This is hardly new also to Catholics who seek out the traditional form of the Roman Rite. Very often in parishes where the older forms are used, if there are more than one priest, confessions are heard also during Mass.
Did I mention during Mass?
In case you were wondering, in Redemptionis Sacramentum 76 we read:
Furthermore, according to a most ancient tradition of the Roman Church, it is notpermissible to unite the Sacrament of Penance to the Mass in such a way that they become a single liturgical celebration. This does not exclude, however, that Priests other than those celebrating or concelebrating the Mass might hear the confessions of the faithful who so desire, even in the same place where Mass is being celebrated, in order to meet the needs of those faithful. This should nevertheless be done in an appropriate manner.
Cf. Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter (Motu Proprio), Misericordia Dei, 7 April 2002, n. 2: AAS 94 (2002) p. 455; Cf. Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Response to Dubium: Notitiae 37 (2001) pp. 259-260.
I think “in an appropriate manner” means that the place where confessions are heard is NOT in the sanctuary, it is NOT noisy, people aren’t walking directly in front of the sanctuary, etc.
Mirabile lectu, some other Catholic writers are getting around to the concept of confessions during Mass. For example, in the online, digital edition of The Catholic Herald there is this week a letter to the editor about confessions during Mass.
Moreover, in Our Sunday Visitor Greg Erlandson writes about priests at his parish who came up with a creative new idea: how about confessions during Mass? He writes:
My parish tried something unusual this Advent. It decided to make the sacrament available when parishioners were available. A few months ago, Father James Shafer, our pastor, proposed to his two associates that instead of hearing confessions for an hour Saturday, they try a “back to the future” idea.
“I told them that I always wondered what would happen if we heard confessions around the weekend Mass schedule,” he said. “Would making it more available and convenient for people help more of them experience his great forgiving love in their lives?”
The priests agreed. They first talked about confession from the pulpit. They published an examination of conscience in the bulletin. Then, for two weekend Mass cycles, as one priest celebrated Mass, the other two were available not just before and after Mass, but during it as well. For two weekends, the three priests logged more than 60 hours in the confessional, and according to Father Jim, more than 98 percent of the time, they were busy.
“On Sunday we began a half hour before the 7:30 a.m. Mass and never left the confessionals until 1:30 in the afternoon! We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of people. Many, many of them thanked us for making it available during Mass times,” he recalled, and many hadn’t been to confession in decades.
It’s not rocket science, is it?