Saturday, September 17, 2011

Get thee to a confessional............

This post should have been posted days ago, but I suppose it is better late than never. Life just seems to keep getting in the way of blogging lately. Last Monday night I watched "Frontline" on RTE.  I was hoping and praying that RTE would not wipe the floor with them, and spit them out, as has become the norm. The programme did annoy me, but I think the it went as well as it could have (considering the current anti-catholic agenda that is at work in the Irish media). Anyway, well done to all those who are fighting the good fight, and keep up the good work.

I couldn't even begin to complain about the program. So I will focus on one little remark. At one stage in the proceedings Fr Iggy O'Donovan (from Drogheda, where I live), announced,  "...very few Catholics go near a confessional anymore, lets be straight about that for starters.." Well I can not disagree with him there, as not enough Irish Catholics are going to confession. It broke my heart to listen to the dismissive and condescending way in which our beautiful sacrament was being attacked by some on "Frontline".

Confession is a sacrament that is in need of serious revival in Ireland, and maybe Fr Iggy could set the ball rolling at his own Church in Drogheda. During the summer, I unfortunately make the mistake of going to confession in Fr Iggy's Church, and dear readers, it was a mistake I will never make again. Maybe the numbers going to confession are so poor at the Augustinian Church in Drogheda, because, they do confession badly, really badly in my experience.

The first problem I encountered was the lack of a confession box, (mind you someone was actively painting the box at the time, so I can not really hold that against them). The next problem was that the priest wanted a "wee chat", and I wanted to confess. Believe you me, It is very hard to confess to someone who does not seem to want to hear a confession. And finally, the priest did not even even give me absolution, he may have intended or thought he gave me absolution, but a "healing" prayer followed by "I bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son..." is not absolution. I left feeling slightly stunned, and so I for one will not be back there (that particular church, not the sacrament).

Confession is the sacrament of healing, and the Irish Church could do with some serious healing at the moment. So lets lets start talking about, preaching about and practicing this wonderful sacrament.

"It is the same priest, Christ Jesus, whose sacred person his minister truly represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is truly made like to the high priest and possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself (virtute ac persona ipsius Christi). Pius XII, encyclical, Mediator Dei: AAS, 39 (1947) 548.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

I've heard of similar confession experiences in St Augustine's. Personally, I have tried to avoid going there since being traumatised as a child by their bizarre variation on the Holy Saturday liturgy. That was about 30 years ago.

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