to help eco-sinners to find forgiveness.
Dom Anthony Sutch, the Benedictine monk who resigned as head of Downside School to become a parish priest in Suffolk, will be at the county’s Waveney Greenpeace festival this weekend to hear eco-confessions in what is thought to be the first dedicated confessional booth of its kind.
Vested in a green chasuble-style garment made from recycled curtains, and in a booth constructed of recycled doors, he will hear the sins of of those who have not recycled the things they ought to have done and who have consumed the things they ought not to have done.
Some days a parodist can get quite depressed. If I had wrote a parody that had included "Vested in a green chasuble-style garment made from recycled curtains, and in a booth constructed of recycled doors" people might have had a quick laugh but it wouldn’t seem all that plausible. Good parody makes you wonder if something might be a real story. The problem is too many real stories make you wonder if it might be a parody.
Only one or two people have questioned this as an abuse?
+1. The proper place to hear sacramental confessions is a church or
an oratory. +2. The conference of bishops is to issue norms
concerning the confessional, seeing to it that confessionals with a
fixed grille between penitent and the faithful who wish to make use of
them may do so freely. +3. Confessions are not to be heard outside
the confessional without (nisi) a just cause.
You also have to wonder what kind of penances he would give? Say three Hail Al Gore’s? Though you could admit to clubbing a seal and he couldn’t tell anybody because of the seal of confession. Much is always made of what is called Catholic guilt (use to be called a conscience), but this seems like something tailor made for liberal guilt. Though this is not surprising that they would apply confession in the matter since they already have indulgences for your carbon footprint called a carbon offset.
I think though that this is a serious abuse of the sacrament to have a theme to confess on. As important as true stewardship is of what God has given us the solutions given by so many environmentalists are often junk science or just plain ineffective.