I have heard many a good-faithed Protestant in my time say to me, "I don't confess my sins to a man, I confess to God alone."
Then there are the millions who have gone to the new priests of the technocracy, the psycho therapists, in the hopes of finding someone $$$ to either affirm them in spite of grave moral abuses or failures, or to find a way out of the bad behaviors (it's often been all the same to the psycho therapists $$$).
But we Catholics don't envy any of them. We prefer the Confessional. "Whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven, whose sins you shall retain they are retained" (john 20:23).
He said it and we have centuries (nay millenia!) to know what He meant. It is called sacred Tradition. And as much as I have sometimes approached the Confessional feeling ashamed of my sins, I have never been yelled at, berated or even been told that I have acted the scoundrel I might have been (I say might, because I am not going to Confess my sins to you, which is the whole point of this reflection!)
Yes, of course, before we can get to Confession, we pray sincerely to GOD ALONE, knowing He hears us; and we have a moral certainty that if we were to die before we got to Confession, that Act of Contrition---as we Papists call it---would suffice. For He never turns away those who in sincerity seek His Love and mercy. Yet Christ's promise is given to us in and through His Body, the Church. That is supposed to be bad news?
I have never found it so. Far from it. What I have, for practically my whole life, heard was something like, "God loves you and calls you to something better, beyond selfishness" or whatever. It has never been a virtual slap in the face. Far from it. But it has always been profound.
The Confessional to me is reconciliation, yes therapy too, and a new lease on life! What a joy when I leave hearing Christ's word of forgiveness ringing in my ears. And any Catholic can tell you, you feel His power and strength when you do so. And what is even sweeter is that we do not have to stand before the Congregation or any TV cameras to Confess. Poor Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Baker and those like them. I Confess to the priest-Presbyter alone and it is done, "through Him, with Him and in Him". Priests likewise have spiritual fathers to whom they Confess in the same way; none are exempt for "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". It is Christ's work first and last.
That is not Good News? Oh yes it is!
All the lurid media distortions and magnifications are vicious nonsense; Catholics are not allowed to go into the nasty prurient details of any sins, but may only confess them generally, if of that kind(1).
While it is true that any bad priest can cause a lot of trouble for the Church (all of us) in our day, faithful priests---by far the vast majority--- go about their work totally unheard of; the immaculate-hearted media is not interested in them, you can be sure. But I never met a bad priest---the wonderful priests I know work in quiet service to Christ, suffering terribly for the sins of so comparatively few.
Are you weighted down by a lifetime of sin? Then make an act of sorrow now. Then go to Confession. You'll feel a hundred pounds lighter! He refuses none! None at all. And many a person entering Confession who feels confused about everything, leaves feeling miraculously sure of everything after Jesus says, Rise up and walk!
"Come to me, all you that labour, and are heavy burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light". ---Matthew 11:29-30
(1) It is Ok and necessary to say "I committed adultery, Father," 1,121 times, (it's a joke!) but it is NOT Ok to say, I slipped her blouse off and...(not a joke! Tell the sin only, no prurient details)
--->When you cannot get to Confession...
--->Confession of a Roman Catholic
--->Never despairing of God's mercy...
--->Catholicism, Tradition and Protestantism
--->Attorney general of the US state of Texas has opened an inquiry into whether Internet giant Google manipulates search results.
--->Protests against Roma expulsions held in France. Thousands of people have attended rallies in Paris and 130 other French towns to protest at the government's policy of deporting Roma people.
--->Zetas: Mexico's drugs gang 'death squad'. In addition to providing security, the gang collected debts, secured cocaine supply routes, and murdered rival gang members.
--->August 2010: Catholic Herald: Aug 2010. "Now we have real evidence – sexual abuse is not a ‘Catholic problem’". "...according to Dr Thomas Plante of Stanford University and Santa Clara University, “available research suggests that approximately two to five per cent of priests have had a sexual experience with a minor” which “is lower than the general adult male population” – in which the percentage of those who have interfered with minors “is best estimated to be closer to eight per cent”. In other words, children who have anything to do with priests are between 1.6 and four times LESS likely to be abused by them than by anyone else." (emphasis theirs)
Note: But as someone said, "It doesn't matter; the media had its scripted attack---the damage has been done. The label never leaves". And maybe that's all they ever wanted to accomplish, eh? Meanwhile, Pentagon declined to investigate hundreds of purchases of child pornography. Imagine.
---> NATO or NAMBLA? "So, why are American and NATO forces fighting and dying to defend tens of thousands of proud pedophiles, certainly more per capita than any other place on Earth?" asks Joel Brinkley — Afghanistan's dirty little secret. An Afghan saying, "Women are for children, boys are for pleasure." Kay Griggs says the answer may be a lot closer to home than many know; at the highest levels of government and military (though many others in the military are also disgusted by it).
--->Opinion: Fear Not - By Israel Shamir "...if this optimistic prognosis goes the way of some weather broadcasts, and instead of a sunny day with rainy spells we get a full blown storm, the whole fabric of the Middle East will unravel. This juggernaut would be unstoppable. After Iran, Syria would fall. After Syria, Saudi Arabia. It will be the classic domino game: Iran rejoiced when Iraq fell. Saudis wish Iran to fall. Israel wants all of them to fall...The Masters could overlook Iranian nuclear reactors, like they overlooked the Pakistani bomb. It is Iranians’ belief in God they can’t tolerate. ...Read it all
--->'US to continue supplying military assistance to Lebanon'
--->Pakistan: Suicide bomber strikes Al Quds rally; at least 56 killed