Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Confession should be top priority, Cardinal Dolan tells USCCB members

CWN - November 12, 2012
In his presidential address on the opening day of the US bishops’ annual meeting, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York recommended a determined effort to bring Catholics back to regular use of the sacrament of Penance.
Cardinal Dolan observed that the US bishops have “a lot on our plate” as they begin their meeting. He mentioned the bishops’ efforts for “human life, the defense of marriage, the promotion of human dignity in the lives of the poor, the immigrant, those in danger from war and persecution throughout the world, and our continued efforts to defend our first and most cherished freedom.”
However, the cardinal insisted that Church leaders should put “first things first,” and be mindful of their spiritual role. The first priority, he said, must be to serve Jesus Christ.
We cannot engage culture unless we let Him first engage us; we cannot dialogue with others unless we first dialogue with Him; we cannot challenge unless we first let Him challenge us.
Cardinal Dolan said that the work of bishops should begin with the call to conversion, emphasizing prayer and penance. He dwelt at length on Confession, noting that the sacrament “evangelizes the evangelizers.”
“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 cardinal said.

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