Friday, March 30, 2007

Would you enter this box?

I mean, would you?

Zenit reports that Pope Benedict XVI has been fulfilling his priestly duty by hearing confessions of young people in preparation for the local World Youth Day celebrations this Palm Sunday in Rome. I mean sure, it would be really neat to have your own 3 minutes private audience with the Pope, BUT make your confession to him??? I must say I almost wet myself when I once entered the box at St Patrick's to discover Archbishop Denis on the other side of the grill.

For all that, can you imagine yourself in a basilica, where there were 200 priests to chose from to whom you could make your confession--wouldn't it be an act of pride to line up outside the Papal Box?

And think about how you would treasure his pastoral advice: you would be there with pen and paper scribbling it all down, you would keep it with you till your dying day--your very own privatised EX CATHEDRA Papal pronouncement for your life.

It doesn't bear thinking about...

I really respect the pope doing this--after all, there is an example to be set and he sets it--but I just can't for the life of me imagine myself going inside that box.


At Saturday, March 31, 2007 3:01:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

I think I remember reading somewhere that JPII used to sneak into church and get in the box unrecognised, hearing confessions like any other parish priest and the penitent having no idea who was his confessor. I'm thinking BXVI is following this marvellous example, rooted in the true nature of the sacrament taught in their seminary days.

Now surely you know that an ex cathedra pronouncement is anything but "personal" in that it is a pronouncement on a matter of faith or morals guaranteed from error by the Spirit and binding upon the entire church, and that counsel given in private confession even if the priest happens to be the Pope is not ex cathedra at all!

I get your point, though, however it is a sign of the times. I was taught by the Roman Catholic church that the veil in the box between penitent and confessor was a sign that the absolution and direction given was not the man's but from Christ himself independent of the man sitting there giving it a voice and should be essentially the same no matter who the man is. Came the Revolution, er, Vatican II, and this was all dismissed as nediaeval nonsense, one should now sit facing the confessor person to person in not a confessional but a reconciliation room for not the sacrament of penance or confession but reconciliation, and that not just with God but the community.

Thus the Religion of Man replaces the Religion of Christ. Gone the bad old days of me and God, gone the "sackcloth and ashes" and any mention of penance or confession or contrition or sin, gone the absence of the personality of the priest for the presence of the words of Christ, gone -- though those who can't quite get with it can choose the old way if they must.

There's a storm coming. And it will come when those who like BXVI whose formation was before the Revolution have died off completely and there is no living link to it any more, even among those who departed from it for the Religion of Man of Vatican II as survive now and perhaps for one or two more popes. And that storm will make the present waters seem calm indeed!

And here you thought that I would post on the newer post, saying that no amount of Latin, East facing or smells and bells will make the Bogus Ordo into a Mass!

Genug damit. Happily now I can hear what happens in the real catholic church upon confession of sin corporately or privately: In the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

At Friday, April 27, 2007 4:16:00 am , Anonymous Christine said...

There's a storm coming. And it will come when those who like BXVI whose formation was before the Revolution have died off completely and there is no living link to it any more,

Sobering but I suspect true. When I was still Catholic one of the "pillars of the parish" told me that confession for her and her husband was between them and God --they just didn't go. One time I believe the wife did try attending a parish communal reconciliation.

That didn't work for her either.

At Saturday, May 05, 2007 2:32:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

"didn't work for her"????

Since when does absolution "not work" for someone? Was she not repentant? Did the priest not give her sacramental absolution? Did she fail in some way to make a good confession? Did he fail to give a penance or did she fail to carry out the penance?

What sort of talk is this "didn't work for her"?


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