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I am pretty cynical about USCCB meetings. But this time I am pretty fired up.
I just listened to Cardinal Dolan’s address as President of the conference.
In his address His Eminence spoke about Christ, first and foremost, before all other issues.
He spoke about the renewal of the SACRAMENT OF PENANCE! The Sacrament of Penance is “the sacrament of the New Evangelization”.
He proposed that bishops should go to confession and promote confession.
He even mentioned the renewal of Fridays for penance and mentioned even returning to Fridays all year long for abstinence.
I couldn’t be more pleased. What have I been pounding away at here?
Here is the audio which I captured. Click the arrow or download.
UPDATE: 1655 GMT
The text of the address is available now HERE.
I would suggest this morning that this reservoir of our lives and ministry, when it comes especially to the New Evangelization, must first be filled with the spirit of interior conversion born of our own renewal. That’s the way we become channels of a truly effective transformation of the world, through our own witness of a penitential heart, and our own full embrace of the Sacrament of Penance.
To be sure, the sacraments of initiation – - Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist – - charge, challenge, and equip the agents of evangelization. Without those sacraments, we remain isolated, unredeemed, timid and unfed.
But, the Sacrament of Reconciliation evangelizes the evangelizers, as it brings us sacramentally into contact with Jesus, who calls us to conversion of heart, and allows us to answer his invitation to repentance — a repentance from within that can then transform the world without.
?What an irony that despite the call of the Second Vatican Council for a renewal of the Sacrament of Penance, what we got instead was its near disappearance.
The work of our Conference during the coming year includes reflections on re-embracing Friday as a particular day of penance, including the possible re-institution of abstinence on all Fridays of the year, not just during Lent. Our pastoral plan offers numerous resources for catechesis on the Sacrament of Penance, and the manifold graces that come to us from the frequent use of confession.
UPDATE 13 Nov 1455 GMT:
Video is HERE. Go to 36:15 for the address itself.