Via Rocco Palmo’s Twitter feed, I came across this Miami CBS affiliate story about the Roman Catholic archdiocese there launching a television campaign about the sacrament of penance:
The Catholic Church is trying something different to get people’s attention.
The Archdiocese of Miami is launching a television campaign to encourage people to confess their sins.
“Confession is for Catholics the way to have the sins that they have committed after Baptism to be forgiven,” said Archbishop Thomas Wenski to CBS4′s Jorge Estevez at Saint Martha’s Church in Miami.
The idea to shoot the 30 second spot came from Archbishop Thomas Wenski who wanted to remind Catholics of the meaning behind confession.
“The sacrament of penance is more about knowing we are loved, that our god is merciful, and that he forgives us,” said Archbishop Wenski.
The Archdiocese of Miami hopes to remove any anxiety attached to the sacrament of confession.
There’s not much to say about the story — it’s fairly brief and only offers one perspective. But it did get me thinking (again) about how much of what passes for religion news fails to accurately convey the life of the church. I’m Lutheran and my pastor has been gently encouraging us during Lent to avail ourselves of the opportunity for private confession and absolution. And truth be told, private confession is a pretty interesting story.
But it’s also, like, 2,000 years old. So how do you cover something that’s ancient when the church down the street is running a Whoopee Cushion series for Lent? Which one are you going to cover? And what are the consequences of giving coverage to one Lenten practice over another?
But there are ways to cover confession, reconciliation, etc., even if it is an ancient practice. Picking up on a new television campaign is one. Archdiocese of New York and Diocese of Rockville Center have a campaign called “i-Confess” that uses social and digital media to generate interest in the practice, culminating with an all-day confession event in mid-April.
The Miami television ad is embedded above. I do think the choice of having my favorite Lutheran composer accompany the ad is worth noting!