Catholics in South Australia will be among the few in the nation able to continue using the disputed communal form of confession, under a compromise drawn up by Adelaide's progressive Archbishop, Leonard Faulkner.
    The Australian reports that the Archbishop spelled out the details in a pastoral message to parishes in the Archdiocese. It says he emphasised that the third rite of penance with general confession and absolution, had not been "banned by the Holy Father, nor is it something evil".
    According to the paper, he also rejected claims by activists organised by the Sydney-based Australian Catholics Advocacy Centre that the use of the third rite was an invalid form of absolving sin.
    Under new guidelines, priests, parishes and other Catholic communities will need to seek prior approval from Archbishop Faulkner each time they want to use the third rite.
    Approval could be given when individual confession and absolution would be impossible "within an appropriate time". However, communal confession "is not and can never become an autonomous alternative" to individual confession, Archbishop Faulkner said.
    Australian 3:25pm 2/6/99


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