A reader writes:

Wow! Pope Francis is encouraging his priests to ‘Open the doors of the Church, and then the people will come in … if you keep the light on in the confessional and are available, then you will see what kind of line there is for confession’.

Fantastic!  I’ve often felt that confession is the great neglected sacrament of the church and now our wonderfully pastoral Pope is emphasizing it anew.

I can’t tell you how happy I am with this guy!

PS.  Isn’t it wonderful the way that God provides Popes with such different personalities and strengths ( JPII the great philosopher, BXVI the great theologian, etc.) who in sum fulfill the charism of their office in a way tuned to the needs of the flock?  It’s hard not to feel loved when God provides such a great string of Popes for our benefit…

Yep.  I love the guy.  And you’re right that where crazy partisans see only opposition between these Popes, the obvious and common sense thing is to see continuity and commonality.  I’m grateful for all of them.  Gifts far beyond my desserts.

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  • dpt

    Yes, the current media meme seems to be that Pope Francis will correct the errors of the previous two popes. Of course, their analysis lacks any depth just has they were playing up the Catholic Church was becoming irrelevant. If irrelevant, why the front page coverage of the papal election?

    I know some are put off by the “C&E” Catholics who showed up this weekend, though we need to be thankful that the door of our Church was open for them and that the seed of wonder is still within them.

    A week prior to Easter our parish has a communal penance service with ~20 priests on hand to hear individual confessions. Close to 1000 folks attended and said their confession.

  • Rock

    Is gifts far beyond “desserts” a hilarious joke where Shea implies that the Pope is an even greater gift than his German chocolate cake… or a typo?

  • Stu

    I attend a parish that stresses confession. Priests are available daily and there are usually lines.

    It works.

    I like that Pope Francis is speaking of confession. Wait till he start speaking about things like “mortal sin.”

    • dpt

      There is a parish near my work that offers daily confession at its 8AM and 12 noon daily Mass. Often there is a line. Same holds for the Cathedral in downtown San Jose during noon Mass.

  • Kevin

    Just remember, Blessed John Paul II stressed confession a lot (scolded priests quite hard in his aposotolic exhortation on confession), and Benedict emphasized it pretty strongly as well.

    I know, most readers are going to know this, I just want to remind people, it isn’t so much as “focusing on it anew” as it is “continuining the work of the two previous pontiffs.”

    Okay, done nitpicking. I do hope that the Pope gives something like an encyclical on confession, I think it’s about time for something like that, especially because you can’t engage in true church reform without things like confession.

  • Lynn

    I wish that there were more times offered for Confession than there seem to be. Saturday at 3pm is evidently the only time confession is offered in just about all the parishes in a half hour radius of where I live. It’s not the most convenient time.

    • Dr. Eric

      Are the Masses at 4 pm on Saturday? That’s probably why confesses are at 3 pm.

      • Dr. Eric


        Stupid iPad!

  • Mark R

    Yes. Like everyone is free between 3 & 5 on Saturdays.