November 2012 Print

The Last Word

Both communion and confession were instituted as sacraments by Our Lord Jesus Christ specifically to help us overcome sin and practice virtue. We should receive them both on a regular basis, and for this reason they hold a special place among the seven sacraments. These truths may seem obvious to us, but they are certainly not obvious to most Catholics today.

Some time ago, I spoke with a priest who was being transferred to a new parish. He had, for more than five years in his old parish, preached regularly on the importance and necessity of sacramental confession. This priest explained exactly how one should confess, and he repeatedly enumerated the many fruits of regular confession. What were the results of all this effort? Out of a parish of six thousand souls, only twenty or twenty-five began confessing at least once a year.

In the eyes of this parish priest, this new development was a big improvement. His parish now stood out as a shining example among the other 200 parishes of the diocese. Nevertheless, in the above-mentioned “exemplary” parish, 99.6% of the parishioners completely abandoned sacramental confession and practically none confessed their sins regularly! Such numbers are shocking.

What could have caused such a crisis? Does the adoption of modernist principles account for the disappearance of confession? Was there a planned removal of this sacrament?

Certainly the relations between God and man have been practically redefined by the modernists. Man is now presented as the crown of creation, the friend of God, possessing in himself everything he needs to reach perfection. Man is promoted to the level of a god, on a par with God Himself. Why, then, should mighty man be obliged to kneel down degradingly and confess his sins?

Certainly the reality and gravity of sin have also been practically redefined. Respect for God’s majesty, eternity, sanctity, and omnipotence is today disregarded and even ignored. Thus any offense committed against God seems trivial. Why should he tremble when facing his equal?

Let us leave behind such impious attitudes. Let us strive to show more honor and respect for such a great and necessary sacrament.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Jürgen Wegner