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Pope alarmed by decline in confessions
TimesOnline ^ | 6/19/09 | Richard Owen

Posted on 06/19/2009 1:12:49 PM PDT by bdeaner

Pope Benedict XVI has raised the alarm over the decline in confessions, urging priests not to become "resigned to empty confessionals" but rather to help the faithful rediscover "the beauty of the sacrament", which answered "a deep and humble longing for forgiveness".

(Excerpt) Read more at timesonline.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Moral Issues; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; confession; cult; pope; saintjohnmaryvianney
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St. John Mary Vianney

The Pope urged priests to learn from St. John Mary Vianney to "put our unfailing trust in the Sacrament of Penance, to set it once more at the centre of our pastoral concerns, and to take up the 'dialogue of salvation,' which it entails".

1 posted on 06/19/2009 1:12:50 PM PDT by bdeaner
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To: bdeaner

He’d be very disappointed in me.....haven’t been in years and years.


2 posted on 06/19/2009 1:13:49 PM PDT by BeerLover NYC
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To: bdeaner

I’m alarmed by the decline in humility.

And the giant increase of hubris.


3 posted on 06/19/2009 1:19:56 PM PDT by garyhope
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To: garyhope

It’s 2009, ocviously our views on humility have changed.


4 posted on 06/19/2009 1:26:37 PM PDT by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to...otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: BeerLover NYC
He’d be very disappointed in me.....haven’t been in years and years.

Up until a few years ago, it had been more than two decades since my last confession. When I finally returned to the sacrament of reconciliation, it was an incredible feeling --like a huge burden had been lifted from my shoulders.

If you want to take my advice, run don't walk to the nearest confessional. You won't be disappointed.
5 posted on 06/19/2009 1:27:59 PM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: garyhope

Indeed, very sad.


6 posted on 06/19/2009 1:28:31 PM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: BeerLover NYC

Me too. I can’t remember the last time I went. I figure cut out the middle man and go straight to the top.


7 posted on 06/19/2009 1:28:51 PM PDT by b4its2late (I love defenseless animals, especially in a good gravy.)
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To: bdeaner
Pope Benedict XVI has raised the alarm over the decline in confessions

Ping for later

8 posted on 06/19/2009 1:30:55 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: bdeaner

They actually keep score? Do they turn in reports once a week?


9 posted on 06/19/2009 1:32:11 PM PDT by SkyDancer ('Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..' ~ Thomas Jefferson)
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To: b4its2late

Why not use the way Jesus provided? (John 20:21-23)


10 posted on 06/19/2009 1:33:24 PM PDT by Nihil Obstat (God bless)
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To: SkyDancer
They actually keep score? Do they turn in reports once a week?

LOL. He was responding to a survey that came out in the Italian newspaper.

A survey in La Repubblica of practising Italian Catholics today said that only 2 per cent went to confession more than once a month. 10 per cent went once a month, 58 per cent "once or twice a year", and 30 per cent "never."
11 posted on 06/19/2009 1:34:28 PM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: bdeaner

A magnificent Mystery of The Church. Without it, how does one worthily receive communion?


12 posted on 06/19/2009 1:35:30 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: b4its2late
I figure cut out the middle man and go straight to the top.

The Catholic Church teaches that confession is not the only way to acquire reconciliation with the Lord. But the sacrament of reconciliation carries a special, transformative grace with it, which I personally vouche for. I was an Evangelical Christian, and used to think the same as you. But then, after I converted to Catholicism, and since I have been going to confession on a regular basis, I am amazed at how powerful the process is. Tempations just evaporate like they never had before. It's pretty amazing. That's my personal testimony -- take it as you wish.

God bless.
13 posted on 06/19/2009 1:38:38 PM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: bdeaner

Thanks, wasn’t trying to be disrespectful ... I thought the Bible mentioned that we should confess our sins one to another ... didn’t know you had to do it officially ... so like I’d get with my girlfriends and we’d tell each other our dirty deeds ....


14 posted on 06/19/2009 1:41:53 PM PDT by SkyDancer ('Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..' ~ Thomas Jefferson)
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To: bdeaner

Apparently even the sin industry is suffering from recession this year. The Obama economy has things all upended. /sarc


15 posted on 06/19/2009 1:45:35 PM PDT by BlueYonder
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To: Nihil Obstat; All
Why not use the way Jesus provided?

The Sacrament of Confession IS provided by Jesus. Jesus gave to the Apostles and their successors the power to forgive sins, reconciling sinners to God for sins committed after Baptism.

On numerous occasions, Jesus exercised the power to forgive sin.

Mk 2:5
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Child, your sins are forgiven."


Lk 7:47
So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.


Jesus scandalized some Jews of his own time by claiming to have the authority to forgive sins.

Mk 2:7
Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?


Jesus clearly stated that he had the authority to forgive sins.

Mk 2:10-12
"But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth"-- he said to the paralytic, "I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home." He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone.


Jesus gave the same authority to Peter.

Mt 16:19
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.


Jesus later gave the same authority to all the Apostles.

Mt 18:18
Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.


The Apostle John, an eyewitness, recorded more directly the words of Jesus giving the power to forgive sins to all the Apostles after the testimony of the Resurrection.

Jn 20:23
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.


Many Christians ask why confession of sin is required for forgiveness. The Church responds that the need for personal confession of sin is required in order for forgiveness because that is the only way a confessor can judge whether to forgive or retain sins. A judgment cannot be made unless the sin in question is known and the disposition of the penitent is also known.

The New Testament speaks of confession of sin.

Ja 5:16
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.


1 Jn 1:9
If we acknowledge (confess) our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.


Other New Testament scriptures bear witness that the Apostolic Church acknowledged the use of the power to forgive sins.

Acts 2:38
Peter (said) to them, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit."


1 Jn 1:9
If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.


1 Jn 2:12
I am writing to you, children, because your sins have been forgiven for his name's sake.


God bless.
16 posted on 06/19/2009 1:46:14 PM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: SkyDancer

That’s alright. We’d all be in big trouble if we lost our sense of humor. I can just imagine the Pope tabulating confession score cards from all over the planet, and keeping tabs on the numbers in his Vatican computer database. LOL. Ain’t gonna happen.


17 posted on 06/19/2009 1:49:36 PM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: bdeaner
Tempations just evaporate like they never had before.

Do they really evaporate, as in disappear, or is it that the prospect of having to confess the sin if you go on and commit it adds enough discouragement to help you overcome the temptation?

18 posted on 06/19/2009 1:51:27 PM PDT by nina0113
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To: markomalley

Rings familiar of our recent discussion...


19 posted on 06/19/2009 1:52:43 PM PDT by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: bdeaner
Maybe people just aren't sinning as much as they used to. Yeah right. ;-)
20 posted on 06/19/2009 1:54:57 PM PDT by Desron13 (If you constantly vote between the lesser of two evils then evil is your ultimate destination.)
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To: bdeaner

Go back to the old style confessionals instead of the face to face and I would definately go more often.


21 posted on 06/19/2009 1:55:47 PM PDT by sharkhawk (Here come the Hawks)
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To: bdeaner

I have a friend who’s a JW and she has to turn in these slips of paper that showed what she did all week. I asked her why and she said it’s the way she can show the Watchtower she’s been “working towards the kingdom” ....


22 posted on 06/19/2009 1:56:23 PM PDT by SkyDancer ('Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..' ~ Thomas Jefferson)
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To: nina0113
Do they really evaporate, as in disappear, or is it that the prospect of having to confess the sin if you go on and commit it adds enough discouragement to help you overcome the temptation?

From a psychological perspective, I can't say for sure one way or the other for sure. But theologically, from a Catholic perspective, temptation literally evaporates, because the act of Confession releases the person from the bondage of the sin. Sin has a way of becoming entrenched and habitual. I find that Confession releases me from the habituation or entrenchment of the sinful behavior, in ways that did not work for me prior to going to Confession, including therapy.

This is a little personal -- but I will go ahead and share it. I had been addicted to pornography for a long time. When I started going to Confession and confessing the pornography, I started to literally lose interest in porn. It just started to become boring and uninteresting to me. I'd even go to a porn site and find myself wandering to a non-pornographic site out of boredom. That just seems to be a special grace, and from my personal experience, did not flow from a fear of having to confess the sin again. Obviously I had already screwed up by going to the porn site. The amazing thing is that the desire and motivation to stay there was gone! Amazing.
23 posted on 06/19/2009 1:59:10 PM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: SkyDancer
I have a friend who’s a JW and she has to turn in these slips of paper that showed what she did all week. I asked her why and she said it’s the way she can show the Watchtower she’s been “working towards the kingdom” ....

Yeah, that's pretty creepy. No offense to JW folks.
24 posted on 06/19/2009 2:00:56 PM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: Kolokotronis; bdeaner
A magnificent Mystery of The Church. Without it, how does one worthily receive communion?

One doesn't. Communion is turned into a "Jesus Pill" that cures everything...

As one Eastern Orthodox confessor said: if you don't need to confess, then you don't need the Eucharist! Perhaps the Vatican ought to copy that message.

But, then, again, that's probably too much to ask. They have reduced the Eucharist to a cookie for all practical purposes—everyone get one for just attending the Mass. It reminds me of that "I voted" sticker every gets for voting...

25 posted on 06/19/2009 2:05:01 PM PDT by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: kosta50
if you don't need to confess, then you don't need the Eucharist!

Totally agree.
26 posted on 06/19/2009 2:08:01 PM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: b4its2late
I figure cut out the middle man and go straight to the top.

Really? Did you baptize yourself too? Performed your own marriage ceremony? Do you act as priest/minister at your own self-oriented self-worshipping masses/services? Did you create yourself while you were at it? Just cut out everything since YOU are the center of the universe. (Why do what that Jesus guy says? Who does He think He is anyway?)
27 posted on 06/19/2009 2:19:28 PM PDT by Enoughofthissocialism (Hail Obama! Kill da white peoples!)
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To: bdeaner

Here’s a hint, pastors: BE THERE! I realize you’re very busy, but if I load up eight children and show up at the scheduled time for Confession, only to find no priest and a line of people who’ve been trying to confess for weeks (all trying to be charitable ...), that indicates where the problem might be rooted, doesn’t it?


28 posted on 06/19/2009 2:42:17 PM PDT by Tax-chick (I think you're a genius, and I like your dog.)
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To: sharkhawk

They do closed confessionals in most parishes. I hadn’t been in years until fairly recently as much of the secular/protestant movement infiltrated and I started to think the same way. So if I went to a funeral or wedding I’d ask God to forgive me and go to Holy Communion because I asked God for forgiveness I knew it was okay. Ha! Lies! I recently returned to the Church and go to confessions at least monthly. Love, love, love it. The Catholic Church is right and has been for 2,000 years.


29 posted on 06/19/2009 2:43:31 PM PDT by chase19
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To: bdeaner
Up until a few years ago, it had been more than two decades since my last confession. When I finally returned to the sacrament of reconciliation, it was an incredible feeling --like a huge burden had been lifted from my shoulders.

It'll take me all night to complete the sacrament of reconciliation.

30 posted on 06/19/2009 2:43:41 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: MinorityRepublican

It took me a long time as well. My advice - make an appt with a priest you respect and like, and have at it. Good luck! :)


31 posted on 06/19/2009 2:47:23 PM PDT by chase19
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To: Enoughofthissocialism

“Did you baptize yourself too? Performed your own marriage ceremony? Do you act as priest/minister at your own self-oriented self-worshipping masses/services? Did you create yourself while you were at it? Just cut out everything since YOU are the center of the universe.”

Excellent points!


32 posted on 06/19/2009 2:48:42 PM PDT by chase19
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To: bdeaner

“This is a little personal — but I will go ahead and share it. I had been addicted to pornography for a long time. When I started going to Confession and confessing the pornography, I started to literally lose interest in porn. It just started to become boring and uninteresting to me. I’d even go to a porn site and find myself wandering to a non-pornographic site out of boredom. That just seems to be a special grace, and from my personal experience, did not flow from a fear of having to confess the sin again. Obviously I had already screwed up by going to the porn site. The amazing thing is that the desire and motivation to stay there was gone! Amazing.”

You’re one brave individual. Thanks!!! I haven’t been hooked on porn, always a good idea to say - yet - but ask me about ETOH...


33 posted on 06/19/2009 2:51:43 PM PDT by chase19
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To: Tax-chick
That happened in your parish? Very shameful. You might want to alert the Bishop in your diocese. I'd be tempted to go to the rectory and drag him by his ear to the confessional booth. I learned that tracik in grade school, first hand, from St. Joseph Mary. LOL.


34 posted on 06/19/2009 2:52:03 PM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: chase19

And I wonder if he ever asked anyone to pray for him.


35 posted on 06/19/2009 2:52:35 PM PDT by Enoughofthissocialism (Hail Obama! Kill da white peoples!)
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To: bdeaner

It is unfortunate, yes. This is two pastors in a row who haven’t been available for Confession much. After a while, of course, people give up and don’t even try - go to another parish, or just don’t go. Then one hears that nobody’s going to Confession!

I make an appointment during office hours sometimes, to take the Horde, but most people work during the day, and their children go to school.


36 posted on 06/19/2009 2:59:17 PM PDT by Tax-chick (I think you're a genius, and I like your dog.)
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To: Tax-chick

Yeah, maybe more folks would go if the appointed time was longer and more frequent than an hour before the Saturday vigil Mass for parishes with 1000-1500 families. I try to go weekly, sometimes it is crowded, sometimes not. Sometimes someone takes 20 minutes, which is a third of the allotted time. I often think, “what the heck would happen if just a 1/10th of our parish showed up?”.

Freegards


37 posted on 06/19/2009 3:02:15 PM PDT by Ransomed (Son of Ransomed Says Keep the Faith!)
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To: chase19
but ask me about ETOH...

I never had a drinking problem, but eating bad food can be just as much a sin -- the deadly sin of gluttony.

Confession can be very powerful for helping with temptations of addiction. Some priests will try to talk you out of confessing gluttony, but they are wrong. St. Thomas Aquinas was very clear that gluttony is a mortal sin in need of confession, and that means drinking or eating beyond necessity, or otherwise putting the stomach before the Lord.

I also find that, when tempted, it is very helpful to offer up the object of temptation and the suffering caused by the deprivation, to the Lord. This kind of suffering is redemptive and you can share the redemption with others, praying for their conversion, or healing, or whatever. I find that kicking a habit is much easier when my suffering is understood to be potentially redemptive for others, and not just myself. St. Therese of Lisieux is a power intecessory for helping with these kinds of struggles.

Sacrifice beads can be a helpful tool:



Also: the rosary and holy water! Keep the sacrifice beads, rosary, Bible, holy water, and the crucifix by all the triggers of addiction in your house. They are powerful deterrants.

God bless.
38 posted on 06/19/2009 3:04:02 PM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: Enoughofthissocialism

Personally, I have a hard time asking anyone for anything as I take the independent spirit to the extreme. A good thought though...


39 posted on 06/19/2009 3:18:27 PM PDT by chase19
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To: bdeaner

“St. Thomas Aquinas was very clear that gluttony is a mortal sin in need of confession, and that means drinking or eating beyond necessity, or otherwise putting the stomach before the Lord.”

“I find that kicking a habit is much easier when my suffering is understood to be potentially redemptive for others, and not just myself.”

It’s one of the seven deadly sins...Drinking like I do is the same thing. I’ll try the beads and offering it up. I’d given up ETOH for years and just went back on it thinking I was cured after so many years. One is never “cured” - I’ve got an addictive personality if there is such a thing...


40 posted on 06/19/2009 3:22:06 PM PDT by chase19
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To: chase19

Be strong. The Lord is with you. I will keep you in my prayers. God bless.


41 posted on 06/19/2009 3:28:05 PM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: chase19
Well, at least you are honest, and seem humble in that honesty.

I sincerely hope things work out for you in that ultimate way. God gives us men independence as a virtue among many others, but we must have balance in them or virtues become vices.

Good luck, and God's blessings on you, sir.

42 posted on 06/19/2009 3:29:54 PM PDT by Enoughofthissocialism (Hail Obama! Kill da white peoples!)
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To: bdeaner

Thanks. Please, please, please, keep me in your prayers.


43 posted on 06/19/2009 3:34:13 PM PDT by chase19
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To: bdeaner

It’s strangely correlated with the aging, death, and incarceration of Kennedy’s.

I’m just sayin’......


44 posted on 06/19/2009 3:35:42 PM PDT by RFEngineer
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To: Enoughofthissocialism

Yeah, I’m pretty desperate at this point in time. I know in my heart that prayers are all that will help. I’ve had a few as we speak so it’s a lot easier to ask for help.

God bless you you as well.


45 posted on 06/19/2009 3:36:45 PM PDT by chase19
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To: Ransomed
I often think, “what the heck would happen if just a 1/10th of our parish showed up?”.

My parish has 1,600 households. Even if you posit an average of 2 per household, that would be 320 people trying to confess in 40 minutes, at best. Insane.

46 posted on 06/19/2009 3:51:25 PM PDT by Tax-chick (I think you're a genius, and I like your dog.)
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To: chase19
Thanks. Please, please, please, keep me in your prayers.

You're welcome! I am praying for you. I pray, in Christ's name, that you will be free of desire for alcohol,-- that the Lord will release you from the demons that hold you in bondage to your addiction-- and that you will find peace in your life. Amen.
47 posted on 06/19/2009 4:57:14 PM PDT by bdeaner (The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Cor. 10:16))
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To: bdeaner

We need to go to Confession at least every two months. It gets to be three or even sometimes four weeks and I know I must go.

If you have not gone to Confession — Catholics only here, You have not fulfilled your Easter duty — to go to Confession during Lent/Easter time. So — are you receiving the Holy Eucharist unworthily??

I’m not trying to preach — just feel very strongly about this since we sin greatly when we receive the Eucharist without having gone to Confession recently.


48 posted on 06/19/2009 5:32:29 PM PDT by Salvation (With God all things are possible.)
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To: bdeaner

I answer to Pope Benedict, many Bishops are instigating programs that emphasize the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is only sitting down and talking with a priest — although some may still prefer to kneel behind a curtain.

Hardly a Sunday goes by that our priest does not mention the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In fact, we had a totally packed church for the Lenten Reconciliation Service.

The seven priests who came to assist with Confessions’ jaws dropped when they saw the number of people for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Confessions lasted through 10:00 pm.


49 posted on 06/19/2009 5:35:41 PM PDT by Salvation (With God all things are possible.)
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To: BeerLover NYC

BTW, the two marks of a thriving and holy Catholic Church are the
1. length of the lines for Confession
2. the number of vocations from your parish.

We have no trouble with the length of the lines for Confessions as you can tell from my previous posts, and we have one young man on the way to the priesthood.


50 posted on 06/19/2009 5:37:21 PM PDT by Salvation (With God all things are possible.)
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