RECONCILIATION, RITE OF
POST VATICAN II
The name given, after Vatican II, to the Sacrament of Penance. Although is
has been streamlined, Protestantized and made less formal, the new Rite has
the same function as the Old Sacrament. It requires full confession, firm
resolve not to sin, priestly absolution and the intention to satisfy the
penance. This Rite is conducted in a Room of Reconciliation. Roman Catholic
churches are gradually doing away with the Confession boxes they have had
for just over 400 years.
From TIME, 2/18/74. (Reasons given for adopting the Rite of
Reconciliation). "The Sacrament of Penance, more familiarly known to
Catholics as `confession,' has fallen on lean years. The reason for the
sacrament's neglect are probably many: a severe drop in church attendance,
a new theology of sin that does not stress damning `mortal' sins of pre-
Vatican II days, an avoidance of confession by some who practice
contraception, or an increasing reluctance to enter dark, closed quarters
to recite one's sins to an unseen judge.
"Despite church disapproval, some Catholics have chosen to think of the
new penitential prayers in the Mass as their `confession.' Others have
taken part in unauthorized communal rites of penance, acknowledging their
sins while the priest gives `general absolution' - a sort of blanket
forgiveness - to the entire group."
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