Monday, April 30, 2007


Need to unburden your sins? Then you need the right website:
A woman kept her secret for nearly two decades.

Finally ready to confess, she turned not to a minister, but to her computer.

''I am sorry God for not keeping that baby,'' her anonymous confession reads. ``I had an abortion and had kept that secret for over 18 years. I feel so ashamed. Please forgive me!''

The confession appears at, a website launched by the Flamingo Road Church in Cooper City. It's one of a growing number of such sites across the country -- some secular and others church-sponsored -- that offer a place to spill out ugly secrets or just make peccadilloes public.

The move is not without its critics:
The church has received some criticism, Gruenewald said, from people who think that ``we're trying to encourage people to confess to a computer instead of God. We just believe it is a catalyst to have people open up to family and friends and God. I think sometimes it can be misunderstood.''

A recent redesign gave readers the option to post prayers or responses to the confessions.

The Catholic Church is among those who reject the idea of confessing online.

Confession is ''the opportunity to confess sins to someone ordained as a priest who is a representative of Christ,'' said Mary Ross Agosta, a spokeswoman for the Miami Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church.

The websites, with their voyeuristic appeal, may fulfill people's need to feel better about their own behavior or moral values.

'What makes it so popular is not so much the people confessing but people going to read all these things, saying, `My life's not so bad,' '' said Greg Fox, who runs the site

``It's kind of the car wreck you're driving by. You can't help but watch. It's kind of the car wreck of life.''

'Car wreck' sounds just about right.

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