Maltese bishop rues ‘privatization’ of Confession
February 09, 2016
Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, a Maltese bishop called upon confessors to be merciful and to see themselves more as doctors than as judges.
Noting that the Second Vatican Council called for a revision of the rite and formulas of the Sacrament of Penance “so that they more clearly express both the nature and effect of the sacrament,” Bishop Mario Grech of Gozo asserted that in doing so the council fathers “recognized that the praxis” of the sacrament “no longer responded to the needs of the people of God.”
Bishop Grech lamented that the first rite of penance—individual confession—overshadows the second rite (a penitential celebration followed by individual confession) and the third rite (general absolution). The prelate recommended a more widespread use of the second rite.
“With the privatization of auricular confession,” he said, “we have lost the social and ecclesial dimension of sin and the communitarian dimension of the Sacrament of Penance.”
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