Some say: Ah, I confess to God. But its easy, its like confessing by email, no? God is far away, I say things and theres no face-to-face, no eye-to-eye contact. Paul confesses his weakness to the brethren face-to-face. Others [say], No, I go to confession, but they confess so many ethereal things, so many up-in-the-air things, that they dont have anything concrete. And thats the same as not doing it. Confessing our sins is not going to a psychiatrist, or to a torture chamber: its saying to the Lord, Lord, I am a sinner, but saying it through the brother, because this says it concretely. I am sinner because of this, that and the other thing.
As a Catholic myself, this man needs to make up his mind and send a clear message. How can you, as a priest, provide someone with the “grace of shame” and not be a shrink and at the same time ask “who am I to judge” like a shrink? The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the most important aspects of the Catholic faith and I agree with what the Pope says in this article, but it contradicts what he said last month. I think he will realize soon enough that you can’t be all things to all people.