Sacrament of Penance Vs “Reconciliation”… Is the Confession of Sins Past its Use-by Date – Really?

Sacrament of Penance Vs “Reconciliation”… Is the Confession of Sins Past its Use-by Date – Really?

From the YouTube Platform…

You’re listening to the SSPX Podcast and welcome to our sixth episode on the Sacraments, where we’ll look at the new understanding of the Sacrament of Penance – or as it’s more commonly referred to in most churches as Reconciliation. To do that, we’re going to take a step back, and see how much of the hierarchy in the Church today sees sin differently, or if they don’t see sin differently, there’s definitely a different emphasis. Then we’ll see how that impacts the Sacrament of Penance. We’ll also take a moment to see how the rite has changed – perhaps most strikingly, in its physicality – where is the priest, and where is the penitent today? And finally, Father will give some advice on how to get more people today to take advantage of the great sacrament of Penance.

Editor writes…

Father Sherry’s talk on the new rite of the “Sacrament of Reconciliation” – following on from his previous discussion on the traditional rite of the Sacrament of Penance which you can check out here – is very informative, containing anecdotes from his own novus ordo days as a young person which drive home the crucial importance of proper education and formation in the Faith. Highly recommended viewing for parents, teachers and priests.

Editor’s Pick… I suggest that we all send the link to this thread to as many people (especially parents, teachers and priests) as we possibly can: to describe it as “helpful” is to describe chocolate and fresh cream cakes as “interesting” 😀

Comments (13)

  • Josephine

    That was an excellent talk, absolutely fantastic. I could relate to everything Father said, having been so long attending novus ordo parishes myself. There is no question that the sense of sin has been dulled in Catholics, including priests, although Father was very careful to point out that there are good priests who try to be faithful to the sacrament and traditional teaching about sin. That’s one of the best videos I’ve ever seen on the subject. Bravo Father Sherry!

    February 11, 2022 at 11:10 pm
    • Fidelis


      I think a lot of us who have been in novus ordo parishes for years could relate to what Fr Sherry said about the loss of the sense of the sin. I would also add, the sense of the sacred, which has paved the way for the chatty face-to-face “reconciliation” rooms.

      February 12, 2022 at 5:46 pm
    • Laura

      About the dulled sense of sin – I can remember hearing people quoting priests who said it was almost impossible to commit a mortal sin, so don’t let that keep you from Holy Communion. I’ve heard this a few times, and can’t help wondering where the idea came from that it’s almost impossible to commit a mortal sin?

      February 12, 2022 at 9:58 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    If only every priest in Scotland would listen to that podcast. There was so much in it, all true, and it is especially important to see the result of the lack of teaching about Confession showing now in the way the sacrament has either fallen into disuse or been watered down to a chat – the picture of the two chairs facing each other is an example of the watering down.

    After the churches re-opened I went to a city centre church which used to have confessions every day but they stopped using the confessionals in the name of Covid, and had them in the church porch, with two chairs facing each other. So you were much closer to the priest than you would be in the confessional, LOL!

    The reason for the anonymity in confession was well explained and the differences between rules for the priest being alone with with men and with women which were very sensible, and as Father said, prudent.

    I thoroughly enjoyed that podcast and will watch it again.

    February 12, 2022 at 9:21 am
  • Bernie

    I found that video very informative indeed. At least it shows that although the new rite is watered down, as long as the priest uses the form “I absolve you”, the sacrament has been valid. That is a relief. Not everyone can get to the traditional priests and it’s bad enough if you are worried that the novus ordo is not being properly said, but as long as we can get absolution, then, in my book, that is the main thing.

    Also, the mystery was solved for me about the matter in Confession. I’ve struggled with trying to explain “matter and form” – I knew the form had to be the words of the absolution prayer but I didn’t know that the matter was the sins, so that’s great to know for when explaining to others, kids and non-Catholic friends.

    The time spent watching that video, is time very well spent IMHO.

    February 12, 2022 at 12:26 pm
    • Lily


      I was the same about the “matter” for Penance. I knew the form was the words, but who’d have thought sins were the matter. I don’t think I was ever taught that, but again, maybe it’s my awful memory again.

      It’s an excellent video. I found it extremely educational.

      February 12, 2022 at 2:30 pm
    • Faith of Our Fathers

      Bernie the Good Old Saying that Confession is good for the Soul certainly doesn’t limit it to us Catholics although Fr Sherry’s talk was about us . I found His Talk about being on a Plane that was about to crash that the Priest could give Multiple Absolution but only to Catholics interesting. Am sure that IF any Baptized believer in Almighty God found themselves in such a situation they also would want Absolution.

      As one who was a bit wild in my Youth when I turned to the only power that could help me ,I found non Catholics saying to me ” I wish I could go right now to a Priest to Confess my Sins ”
      I knew a very good Priest well whom I asked if He would listen to a Protestant. I know not what was said as far as I was concerned my only Business was to ask the Priest if He would hear what the Person had to say. I know they were Baptized in the Protestant Faith . Whether He gave them Absolution, I know not . What I do know for certain is that the Person was at Peace. Not all Spiritually suffering Human Beings can wait.

      As for the Lockdowns and Confession I heard some terrible stories on Here from Catholics seeking out Confession. I thank God that all of the way through the Plandemic our Priest would hear your Confession if you so wished.

      February 12, 2022 at 4:34 pm
      • Fidelis


        I think that priest would have been willing to listen to whatever the man wanted to get off his chest, but it would not be a “confession” with absolution. For one thing, even if the man was wanting instructions in the faith, any priest would have to check that his Protestant baptism had been valid, and maybe even do a conditional baptism if there was any doubt, so I can’t see a priest just saying to someone he’d just met, yes, confess and I’ll give you absolution. No way – I’d be amazed if that is what happened. The man would feel at peace just talking about his issues, and I’m sure the priest would be consoling, but it can’t have been absolution. I’d need to watch the video again to see exactly what Fr Sherry said about that emergency in the plane, but I don’t think he would have absolved everyone, even the baptised who were not Catholics because, here’s the thing, if that plane had not crashed, then all the Catholics who were given general absolution would have to go to confession at the first opportunity, to confess any mortal sins. The general absolution is only for genuine emergencies in case of death. If you don’t die, tough luck, LOL! You still need to go to private individual confession!

        February 12, 2022 at 5:44 pm
  • Nicky

    A great video talk. Cleared up a lot for me.

    February 12, 2022 at 2:28 pm
  • Laura

    It’s very sad to think that young people are not learning properly about Confession. They are being assailed by consumerism all around them, leading to a materialistic mentality where owning goods and making money are the be all and end all, and then they go from that to seeing impurity on all sides, between TV shows and adverts, and crude talk among their peers. Without being taught that materialism can be a serious sin, as are sins of impurity how are they to know to confess them?

    I’m in agreement with everyone about the video – it’s excellent.

    February 12, 2022 at 9:54 pm
  • editor

    Told you chocolate and fresh cream cakes were much more than merely “interesting” 😀

    Glad you all enjoyed the video and found the it so informative. Don’t forget to spread the link – if you prefer to just send the video link, not the link to this thread, here it is…

    Catholic Truth at your service!

    February 12, 2022 at 11:40 pm
  • Theresa Rose

    That was indeed a terrific podcast about Confession, a necessary reminder to its role in our salvation. And, the importance of its role in our salvation. How many are taught nowadays on how to make a good confession? I agree that the new rite has been watered down. I am reminded of having been taught about making each confession as though it were our last.

    With Father Sherry mentioning about the plane heading for crashing, reminded me of the sinking of the Titanic, and about the three priests on board who refused to be rescued in order to at least give general absolution to the Catholics.

    February 13, 2022 at 6:03 pm
  • Theresa Rose

    As an aside to the subject of penance versus reconciliation, in the State of Montana, USA are planning themed Masses. If people are not being taught about the Sacrament of Penance, it is not surprising about themed Masses.

    February 13, 2022 at 7:51 pm

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