“Reconciliation is The Sacrament of Joy,” Stresses Cardinal Mauro Piacenza

The major penitentiary of the Church warned that “a priest who spends a whole week without confessing anyone loses something of his priesthood”.

Vatican City (30/03/2022 6:00 PM, Gaudium Press) On March 21,2022, the 32nd edition of the course on the Internal Forum promoted by the Apostolic Penitentiary in the Vatican Chancellery Palace began. The event was inaugurated by the major penitentiary of the Church, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza.

An experience of the power of Christ the Savior

In his opening address, the Cardinal stated that “Every sacramental absolution experienced in faith is, for both the penitent and the confessor, an experience of the power of Christ the Savior, who touches wounded, sick, dying or dead humanity and heals it and brings it back to life.

The major penitentiary of the Church defined spiritual direction as “an essential dimension of the ministerial priesthood, through which the exercise of the ‘prophetic munus,’ in which the word and will of God are indicated to the individual, and the exercise of the ‘munus regale,’ capable of indicating with the power of the Spirit the path to follow according to God’s will, are concretized.”

Sacrament of joy

The Cardinal further pointed out that “If Reconciliation is the Sacrament of joy in which the penitent rises and the confessor rejoices in God’s wonderful work; if it flourishes in spiritual direction, capable of edifying souls, the Church and the world; then one can safely affirm that the new evangelization begins in the confessional!”

He added that the new evangelization “begins in the rediscovery of the meaning of sin, the humble and realistic recognition of one’s own limitation and the consequent readiness to humbly ask for forgiveness, to be rebuilt in Christ.”

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Priority of every priest

According to the Cardinal, the sacrament of reconciliation “must be the priority of every priest, of every planning of parish and pastoral life, and also the priority of every diocesan pastoral project.

For him, “a priest who spends a whole week without confessing anyone loses something of his priesthood and runs the risk of failing in the extraordinary task entrusted to him with the laying on of hands and configuration to Christ.”

The sacrament of reconciliation is “an unattainable product”

Finally, Cardinal Piacenza stressed that the sacrament of reconciliation is “an unattainable product” that the Church offers in our time and urged those present to know it and offer it with conviction, without an inferiority complex.

“We must humbly seek that, also through the celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation and spiritual accompaniment, we can truly offer an alternative vision of the world, more human because it is more true, more human because it is divine,” he concluded. (EPC)

Compiled by Teresa Joseph

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