ON MARCH 24, 1980


“Whether the priest agrees with you or not is incidental to your making a full General Confession.  It is your obligation to ask God’s forgiveness and never to diminish any offense against Him.  Also, General Confession tends to go into many areas of each sin, bringing out the real extent of each sin, and which Commandment of God was sinned against.

In many ways, a Penitential Service supports a penitent’s weakness to not stand up to the real wrong in committing offenses against God.  A Penitential Service softens the depravity on one’s actions against God’s Commandments.  Penitential Services ease the conscience of the penitent, and through this, it diminishes the seriousness of the sins, putting them into a category of having been confessed, allowing time to lapse, using time as a great means for forgetfulness.

There is much danger to Penitential Services even though it is put in a very beautiful way of partaking in a service totally pointed at asking forgiveness of sinning against God.  In many ways, Penitential Services are the lazy confessor’s way of supporting a penitent’s repetitive offenses against God.  Only in times of catastrophe or danger to the life of one or many, is General Absolution reasonable or necessary.

Just because there is such a general immorality amongst all people, does not mean that the responsibility for immoral actions should be treated lightly.  In encouraging Penitential Services, wherein it is left up to the individual person’s conscience or reasonability as to the degree of each offense against God, it allows for anyone to justify certain sins, putting them into a noncommittal unimportant degree of disobedience to the Ten Commandments.

True, it must be tiring to sit in a confessional for hours, but isn’t it a priest’s vocation to help the spiritually ill and fortify the Faith in all men?  In all vocations of life there are tiring responsibilities, but they must be properly and justly handled for the benefit of all concerned.

Also, the faithful must stop patronizing and catering to the priests, and bearing many of their responsibilities for them.  Such dependence upon others could help the priest lose his Soul.  Don’t think this is farfetched; it is not.  The priest is as vulnerable to sin as the layman.  His ego, pride, selfishness, self-importance, can be used against his Soul, and he, too, must face the reality of Judgment by God.”

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