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New Vatican penance document due this week

The Vatican is scheduled to release a new "motu proprio" on the sacrament of reconciliation on Wednesday.

The document, titled Misericordia Dei, will be presented to the media in a press conference chaired jointly by Cardinals Joseph Ratzinger and Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez-- the prefects, respectively, of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for Divine Worship-- and Archbishop Julian Herranz, the president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.

The Vatican has indicated only that the new document will deal with "certain aspects of the celebration of the sacrament of Penance."

In his recent public statements and documents, Pope John Paul II has repeatedly placed emphasis on the need for the regular use of the sacrament of reconciliation. He has made that message the main theme of his last two Holy Thursday letters to the priests of the world.


28 Apr 2002