Showing posts with label Confession. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Confession. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Advice from former Baywatch, Playboy star: "Pray the Rosary every day. Attend Mass every Sunday. Go to Confession regularly."

Donna D'Errico is now a 44 year old pro-life mother of two who wears the Scapular, goes to Mass and says the Rosary every day with her children. "I know what it’s like to be led astray and fall into a life of sin. I know how easy that is. I’ve lived it. I also know what it’s like to come back." Read more at

Monday, January 9, 2012

Bishop of Lancaster launches Lenten Confession campaign in preparation for Year of Faith

I recently wrote about the Bishop of Lancaster here. Here's the text of a Press Release from the Lancaster Diocese:

Diocese of Lancaster Launches
‘The Light Is On For You”
Confession Initiative
Lancaster – The Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev Michael Campbell OSA has already followed on from his New Year’s Day Pastoral Letter and announced in a letter to his priests and Catholic schools the launch of an important initiative this Lent for the Diocese of Lancaster called The Light Is On For You - a diocesan-wide and high-profile celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Every Wednesday of Lent, from 29th February to the Wednesday of Holy Week, 4th April, every Catholic Church in the Diocese of Lancaster will be open from 7.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. for Catholics to go to Confession.

Leading this outreach initiative of the ‘New Evangelisation’ as termed by Pope Benedict, Bishop Campbell added, “During the Lenten season, in a particular way we will invite those who seek to strengthen their relationship with the Lord to join us in this celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Our priests are here to welcome you home, to pray with you, to be of service in the name of Jesus Christ, who offers all of us forgiveness for our sins and the gift of His mercy and love.”

A new The Light Is On For You! section of the diocesan website: has been recently added which includes information on the Sacrament of Confession including various Examinations of Conscience, the Act of Contrition, videos about the sacrament, and parish resources for promoting the initiative. Initial resources, posters and flyers have already been sent to all parishes and Catholic schools of the Diocese seeking their direct engagement. In February adverts will be placed in local newspapers and the other local media will be contacted.

Bishop Campbell states, “Confession gives us the chance to start over, to hit the ‘reset’ button of our lives. It shows how forgiving and compassionate our God is and it helps us to grow in concern and love for others. Come to Confession this Lent and receive God’s mercy, for peace of mind and to deepen your friendship with Jesus, to receive spiritual healing and to increase your sense of joy and to experience Christ’s saving grace.”

As a preliminary to the upcoming Year of Faith (October 2012 to November 2013) announced by Pope Benedict XVI last year, The Light Is On For You! is part of the Diocese of Lancaster’s practical attempt to reach out to those who may have wandered from the life of the Church.

In response to those who feel it has been too long since their last confession or that God could not possibly forgive them, Bishop Campbell also said, “God’s love for you is greater than all the sins you’ve committed or could ever commit. Now is the time to come and have God take away the burdens of guilt that can often weigh us down. If you’ve been waiting for a sign to return to the Church or to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, this is your chance to re-establish and strengthen a relationship with God that will last forever”.

About the Diocese of Lancaster: The Diocese of Lancaster was founded in 1924.Currently serving the needs of over 111,000 Catholics in Lancashire north of the Ribble and all of Cumbria, the Diocese of Lancaster is a spiritually enriching faith community consisting of 99 parishes, educating thousands of students in its 12 Catholic secondary and 86 Catholic primary schools, and ministering to the needs of many others through its pastoral and social service outreach, and several Catholic nursing and residential homes.

For more details please visit:
Fr Robert Billing
Bishop’s Secretary
Bishop’s Office
The Pastoral Centre
Balmoral Road
T: 01524 596050 E:

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bad advice from a priest in confession could be a canonical crime subject to penalties

Dr Edward Peters, Edmund Cardinal Szoka Professor of Canon Law at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, Referendary of the Apostolic Signatura and author of In the Light of the Law suggests that the crime of solicitation could be more widespread in the Church than might be supposed. His study of Canon 1387 can be read in the current issue of the Homiletic and Pastoral Review. (If you are reading this some time after the current issue is no longer current, you may need to click the Older Articles link.)

Canon 1387 states:
A priest who in the act, on the occasion, or under the pretext of confession solicits a penitent to sin against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue is to be punished, according to the gravity of the delict, by suspension, prohibitions, and privations; in graver cases he is to be dismissed from the clerical state.

This canon includes not only the solicitation of a female to commit a sexual act with the confessor himself, but involves any sin against the sixth commandment, whether it be a sin committed together by confessor and penitent (regardless of sex or age), or by the penitent with another, or by the penitent alone.

Dr Peters quotes some Canonical authors:
Solicitation exists if the confessor sinfully suggests that the person commit impure acts alone or with others, for example, counsels the use of contraceptives. (Patrick Lydon, Ready Answers in Canon Law (1937), 483)

Indeed, the delict is committed even by wrong advice as to the sinfulness of evil thoughts. (Abbo-Hannan, Sacred Canons (1960) II: 30)

Peters contends:
There seems to be no doubt that a confessor’s advice toward immoral activity in sexual matters, whether it concerns acts to be performed by the penitent alone [e.g. self-abuse or the use of pornography - my addition], with a third party, or with the confessor himself, constitutes solicitation in confession and hence is a very serious crime under modern canon law.

Peters then studies the canonical procedures to be followed in the prosecution of a case of an alleged crime of solicitation. Most canonical crimes are adjudicated at diocesan level. Only a small number of crimes are reserved to the Holy See in the light of their particular gravity. Only if the confessor has solicited a penitent to sin against the sixth commandment with himself is it reserved to the Apostolic See in accordance with norms issued in 2001. This is not to belittle other crimes but to acknowledge the dignity of local Churches as having within themselves in the person of the Bishop full judicial power over that Church. The reservation to the Holy See occurs, among other reasons, because of the wider consequences of a particular crime for the Universal Church or because of the particular expertise/resources that may be needed which a local Church may not possess.

As a confessor, I find this article very helpful in affirming in me the importance of being very clear with penitents. The penitent must never be allowed to think that the confessor has said "contraception is alright" or that "it's up to your conscience", or that illicit relationship (e.g. an irregular "marital" union) can be tolerated and expressed sexually. This would be to solicit the penitent in a sin against the sixth commandment. I don't want to be anywhere near that position.

I have, regrettably, come across Catholics who have responded to my teaching against contraception or homosexual relations or illicit unions by saying that another priest, whether during or outside Confession, has left them with the impression that it was alright. I am sure I am not alone.

The existence of penalties in the Church serves a number of purposes. One is to punish after a crime has been committed. Another is to warn anyone who might be tempted that there are consequences in committing a crime. The weak need these warnings. A further purpose is to affirm the true doctrine of the Church and to encourage fidelity. The Church is truly a mother in this manner and seeks to be a true Mirror of Justice.

If you have read this far, do read Dr Peters' article.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Confession by iPhone

Actually, it's not. It's an app to help people prepare for confession.

The following from Reuters:
(Reuters) - An iPhone app aimed at helping Catholics through confession and encouraging lapsed followers back to the faith has been sanctioned by the Catholic Church in the United States.

Confession: A Roman Catholic app, thought to be the first to be approved by a church authority, walks Catholics through the sacrament and contains what the company behind the program describes as a "personalized examination of conscience for each user".

"Our desire is to invite Catholics to engage in their faith through digital technology," said Patrick Leinen of the three-man company Little iApps, based in South Bend, Indiana.

"Taking to heart Pope Benedict XVI's message from last years' World Communications Address, our goal with this project is to offer a digital application that is truly 'new media at the service of the word."

Pope Benedict XVI's World Communications Address on January 24 emphasized the importance of a Christian presence in the digital world.

The firm said the content of the app was developed with the help of Reverend Thomas Weinandy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Reverend Dan Scheidt, pastor of Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Mishawaka, Indiana.

The app is not designed to replace going to confession but to help Catholics through the act, which generally involves admitting sins to a priest in a confessional booth. Catholics still must go to a priest for absolution.
Little iApps said Bishop Kevin Rhoades, of the Diocese of Fort Wayne in Indiana, officially authorized the app for Catholics to use.

"It has been approved by Bishop Kevin Rhoades," said Weinandy.

Leinen said the app has already aided one man in returning to the sacrament after 20 years. "We hope many more will take advantage of this new confession resource," he added.

The app retails for $1.99.
See Little iApps for more information.

And see Zenit for a clarification, if one were needed.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Confessions at St Peter's

No secrets being revealed, don't worry. But a typical morning: confessions advertised 11am to 12 noon. Today I began at 11 and finished after 1.30pm. Good to be needed. One kind lady brought me in a sandwich and some water... Rather than the long line of people approaching for Holy Communion, it is the number of people going to Confession in a parish indicates the spiritual health of a parish.


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