From msnbc.com, we learn, “The Vatican has announced the launch of a social media-integrated official news website, news.va …” According to reports, it will be launched by a mouse click from Pope Benedict XVI himself, surrounded by cherubin and seraphim and serenaded by the music of instruments of nine and eleven strings.
Concordant with this announcement was that of Msgr. Phenal G. O’Reilley, of St Cayetano’s parish in Youngstown, Ohio. According to him, confessional kiosks will soon be available to the public. The first will be in Youngstown, but soon thereafter they will start appearing in cybercafés in Cleveland, Toledo, and Weirton, WV.
Confession will first be ‘heard’ via chat. Within the year, though, a complete changeover to Skype is expected. At that point, the confessionals will be equipped with microphones and cameras, although use of the camera is up to the penitent.
The kiosk, which will have a door similar to any other confessional, will contain a kneeling pew and a computer, firmly mounted and secured. The computer screen will show the usual confessional screen, with the shadow of a man seeming to move about behind it.
Plans now include 24/7 operation. In off-hours (midnight – 8am), the process will be entirely automatic. The computer will run a program called “Confessor”, a variation of the famed “Eliza” program designed at MIT in the early ’60’s, which seemed to conduct psychoanalysis. It is said to be responsible for many cures in the Cambridge, MA, region.
“Eventually, I’d like to see the kiosks offer communion, too,” said Msgr. O’Reilley. “It all depends on whether we can find wafer-vending apparatus that can hold a blessing.”
In other news, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich characterized himself as “stunned” by guilty verdicts in his corruption trial. “I figured I’d covered my tracks pretty good,” he said. “Better than that, anyways.”
Blagojevich will join George Ryan as the only two living ex-Governors of Illinois who are currently in prison.
Yesterday, CitiCorp absent-mindedly reported that last month’s hack of their system ‘seems to have resulted’ in a $2.7 million robbery. Coincidentally, Gary Foster, a former CitiGroup VP, was arrested that afternoon as he got off a plane from Bangkok at JFK Airport for embezzling $19 million and change. Arraigned this morning, Mr Foster pled innocent and claimed his CPA, a Mr John Smith of Goldman, Sachs, could account for his every penny.
And Bernie Madoff, fraudulent ‘financier’, complained that the 150-year prison sentence he received from Judge Denny Chin was “way harsh.” Judge Chin replied, “Hahahahahahahahahahahaha, that’s rich.”