Confession, Catholic colleges, Obama


In “The Empty Box” (February 29), Rev. Raymond Mann gives his view of why the practice of confession has fallen off. I have a different take on the matter. In the parishes where my priests promote confession, there are no empty lines. Where there is good catechesis as to the reality of sin and the importance of the sacrament of reconciliation, there are large numbers of people receiving the sacrament.

Also, I think that when priests don’t encourage the sacrament and when they give the impression they really aren’t interested in hearing confessions and don’t want to bother with it, people catch on quickly.

The church clearly teaches that Christ entrusted to his apostles the ministry of reconciliation (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church §1461 and John 20:23) and every Catholic is bound by an obligation to faithfully confess serious sins at least once a year. Fr. Mann says that “some Catholics don’t seem to appreciate the richness of the practice.” I believe that we need to teach clearly, in homilies and elsewhere, the beauty of this sacrament. The Catholic Church is unique in having this opportunity for reconciliation. In addition to being forgiven our sins, whether large or small, we have the opportunity to be humble before God and to recognize that we are...

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