Monday, 16 November 2015
Confession and the year of mercy starts 8th December 2015
Pope Francis has declared a year of mercy from 8th Decemeber until the Feast of Christ the King 2016 (Novos Ordo calendar). He is encouraging Catholics to go to confession during this year of mercy.
Confession is a much neglected sacrament in the Catholic church. You see priests sitting in the confessional on Saturdays (usually) - with hardly any people taking advantage of this necessary means of grace. The problem is many Catholics have lost the sense of sin, and therefore don't think they need to confess anything! It's a good habit to try and go monthly, Fr Thwaites (RIP) used to advise. If children have made their First Holy Communion, it's a good idea to get them to go monthly aswell. Then it becomes a normal part of their routine.
In addition, Pope Francis has given Catholics the permission to go to the priests of the SSPX (Society of St Pius X) during the year of mercy. Now many would argue, that Catholics have always been 'allowed' to go to the SSPX for the sacraments, but I won't go into a theological debate on this one! The fact is, we can go to the SSPX for confession, end of!
If you want to know where the SSPX chapels are, look at their website:
If one has had a major change in life, it is a good idea to do a "general confession". This is where one confesses every sin one can remember since the age of 7, up to and including any unconfessed sins. For this, you really need to make an appointment - half an hour is what is recommended for this, although I believe some people need longer than this! Half an hour does seem quite short.