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US bishops to consider document inviting Catholics to regular Confession

Catholic World News - November 02, 2012

At their fall meeting in Baltimore, members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will consider whether to approve a brief document inviting Catholics “to return to regular celebration of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation,” according to a USCCB press release.

“The brevity of the statement is intended to help foster a wide dissemination through parish bulletins, print publications and social media,” said Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis.

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  • Posted by: koinonia - Nov. 03, 2012 8:46 AM ET USA

    As in other areas, it is going to require a return to the basics and a conversion of hearts if there is to be a uniform return of all the faithful. Recent polls indicate that far too many Catholics either do not know or do not care about practices condemned by the Church as mortally sinful. It's hard to make a valid confession if one is unwilling to accuse oneself of sin. Ashes and sackcloth might be optional, but good old-fashioned sorrow and firm purpose of amendment are still required.

  • Posted by: dagbat - Nov. 02, 2012 1:48 PM ET USA

    If this is a first "baby" step in a concerted effort by the Bishops to reacquaint American Catholics with the sacrament of reconciliation (confession) then great. It is long overdue. However the Bishops must go MUCH further than a “new age feel good” advertising campaign. They must reacquaint Catholics to the concept of sin and its linkage to confession, especially serious sin and sins that are so horrific as to be considered intrinsic evils. The Bishops must also make clear that every Catholic is personally accountable for his or her sins and must go to confession to receive absolution from a priest (a Catholic can not absolve their own sins). And further, that anyone in the state of SERIOUS sin MUST go to confession and receive absolution by a priest OR ELSE they can NOT receive the sacraments including Holy Communion. Finally the Bishops must immediately DISCONTINUE the practice of public absolutions which greatly weakens the concept of personal (penitent) accountably and removes the one-on-one confessional bond between the priest and penitent, including the chance for the priest to provide the penitent with guidance and teaching. This is one of the main reasons why so many Catholics today have lost their way. It is time for the Bishops to realize that the confessional box is one of the best ways to teach Catholics. Yes this will mean more work for priests but isn’t that the reason why priests chose to be priests - to serve the Church and to save souls?

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Nov. 02, 2012 12:43 PM ET USA

    Gosh! What took them so long? Perhaps they could entitle it "Coonfession: the Forgotten Sacrament."

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