Confession on the comeback

Confession is undergoing a revival of sorts after a long period of neglect.

The Catholic Church, as reported in Zenit Org, is trying to promote interest in the sacrament.

One such initiative to revive interest in confession comes in the form of a book titled "The Gift of Confession, written by Father Michael de Stoop, from the Archdiocese of Sydney.

Fr de Stoop aims to portray confession in a positive way, emphasizing the many benefits the sacrament offers believers.

"Many people, are unaware of the theological background that can help us to understand and appreciate confession," Fr de Stoop said.

"In addition to freeing us from sin, the sacrament also restores and increases our opportunities to share in God's divine life.

"Thus, confession frees us from sin, and also restores our freedom to live a life of virtue by restoring within us the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The grace we receive strengthens our will to resist sin, thereby enabling us to progress in holiness," he said.

Fr Stoop added the sacrament not only makes one aware of the evil of sin and the need to avoid it, but by coming closer to God by means of the sacrament of reconciliation, it will also make praying easier.

Pope Benedict, also reflected on the importance of confession at gathering in Rome earlier this year as he addressed youths who were preparing for World Youth Day.

"God's love for us, expressed by the death of Christ on the cross, has obtained for us the gift of the Holy Spirit through which our sins are forgiven and peace granted," Pope Benedict said.

"Once we are filled with this love, we are called upon to make an impact in the world by means of an authentic Christian witness."

The renewed call for confession was also felt in the US where many dioceses launched campaigns to encourage the use of the sacrament in the period prior to Easter.

The effort was part of a campaign titled "The Light Is On for You" which included radio, billboard ads and a web page set up with a variety of material encouraging participation in the sacrament.

Efforts to Stimulate Interest in Reconciliation, Zenit, October 8, 2007

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Confession (Wikipedia)
Catholic Encyclopedia

10 Oct 2007