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Confessions by appointment suck. - LaramieHirsch - 10-06-2010

http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=23570


Thoughts?

-L.H.



CathBlog - Confessions by appointment

by Bishop Kevin Manning Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Archbishop of Cologne, stated recently that 'one of the most tragic failings that the Church suffered in the second half of the 20th century was to have neglected the gift of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Penance … amongst priests this has caused tremendous loss of spiritual profile'.  He goes on to say that when the priest is no longer a confessor he becomes a social worker of a religious kind.  From this remark, I was left wondering about parish noticeboards and Parish Bulletin which advertise: 'Confessions – by appointment'. It is becoming rare to see the traditional notice:  'Confessions 4.00pm – 6.00pm Saturday afternoon before the Vigil Mass.' Fifteen and twenty minute slots appear to suffice.

The parable of the Prodigal Son is a wonderful reflection on the Sacrament of Penance when the young prodigal wakes up to himself, leaves his sins behind, and goes to his father confessing:  'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.'  The father welcomed him with open arms and a great celebration followed.  This scene reflects beautifully the return of the sinner to God and the welcoming forgiveness which awaits him.

The Sacrament of Penance is a natural outcome of the overwhelming mercy of God, for it enables us to encounter the mercy of God dispensed through the ministry of a priest as communicated by Jesus Himself:  'Receive the Holy Spirit. For whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain they are retained.' (Jn. 20:22-23)  But one needs to be aware of the need for conversion, to awaken one's consciousness of sin, to develop an understanding which includes the social dimensions of sin, together with the realization, given by St Paul, that 'however great the number of sins committed, grace is even greater' (Rom. 5:21).

The Holy Spirit who brings sin to light is also the Consoler disposing the human heart to be open to the grace of repentance and conversion.  We cannot turn our world around on our own strength, we need Christian hope to help us desire the Kingdom of God and eternal life.  This by placing our trust in Christ's promises, not in our own strength but in the help and the grace of the Holy Spirit.' (CCC 18:17)

An incisive way to prepare for a good Confession is to remember that the Holy Spirit came to convict the world of sin, to convict, not condemn.  When the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, we still cannot but feel ashamed of what we have done, but, at the same time, we feel so loved by God that we desire God's mercy immediately. 

So, my purpose in writing is to encourage you to call sin what it really is, take ownership for your actions as they really are.  No matter if it has been ten, twenty or even forty years don't be afraid to go to Confession for you are going to meet One who has waited lovingly for you to come to experience his mercy.

My final words are an expression of gratitude to brother priests who zealously and lovingly dispense the mercy of God by making available frequent opportunities for the faithful to access the sacrament of penance in the spirit of St John Vianney, a true model of a confessor.


Kevin Manning is Bishop Emeritus of Parramatta



Re: Confessions by appointment suck. - Bakuryokuso - 10-06-2010

(10-06-2010, 09:53 PM)LaramieHirsch Wrote: http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=23570


Thoughts?

-L.H.



CathBlog - Confessions by appointment

by Bishop Kevin Manning Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Archbishop of Cologne, stated recently that 'one of the most tragic failings that the Church suffered in the second half of the 20th century was to have neglected the gift of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Penance … amongst priests this has caused tremendous loss of spiritual profile'.  He goes on to say that when the priest is no longer a confessor he becomes a social worker of a religious kind.  From this remark, I was left wondering about parish noticeboards and Parish Bulletin which advertise: 'Confessions – by appointment'. It is becoming rare to see the traditional notice:  'Confessions 4.00pm – 6.00pm Saturday afternoon before the Vigil Mass.' Fifteen and twenty minute slots appear to suffice.

The parable of the Prodigal Son is a wonderful reflection on the Sacrament of Penance when the young prodigal wakes up to himself, leaves his sins behind, and goes to his father confessing:  'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.'  The father welcomed him with open arms and a great celebration followed.  This scene reflects beautifully the return of the sinner to God and the welcoming forgiveness which awaits him.

The Sacrament of Penance is a natural outcome of the overwhelming mercy of God, for it enables us to encounter the mercy of God dispensed through the ministry of a priest as communicated by Jesus Himself:  'Receive the Holy Spirit. For whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain they are retained.' (Jn. 20:22-23)  But one needs to be aware of the need for conversion, to awaken one's consciousness of sin, to develop an understanding which includes the social dimensions of sin, together with the realization, given by St Paul, that 'however great the number of sins committed, grace is even greater' (Rom. 5:21).

The Holy Spirit who brings sin to light is also the Consoler disposing the human heart to be open to the grace of repentance and conversion.  We cannot turn our world around on our own strength, we need Christian hope to help us desire the Kingdom of God and eternal life.  This by placing our trust in Christ's promises, not in our own strength but in the help and the grace of the Holy Spirit.' (CCC 18:17)

An incisive way to prepare for a good Confession is to remember that the Holy Spirit came to convict the world of sin, to convict, not condemn.  When the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, we still cannot but feel ashamed of what we have done, but, at the same time, we feel so loved by God that we desire God's mercy immediately. 

So, my purpose in writing is to encourage you to call sin what it really is, take ownership for your actions as they really are.  No matter if it has been ten, twenty or even forty years don't be afraid to go to Confession for you are going to meet One who has waited lovingly for you to come to experience his mercy.

My final words are an expression of gratitude to brother priests who zealously and lovingly dispense the mercy of God by making available frequent opportunities for the faithful to access the sacrament of penance in the spirit of St John Vianney, a true model of a confessor.


Kevin Manning is Bishop Emeritus of Parramatta

I converted from Evangelicalism to Catholicism this Easter and the sacrament of Penance has been one of the most delightful surprises to me about being a Catholic. I must go on average every 10 days or so. I drove myself crazy with the whole just-me-and-God forgiveness thing as a Protestant.

As you may now, a local boy is being canonized this fall - Brother André. The glorious St. Joseph's Oratory which he founded is a favourite spot for me to go to confession. Check out their schedule:

Monday to Saturday
7 a.m. to12:45 p.m.,
2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.,
7 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

Sunday
6:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

I mean - almost 11 straight hours of confession time on Sunday! No excuse not to make it.

The other Basilica I attend is understaffed with two priests so I've missed confession a few times because they use the 15 minutes before mass system, so if the priest is delayed or the line is long you can easily be out of luck.

I wish every Catholic in mortal sin would hustle on over to confession


Re: Confessions by appointment suck. - Historian - 10-06-2010

There's a church in my city that has non-stop adoration that's only ever interupted for Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours. They also have confession pretty much all day. It used to be one of my favourite places to go during my last year of high school to get some time out.

There's also a monastery up the road from my house that has confession available all the time, you just have to press a little button in the church and the priest comes soon after. I'm a lucky guy.


Re: Confessions by appointment suck. - Bakuryokuso - 10-06-2010

(10-06-2010, 10:36 PM)Servus_Maria Wrote: There's a church in my city that has non-stop adoration that's only ever interupted for Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours. They also have confession pretty much all day. It used to be one of my favourite places to go during my last year of high school to get some time out.

There's also a monastery up the road from my house that has confession available all the time, you just have to press a little button in the church and the priest comes soon after. I'm a lucky guy.

Wow, that is amazing, Need more of that! There is an urban monastic order here that is working on getting the round-the-clock adoration set up


Re: Confessions by appointment suck. - Cetil - 10-06-2010

Here in Washington DC we are lucky to have the Franciscan Monastery where confessions are available all day on the hour. Great place by the way if you've never seen it: http://www.myfranciscan.org/
The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception also has regular confessions for several hours every day.
Part of the problem is that after Vatican II there was so much emphasis placed on  mercy, hope, forgiveness, etc and not as much on penance and a healthy horror of sin.

C.


Re: Confessions by appointment suck. - Hohepa - 10-07-2010

I can't skite about the availability of confessions in my neck of the woods. .20 mins before midday mass at the  cathedral. and after daily mass diuring the week at my local parishj...then the priest scives off after mass to have a cuppa tea over the road.
COnfession by appointment sucks for sure but so does the aforementioned situation for reasons already mentioned.


Re: Confessions by appointment suck. - Historian - 10-07-2010

Confessions involve a priest sitting in a box for a set period of time with no knowledge of what is to happen. A busy priest (which, most are) may be overworked to the extent this is not possible especially if the priest has to travel.

Also, I have gone to confession by appointment (there were scheduled times, but I wanted to go sooner) and with a good known priest, it is much better.


Re: Confessions by appointment suck. - PeterII - 10-07-2010

They should have confessions by appointment for long general confessions, and a regularly scheduled time. 


Re: Confessions by appointment suck. - cgraye - 10-07-2010

Obviously there is a circular problem here.  You have less people going to Confession, so you cut back the times for Confessions, so people get the message that Confession isn't that essential, so less people go to Confession...


Re: Confessions by appointment suck. - PeterII - 10-07-2010

(10-07-2010, 10:09 AM)cgraye Wrote: Obviously there is a circular problem here.  You have less people going to Confession, so you cut back the times for Confessions, so people get the message that Confession isn't that essential, so less people go to Confession...

The large Novus Ordo parish where I live has at least four priests in residence but only offers confession once a week on Saturday for 30 min.  How do they expect people to save their souls without frequent confession these days?