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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lessons in confession

Among the many important responsibilities of priests is hearing confessions. A new Vatican course that began Monday aims to help young priests learn how to correctly administer the Sacrament of Penance.

From a Zenit article:

The major penitentiary, Archbishop Fortunato Baldelli, is leading the course, in which "moral and canonical subjects will be discussed related to the ministry of penance, above all that of confession," a communiqué announced.

Complex or difficult situations in the sacrament will be addressed by Bishop Gianfranco Girotti and Jesuit Father Ivan Fucek, regent and theologian of the penitentiary, respectively. Other experts will also address the priests, illustrating "the canonical discipline and its correct application in relation to offenses and punishments and several practical aspects."

Criteria will be given "to treat some cases of conjugal and family morality and confession will be proposed as an instrument for moral education," the communiqué added. The priests will also learn how to redirect appeals to the penitentiary and about the concession and use of indulgences.

The weeklong course will end with an address by Pope Benedict XVI.

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