Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as ‘the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace. CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH No. 1446
Only priests who have received the faculty of absolving from the authority of the Church can forgive sins in the name of Christ. CCC No. 1495
The spiritual effects of the sacrament of Penance are (CCC No. 1496):
- Reconciliation with God by which the penitent receives grace;
- Reconciliation with the Church;
- Remission, at least in part, of temporal punishment resulting from sin;
- Peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation;
- An increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle.
Individual and integral confession of grave sins followed by absolution remains the only ordinary means of reconciliation with God and with the Church. CCC No. 1497
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is available each week at these standard times:
- Between 10.30 and 11.30 on Saturday mornings, following the 10 o’clock Saturday morning Mass.
- Between 4.45 and 5.15 on Saturday afternoons (before the 5.30pm Saturday evening Mass)
Archbishop Bernard Longley’s Pastoral Letter is available here, and on the Diocesan website – Pastoral Letter 7th July 2019
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