Protestants Finding Benefits of ‘Confession’

DALLAS MORNING NEWS, March 25 — Though 16th-century Protestant reformers claimed confession wasn't a ritual prescribed in the New Testament, at least one popular evangelical author recently called admission of sins and forgiveness “biblical principles,” the Dallas daily reported.

Confessing faults to God each day makes it hard for “comfortable sins” such as jealousy, gossip and anger to take hold and become habits, said Becky Tirabassi, author of Change Your Life, a Christian self-help book. That sounds like Catholic advice to practice frequent confession, even for venial sins.

In an article chronicling Protestants discovering confession, the Morning News described a Methodist woman on a visit to a large Catholic church. She was so impressed with a very distraught man who asked where he could go to confession that she wondered what her own church offered to those burdened with sin.

But the article focuses on the human benefits of confession and only hints at its real, higher purpose — forgiveness of sins by God and reconciliation of a soul to him.

Racketeering Law Used Against Bishops in Abuse Suit

THE MIAMI HERALD, March 23 — A lawsuit against the former bishop of Palm Beach, Fla., names all American bishops as co-conspirators in covering up sexual abuse. Jeff Anderson, a Minnesota lawyer, invoked the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law, known as RICO, in an abuse suit he is bringing on behalf of several former seminarians. He is also suing the three dioceses in which Bishop Anthony O'Connell has worked, the Miami daily reported.

RICO was written to combat the Mafia, but it contains a provision for civil cases when someone is harmed by a “pattern” of illegal activity, Anderson said. While the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests welcomed its use, Catholic League president William Donohue called it “the wrong remedy for an admittedly outrageous crime.”

“To sue the three dioceses where O'Connell worked is wrong,” Donohue said. “The men and women who work there should not pay for the sins of their former priest.”

Virginia Woman Fights Schools' Homosexual Agenda

AGAPE PRESS, March 24 — While the Church is being accused of harboring abusers, some activists are encountering obstacles to their efforts to protect children from moral corruption in schools, the Christian news service reported.

A bill introduced in the Virginia legislature to prevent public school presentations, classroom discussions and delivery of information regarding homosexuality and other “crimes against nature” stalled in the Senate's Education Committee. Virginia law considers homosexual acts crimes against nature.

But Linda Wall, a former lesbian who has been lobbying in her home state on family issues, vowed to work for the bill's passage next year. She and colleagues are gathering evidence to show a need for the bill and said she has already heard about cases where children, without parental consent, were introduced to homosexuality as a normal and acceptable lifestyle, the Christian news agency said.

In one case, a 16-year-old girl who was questioning her sexual identity was referred by her school counselor to the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays organization.

Wall said there are at least eight other state bills that constitute attacks on the traditional family, including one that would give same-sex partners health insurance benefits.