e must revive the Sacrament of Penance. Fathers! Preach about it! Also, make sure that you have usable confessionals. Via California Catholic:
Confessionals required in every parish
Sacramento diocese reminds parishes they must “provide a fixed grille between the penitent and the confessor”
The following is from the Diocese of Sacramento, posted last week on the diocesan website:
Commentary on the General Instruction of the Roman Missal
Re: Sacrament of Reconciliation: the Confessional
Confessionals should be built so as to give penitents the option making their confession from behind a screen or ‘face-to-face’. Penitents cannot be required to offer their confession in one way or the other. [Well… I think they can be. See below.]
From the USCCB, October 20, 2000 –
“Provision must be made in each church or oratory for a sufficient number of places for sacramental confessions which are clearly visible, truly accessible, and which provide a fixed grille between the penitent and the confessor. Provision should also be made for penitents who wish to confess face-to-face, [Ummm … NB] with due regard for the Authentic Interpretation of canon 964, §2 by the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, July 7, 1998” (AAS 90  711).
Thank you for all that you do.
James Cavanagh Director of Worship
Let’s drill for a moment.
Back in 1994 the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, with the Holy Father’s approval, published a response to an inquiry posed by several conferences of bishops regarding confessionals. That response said:
“If, according to Canon 964, paragraph 2, of the Code of Canon Law, the minister of the sacrament, for a just cause and excluding cases of necessity, can legitimately decide, even in the eventuality that the penitent ask for the contrary, that sacramental confession be received in a confessional with a fixed grille.”
EXPLANATION: A priest can refuse to hear a confession if there is no confessional with a fixed grate. Even if the person insists that it be face-to-face, the priest can decline. That means that there doesn’t have to be a provision for face-to-face.
Say some priest or other, just for the heck of it call him Fr. Z, wants to use a confessional that only has the grate and does not have a way to make a confession face-to-face. That’s fine. He is within his rights. At the same time, penitents are also not obliged to go to Fr. Z for confession. But if they insist on face-to-face and he insists on a fixed grate, they will be at loggerheads.
The response from the Holy See underscores that a) confessionals are important and that b) there should be a grill or grate. The Church considers the grate or grill to be important. So does the letter from the Diocese of Sacramento, which is a good thing.
GO TO CONFESSION!