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English cardinal says Synod should discuss decline in Confession

Catholic World News - February 17, 2014

An English prelate has suggested that the Synod of Bishops should discuss the decline in use of the sacrament of Confession.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the retired Archbishop of Westminster, said through a spokeswoman that "there needs to be much serious reflection in the Church as to why people are not going to Confession and what would encourage them to return to the sacrament.”

The cardinal issued the comment when asked for comment on a proposal by the controversial author John Cornwall that Confession for young children should be abolished. Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor said that he had not read the Cornwall book, and was not responding to the author's suggestion.

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  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Feb. 18, 2014 3:07 PM ET USA

    We have nearly 3 generations that weren't catechized about Confession beyond the First Confession at the age of 7. Add to that our exhausted priest who has 3 churches and a school and attends to needs at a nursing home and 2 hospitals and it's a recipe for many things to fall aside including something as important as Confession. I pray the Synod will take up the serious matter of education and also the way in which Confession is administered since the Church holds the keys to the Kingdom.

  • Posted by: filioque - Feb. 17, 2014 8:36 PM ET USA

    This should be a short discussion at the synod: people don't go to Confession because they are not instructed on the benefits or the proper way to exam one's conscience and confess, they never hear encouragement from the pulpit, and the scheduled times amount to about 45 minutes a week, if that. Of course, priests are not making time available for Confession because no one is coming!

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