- Mar 27, 2020
A Catholic priest in western Indiana has stopped hearing drive-through confessions at the request of the Indianapolis Archdiocese amid the coronavirus pandemic, he said.
In places particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic and with severe limits on people leaving their homes, conditions may exist to grant general absolution to the faithful without them personally confessing their sins first, the Vatican said.
When public Masses in the Archdiocese of Washington were suspended in efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Father Scott Holmer, pastor at St. Edward the Confessor Parish in Bowie, Maryland, got creative about bringing the sacraments to his local community.
If a priest is wearing a mask and standing 3 feet or 6 feet away from a penitent requesting the sacrament of reconciliation, is he really more present to a penitent he knows than he would be by telephone?
Usually offered in the middle of the weekend on Saturday afternoons, confession can be a hard sell for busy Catholics. The subject matter, sin, also can be a stumbling block in a culture that can be, at times, too enamored with accentuating the positive.
The president of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference is the latest of the country’s senior clerics to push back against legislation to lift the seal of confession for child sexual abuse.