In Another Groundbreaking Act, Pope Francis Confesses His Sins in Public

Pope Francis continued his rock star turn yesterday by breaking with tradition and publicly confessing his sins while leading a penitential liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The pope, dressed in a simple white alb and purple stole, spent about three minutes kneeling before the priest’s open confessional and received absolution.

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Editor’s note: There’s nothing “groundbreaking” about a Catholic going to Confession – especially during Lent.

Pope Francis: Jesus is a sinner…

“Jesus is a sinner, we take His own sins to Him and we tell Him, this is Yours and I’m going back out into the world to do it again. Jesus likes that.”

If this scandal is really Francis’ statement, then our Pope is a blasphemer and public heretic.

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Editor’s note: See the story and verify the comments here on the official Vatican news website.

Once a Catholic, always a Catholic – you hope!

One of the sweet things about being a priest is being able to minister at a person’s deathbed. The veil between this world and the next is very thin at that point, and you can see so much. When I say you can “see” so much what I mean is that so much is revealed. At that point the person who is dying is usually very vulnerable and open. Their worldly facade is fading. Their accomplishments and pride are forgotten. They realize that all the stuff of this world will soon be left behind.

Often the person is quietly sleeping. The family is gathered around and there is no response as the last rites are given. On the other hand, sometimes the process is very conscious. More than once I’ve been called to visit a man or woman who has called the parish office specifically because they know they are dying and they want to see a Catholic priest.

So I once made my way to a small apartment in a not so good part of town. I was admitted to find a man in his sixties with a haggard expression gasping for air. Call him Ralph.

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Priest recommends dangerous practice of making a written list of one’s sins, prior to confession.

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by Doug Lawrence

In a recent article, 10 Tips on How to Confess Well Fr. Ed Broom offers a number of useful tips for making a good confession – but one of the suggestions is dangerous, because it can easily lead to a violation of the “seal” of absolute confidentiality of the sacrament of reconciliation – and cause a host of other, totally unnecessary problems, as well.

According to the article, it is suggested that we should “Write down the sins so that you will not forget them once in the confessional!”

Let’s consider all the things that might happen to a written list of sins from the night before, when a complete examination of conscience might have been done – through the actual confession – and afterwards.

Unless you happen to be a hermit, living on a mountain top, or in a cave, and the priest is coming to you – and your list of sins will be dropped into a fire and be instantly destroyed – you run a substantial risk of someone – anyone – happening across your list – learning all the details of your particular sins – and violating one of the most important aspects of the sacrament.

Understanding that the seal of the confessional is binding not only on the priest, but also on any other Catholic who might inadvertently learn of your sins – by whatever means –  it’s clear that putting such things down in writing is often dangerous – and generally foolish.

If the list was misplaced or somehow misappropriated – intentionally or otherwise – and the information was subsequently disseminated to others – a number of very negative consequences might result. Here’s just a few of the many possibilities. (If you happen to be a politician, a used car salesman, or a bishop, please pay close attention):

The priest might be wrongly accused of violating the seal of the confessional.

Family or friends might come into possession of the list – before or after the confession – and discover certain things that they should not know. (Did you ever leave something in the pocket of your shirt or pants, and it ended up in the wash?)

Business associates and/or others – particularly your enemies – might come into possession of the list – in which case the possibilities for gossip and other mischief – including blackmail – are virtually without limits.

You might get arrested and subsequently carted off to jail. 

Your list might become a near occasion of grave sin – for some yet unknown individual.

You might suddenly begin attract new – and unwanted – friends and followers. 

You may find your personal list of sins “Trending Now” on the World Wide Web/Internet.

The entire parish/neighborhood might soon know all about your innermost thoughts and personal weaknesses.

There is also a very real possibility that your friends, family and others could be caught up in any ensuing scandal.

In the confessional, most priests will ask whether you are truly sorry for “these and all your sins” – and that ought to cover anything you have genuinely forgotten to confess. Should some unconfessed sin come to mind at another time, simply confess it at your earliest convenience. God isn’t looking to trip you up!

In these days of information piracy and other forms of electronic mischief – leading to identity theft and all types of related problems – the last thing you need to do is go around making written lists of all the grave sins you have committed – especially since they might somehow end up on Facebook or Twitter, before you know it.

I suggest you do your best to frequently make a good confession – by memory. Treat such information much as you would your social security number and credit card data – taking steps to make absolutely certain it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Otherwise, you risk very serious, unforeseen  and totally unnecessary consequences – which were never intended to be a part of the sacrament of reconciliation.

How God can bring about good, even in the wake of unspeakable evil.

Once upon a time, I went to church every Sunday. I went to Catholic school — St. Stephen in Hamden. But as high school wore on, I attended Mass less and less. Eventually, my participation was reduced to the holidays — Christmas morning and Easter Sunday, maybe the odd Mass in between. In the past few years, I’ve abandoned even the holidays, leaving me agnostic at best.

But on Saturday, I was assigned to cover a Mass at St. Rose of Lima Church, a Catholic church in Newtown.

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Why it was necessary for God to send his son into the world, as a man, to save us.

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From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

457     The Word became flesh for us in order to save us by reconciling us with God, who “loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins”: “the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world”, and “he was revealed to take away sins”:

Sick, our nature demanded to be healed; fallen, to be raised up; dead, to rise again. We had lost the possession of the good; it was necessary for it to be given back to us. Closed in the darkness, it was necessary to bring us the light; captives, we awaited a Savior; prisoners, help; slaves, a liberator. Are these things minor or insignificant? Did they not move God to descend to human nature and visit it, since humanity was in so miserable and unhappy a state?

458     The Word became flesh so that thus we might know God’s love: “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.” “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

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Divine Mercy Celebration at Our Lady of Peace – Darien, IL – Sunday – April 15, 2012

Our Lady of Peace Parish
701 W. Plainfield Road
Darien, IL 60559

1:30 – 2:45 pm Confessions (resume at 4:00pm)
It is not possible for everyone to go to confession on the same day.
As Fr. Seraphim, MIC has said: “God will not ask us to do the impossible”.
We should be preparing for the Feast of Mercy
during the whole season of Lent,
and we should make our confession even before Holy Week.
To gain grace, one should make a good confession
within the week of the Divine Mercy Feast Day.

1:30 pm Video “Time for Mercy” Video in School Gym
Find out ……
– The origin of the devotion
– Jesus’ message to St. Faustina
– How this devotion impacts our world today

3:00 – 4:00 pm Hour of Great Mercy
– Exposition
– Chaplet of The Divine Mercy
– Benediction
– Blessing of Religious Articles
– Veneration of St. Faustina’s relic

1:30 & 4 – 5 pm Gift shop open in school lobby

“Jesus, I Trust In You!”

Submitted by Heidi B.