What Killed The Private Confession?

Andrew Sullivan —  Apr 1 2012 @ 9:30am

A culture of public confession may be a cause:

Mea culpas seem to have multiplied exponentially in the age of modern media at the same time that the practice of private sacramental confession has declined. And as confession as become more common and more public, it also seems to have become more trivial. Goethe blamed the rise of Protestantism for the decline of sacramental confession; the historian Oswald Spengler agreed, and thought it was inevitable that after the Reformation the confessional impulse should find an outlet in the arts. He predicted that, in the absence of a confessor, confessions would tend to become “unbounded.” And so they have. Exit Fr. Finn from the confessional; enter Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Phil, the world.