Jul 31, 2006

The New Confessionals

The Curt Jester has posted A Confessional Out of Dilbert? which discusses the post-Vatican II change from box-type private confessionals to more open arrangements. Curt's comments focus on the loss of privacy of confession. This loss of anonymity has presumably been a major reason for the significant decrease in the sacrament of Penance. For example, the schedule of one parish in Kansas City with over 3,000 households lists only a half hour of "Reconciliation" a week. I'm sure the pastor would be willing to hear more confessions if you call him, but to call him would mean the loss of anonymity (which is protected by canon law).

An old priest of the 70s once told me that the privacy of the penitent was important, but was not the real issue. The real issue was that the confessor priest was now UNPROTECTED! A wall or grill was needed between the priest and penitent to protect the priest from a sad, attractive woman who is having a difficult time with her marriage. A wall between them keeps the priest and penitent from embracing.

The loss of private confessions is just another post-Vatican II change that has resulted in a lot of problems in the church.


Anonymous said...

I haven't gone to confession since the privacy went away. That seems to be the case with most of the people I know.

Dust I Am said...

You're still missing out on God's sacramental assistance to be a better Christian. Confession teaches humility and gives special graces to avoid future sins, in addition to forgiving your sins. I hope you find a parish with a priest that takes confession seriously. Ask around.

Robin said...

All the Catholic churches in my area are set up so that both options are available. I still go the old-fashioned way, but a lot of young people seem to prefer talking with the priest face to face.