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Cardinal Bertone urges priests: Preach about Confession

August 26, 2009

In a message on the occasion of Italy’s 60th National Liturgical Week, which is devoted to the Sacrament of Penance, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone reminded participants of Pope Benedict’s exhortation that priests should catechize the faithful about the Sacrament of Penance. Quoting the Pontiff, Cardinal Bertone writes, “Like all the sacraments, the Sacrament of Penance too requires catechesis beforehand and a mystagogical catechesis for a deeper knowledge of the sacrament: ‘per ritus et preces’ [through rites and prayers] … Catechesis should be combined with a wise use of preaching.”

“These days, the correct formation of believers' consciences is without a doubt one of the pastoral priorities because, unfortunately, as I have reaffirmed on other occasions, to the extent that the sense of sin is lost, feelings of guilt increase which people seek to eliminate by recourse to inadequate palliative remedies,” Pope Benedict observed in another remark quoted by Cardinal Bertone. “The many invaluable spiritual and pastoral tools that contribute to the formation of consciences should be increasingly developed.”


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