Friday, March 24, 2023


Pope Francis has some very good and traditional things to say about the Sacrament of Penance, aka, Reconciliation, Confession. However, I am not sure I would want to go to His Holiness face to face, please provide me a screen, thank you very much!

There are three areas that I believe will be Pope Francis’ enduring legacy. Not among these three are “confusion, synodality and wokeness” but these three will endure and are appreciated:

1. The Holy Father has emphasized popular piety and traditional devotions, especially those that surround our Blessed Mother and private revelations associated with her all over the world. Almost immediately following Vatican II, we were told that Catholic spirituality, like Protestant spirituality, had to focus on Jesus alone and Marian devotions and the cult of the saints were out, because Vatican II taught us that, which was a lie. But we believed those who said what Vatican II taught, although it didn’t. 

2. The Holy Father has recovered the devil and concern for his tempting and corrupting influence. Angels, fallen or not, fell out of favor because Vatican II taught us that, but really it didn’t but we were told that it did teach that angels were out, so we believed it. Well, Pope Francis has recovered the devil and all the angels, fallen or not. 

3. The Holy Father has emphasized the Sacrament of Penance, Confession, over and over again. Almost immediately following Vatican II there was a drop off of sinners going to confession often due to the emphasis that people should go to Confession as though they were going to a psychiatric appointment, not in a booth, but a comfortable room, not behind a screen, but sitting comfortably before the priest, staring you in the eye as you confessed embarrassing sins. No body, but those use to psychiatric counseling, liked it so they stopped going and of course almost immediately after Vatican II there was confusion about sin and even if it existed, and mortal sin was no longer taught. 

Pope Francis, to His Holiness’ credit, recently said this and it is as traditional as it gets:

Mercy and the Church's missionary activity

Pope Francis explained that mercy could almost be included among the “notes” or distinguishing characteristics of the Church: “The work of divine mercy thus coincides with the very missionary activity of the Church, with evangelization, because the face of God, as shown to us by Jesus, shines through it.”

Therefore, he said, it is necessary for priests to be available, especially during the season of Lent, to celebrate the Sacrament of Confession, also known as Reconciliation.

He emphasized that this priestly availability is shown in “certain evangelical attitudes,” beginning with welcoming everyone without prejudice, and including listening with the ear of the heart, generously absolving penitents, and accompanying the penitential journey of those who approach the Sacrament.

Rediscovering the gift of Confession

Pope Francis noted that “the Church’s evangelizing mission passes in large part through the rediscovery of the gift of Confession,” not least in view of the approaching Jubilee Year of 2025.

Turning to the pastoral plans of particular Churches, the Pope insisted on the importance of sacramental Confession and of ensuring that the faithful have access to the Sacrament. He suggested that cathedrals and other churches should always have a confessor on duty, as part of the effort to “facilitate access for the faithful to this 'encounter of love' as much as possible.'”


Anonymous said...

Father McDonald said..."Pope Francis has some very good and traditional things to say about the Sacrament of Penance, aka, Reconciliation, Confession."

Father McDonald, thank you for this uplifting post.

Pope Francis, day after day, year after year, has issued countless "traditional" declarations.

Thanks be to God for our holy Vicar of Christ, Pope Francis. I am thankful that God has raised Pope Francis to teach, govern, and sanctify us.

May each Catholic follow Pope Benedict XVI's God-pleasing holy example: That is, grant unto Pope Francis "unconditional reverence and obedience."

Father McDonald, again, thank you for your uplifting post.


Mark Thomas

TJM said...

Mark Thomas,

That was more putrid than usual