Pinoy Priest Invents Confessional for the DeafDecember 18, 2013
The Deaf may soon have an easier time at the sacrament of Confession, after a retired Filipino techie priest Fr. Romuald Zantua, now based in Phoenix, Arizona. invented a computer-based secure communication system between penitent and priest. Dubbed the St. Damien’s Confession Box, the tool allows the penitent and priest to communicate using computers linked only to each other and not to the Internet or any external device.
A primer on the tool said it is primarily for deaf people and those with speech impediments, and to priests not trained enough in sign language conversation:
“Using the keyboard of an ordinary laptop computer specially set up to connect exclusively with one other laptop, the penitent and priest will type and send their messages to each other via the special software running on both computers. The penitent’s laptop is located in the penitent’s side of the confessional, while the priest’s at his side.
Both laptops have functionalities restricted only for use during confession.
They cannot be used for other purposes,” it added (http://stdamien.org/).
The system does not retain any data, and uses a physical cable to link the laptops.
Yet, it said the “matter and form” of the sacrament are present, with the priest verbally pronouncing the prayer of absolution whether he is heard or not.
[For the full article, click Pinoy Priest Invents St. Damien’s Confession Box]
[Note: I changed the word hearing-impaired as used in the article to the politically correct word DEAF]