The article on confession in the latest Telegraph in my humble opinion has some very good points, especially about the loss of guilt or of sinning. I am guilty of not going for long periods of time and believe me I am a sinner, egregiously so.  In some parishes by appointment only, no way, far too many parishes have “administrators”. When there is confession available with a visiting priest and a box, I go.

in my defense I would like to quote an article I ran across a while back from The Tablet

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A priest in an East Anglian market town tells me that when his Polish parishioners receive a visit from an itinerant compatriot priest, they all queue for confession in the old-style box which usually stands empty

Today, the old dark box has been widely replaced by two armchairs, with a screen and kneeler as an option. Confessors speak of “real confessions” – a penitent’s discussion of the problems and failings in the whole of their lives. Not all moral theologians approve of the trend, seeing it too close to talk therapy.    BINGO!!

from same article:

Strong and widespread evidence has emerged of a link between early confession and clerical sexual abuse. The lowered age of confession from 13 to seven coincides, according to meta-analyses (see Marie Keenan’s Child Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church, Oxford University Press, 2011), with the age group of most affected victims. Pius X’s initiative resulted in the frequent exposure of Catholic children to priests untrained in child psychology and pedagogy, in circumstances of unsupervised intimacy. It is perhaps significant that the rise in sexual attacks, which started in the late 1950s through to the 1980s, coincides with not only the explosion of sexual permissiveness of that era, but the tendency for priests to hear confessions outside of the confessional box – in sacristies, parlors and priests’ quarters.

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and a related  article explaining how the confessional “box” came about in the  church to stop “claimed” temptations of young priests and young ladies being in close proximity,  read here

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Thil. “The intercourse between priest and penitent was especially [96] dangerous because there had not yet been invented the device of the confessional–a box or stall in which the confessor sits with his ear at a grille, through which the tale of sins conceived or committed is whispered. Seated by his side or kneeling at his feet, there was greater risk of inflaming passion and much more opportunity for provocative advances. It was not until the middle of the sixteenth century that the confessional was devised, doubtless in consequence of the attacks of heretics, who found in these scandals a fertile subject of animadversion. The earliest allusion to it that I have met occurs in a memorial from Siliceo of Toledo to Charles V, in 1547. (5) In 1565 a Council of Valencia prescribed its use and contemporaneously S. Carlo Borromeo introduced it in his Milanese province, while in 1614 the Roman Ritual commanded its employment in all churches. 6)

 

both are good reads, enjoy

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