National Catholic Register

Commentary

Frequent Confession for Priests, Too

BY Jim Cosgrove

May 13-19, 2001 Issue | Posted 5/13/01 at 1:00 PM

 

The inspiring Holy Thursday letter to priests from the Holy Father regarding the importance of frequent confession restates so well the constant teaching of the Church on this matter ("In Holy Thursday Letter, Pope Urges Frequent Confession,” April 8-14). Besides hoping and praying that this message reverberates in the hearts of priests and laity alike, how glorious it would be if we were to encourage our family and friends who have allowed—for whatever reason—this essential source of grace to be neglected for so long, to begin again.

In his 1910 encyclical Editae Saepe, Pope Pius X urged: “Let every faithful pastor, therefore, employ the utmost zeal in seeing that the benefits of such great value be held in the highest esteem. Let them never permit these two works of divine love grow cold in the hearts of men.”

And in Mystici Corporis, Pope Pius XII in 1943 not only repeated this admonition, but pointed out the many benefits of this practice: “By it genuine self-knowledge is increased, Christian humility grows, bad habits are corrected, spiritual neglect and tepidity are resisted, the conscience is purified, a salutary self-control is attained, and grace is increased in virtue of the Sacrament itself. Let those, therefore, among the younger clergy who make light of or lessen esteem for frequent confession realize that what they are doing is alien to the Spirit of Christ and disastrous for the Mystical Body of our Savior.”

GEORGE V. HERMAN

Deerfield, Illinois

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