When I hear the words ?Apostolic Penitentiary,? I don?t usually think about the maternal love of the Church (actually, I had to go to Wikipedia to look up exactly what this tribunal does when I first heard of it). However, when I read the note they released on March 19, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, about the Sacrament of Reconciliation, I was moved by their expression of God?s closeness, and his motherly love being expressed in this time of trial. While I encourage you to read this brief note in its entirety, I want to share some of the highlights of this document with you.
The note begins, ?The gravity of the present circumstances calls for reflection on the urgency and centrality of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, together with some necessary clarifications, both for the lay faithful and for ministers called to celebrate the Sacrament.? Essentially, the Apostolic Penitentiary is publishing this letter in order to restate some of the Church?s less familiar teachings regarding Confession for the benefit of the faithful.