Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bless me, Father, for others have sinned

...In the fast-track RCIA class (those who have lived active Christian lives and have seriously studied the Catholic Faith before joining RCIA and have different needs than those who've not been catechized or baptized. No, they don't have to go through a whole year of RCIA.), we have been talking about the Sacrament of Confession, aka Reconciliation (curiously, I can't seem to call it that...hmmmm..."reconciliation rooms" blech! I digress). In another parish, I actually got into trouble for giving a comprehensive examination of conscience to the class ("I don't want to have to sit there with every person and have to listen to three hours of their confession," said the priest.) But in my new parish, you can't avoid it as there's a stack of the same publication on the lectern in the center of the vestibule on Saturdays.

In First Things
, here's Amanda Shaw talking about a curious development in confessions:
I’ve heard priests remark about the disconcerting tendency of penitents to confess other people’s sins. “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. My spouse got angry because I misplaced the car keys . . . ” Then, there’s our curious compulsion to confess offenses that are long past–the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, Columbus and Cortez. It’s a way of acknowledging the sins of our heritage, atoning for the atrocities of our unenlightened ancestors.

And yet, like the words of the finger-pointing penitent, there’s something decidedly imperfect about these comfortably distanced acts of contrition. “False Apology Syndrome,” Theodore Dalrymple calls it in the Templeton Foundation’s In Character journal. Under the guise of assuming the guilt of the past, it sets the righteous present apart in self-congratulatory humility:
Read more.


DimBulb said...

Clearly a sign that the members of Catholic "religious left" are returning to the sacrament. "The woman whom you put here with me-she gave me the fruit of the tree, and so I ate it" (Gen 3:12).

"you brood of serpents, who has shown you how to flee the coming wrath?" (matt 3:7).

If they refuse to be shown what constitutes sin, can anyone be surprised that they would try to pawn if off on others?

Argent said...

Interesting....refusing to be shown what sin is and then trying to pawn it off.

And then go to the therapist to deal with residual guilt feelings.

A Simple Sinner said...

Would you consider adding The Black Cordelias to your blogroll? We proudly have Argent as part of ours.

Argent said...

Thanks for the reminder, Simple. I've not tweaked the layout in awhile.