Archbishop of Canterbury: “Do Like the Catholics, Go to Confession”

Archbishop of Canterbury: “Do Like the Catholics, Go to Confession” October 9, 2013

The Most Rev Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, has a recommendation to Anglicans:  Go to confession.

Addressing the heads of other churches—including the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Most Rev. Vincent Nichols—Archbishop Welby admitted that confessing one’s weaknesses to someone else might not be a “bunch of laughs,” still he believes that unburdening oneself to a confessor is good for the soul.

“It is enormously powerful and hideously painful when it’s done properly,” he said.  “It’s really horrible when you go to see your confessor – I doubt you wake up in the morning and think, this is going to be a bunch of laughs.”  But speaking about it as part of a “wider catholic tradition,” Archbishop Welby encouraged his congregants to try it for themselves.

Archbishop Welby and Pope Francis meet for the first time, June 14, 2013

Justin Welby was enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury on March 21, two days after Pope Francis celebrated his inaugural Mass.  The two men met for the first time June 14, and have shown an affinity for one another.  Before the meeting, which occurred in Rome, Archbishop Welby and his wife Caroline visited the tomb of St. Peter beneath St. Peter’s Basilica and stopped to pray at the tomb of Blessed Pope John Paul II.

There are other points in which the Anglican archbishop has demonstrated his respect for Catholicism:  For example, his spiritual director is a Roman Catholic priest from Switzerland, Rev. Nicolas Buttet, whose ministerial service has included a term on the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.  Archbishop Welby has also been an advocate for Catholic worship styles.

Like the Catholic Church, he opposes sex outside of marriage.  Like the Catholic Church, he has advocated against same-sex marriage—while speaking strongly against homophobia, instead reminding his followers to love all with the love of Christ.

He breaks with Catholic tradition, however, in his support for female bishops in the Anglican Church.


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Kelly Thatcher

    Hey, he’s on the right track!

    • Harold Benghazi Koenig

      He is on the right track, but there is no discipline for an Episcopal confessor who violates the seal. I know this for a fact.

  • Maggie Goff

    May he be “coming home” soon.

  • kbrigan

    Here’s hoping we Catholics catch on and open up at least the Deaconate to women. And, add some female Cardinals, of course.

  • Jose

    God willing – Praise God…….

  • Stephanie Mann

    Don’t be so hopeful; no sooner did he baptize Prince George of Cambridge and urge his royal parents to raise him to know Jesus, but he said that Prince George could become a Buddhist if he wants to!