Confession motivator2609790

Oh, dear.  The lack of confessions might be due not just to the priest lacking time, although the Vatican is trying to combat this in a practical and sensitive way, but to the laity’s changing attitude towards sin.

I ran across a 2008 article from Zenit which states that increasing numbers of Catholics are dealing with sins in a morally relativistic fashion — what they want, when they want.  In other words, moralistic therapeutic deism, although the Bishop of Salto (Uruguay) calls it ‘privatised’ religion.  But it’s the same thing, really.

Bishop Pablo Galimberti told Zenit (highlights mine) that:

he believes confessions are less frequent because many Catholics leave aside the figure of the priest and choose religious rites according to personal convenience.

‘In general terms, with adjustments for each country and each tradition, I think this is a worldwide phenomenon and is seen in each country with different focuses, obviously,’ the bishop said.

Bishop Galimberti holds the consumer society partially responsible:

Sundays, he offered as an example, are good days for buying, for going out, for sports, for an agenda ever more packed full. ‘And Mass that is taken on the run, and remains a bit subordinated to other interests that also pressure the family.’ 

He also notes a relativistic attitude towards sin among Catholics:

He mentioned a young student who, after making a ‘nearly psychological’ analysis of his problems, did not point out errors in himself nor in others. ‘And this student doesn’t have a body, hasn’t sinned, is an angel?‘ he asked himself.

Brilliant! Oh, to have been a fly on the wall when that conversation took place. I would love to meet this bishop.  We need more like him!

Yet, he noted that priests must also shoulder some of the blame, rightly or wrongly: 

He contended that many priests have distanced themselves from the sacrament to avoid ‘getting involved’avoiding problems that are or can become complex. And priests, too, the bishop added, also have their agendas more and more full and have less time for personal meetings with the faithful.

We know they are busy, but … the good bishop confirms what I had suspected for some years — too many, as a matter of fact — that the parish priest doesn’t want to get involved at all.  I remember growing up in the 1970s and the word from the pastor of the brand new parish we belonged to said flat out during the announcements, ‘I won’t be coming around to bless your house, so please avoid disappointment by not asking.’  Blimey, there were only about 400 parishoners, including kids, at the time.  That would have meant at the time 150 homes, roughly. I’m sure most of those people had already had their houses blessed.  So, imagine priests dealing with post-divorce counselling, RCIA and all the rest of it!

Well, one thing is true enough, there are generally enough Protestant pastors to go around.  And, yes, they do make house calls, even when you don’t want them to!  As they say in the North of England: ‘Owt’s better than nowt’ — something’s better than nothing at all.