The picture below was taken on April 23 in St. Peter’s Square. The Pope and numerous priests are celebrating the Rite for Reconciliation of Individual Penitents, as part of a Jubilee celebration weekend for young people ages 13-16. The extension of hands (or at least the right hand), pictured here, takes place during the absolution. This classic gesture from the ancient penitential liturgy signifies the giving of the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sins. It was restored to the Rite of Penance following the Second Vatican Council.
It appears that Pope and clergy at this event are considerably less fussy about the place and furniture for reconciliation than are many US priests, who would insist upon an indoor celebration with the option of a grille to separate priest and penitent always ready at hand. The option pictured below appears welcoming however, and the young people (here and in other photos of the event) seem comfortable with it.
Can certain outdoor settings provide sufficient privacy and serve as an appropriate venue for this liturgical rite? Or is this unfair to the penitents? Some Catholics say that the grille of the confessional was forbidding to them in their youth and going into “the box” made them fearful, leading to an abandonment of the sacrament as adults. Should the Church perhaps be holding more open-air reconciliation events, out in the sunshine?
* EN: Each time we go to confession, God embraces us. God rejoices! * PT: Cada vez que nos confessamos, Deus abraça-nos, Deus faz festa! * ES: Cada vez que nos confesamos, Dios nos abraza, ¡Dios hace fiesta! * FR: Chaque fois que nous nous confessons, Dieu nous embrasse, Dieu fait la fête! * ITA: Ogni volta che noi ci confessiamo, Dio ci abbraccia, Dio fa festa! * DE: Jedes Mal, wenn wir beichten, umarmt Gott uns, feiert Gott ein Fest! #Misericórdia, #Barmherzigkeit, #Miséricorde, #Mercy, #Cattolico, #Católico, #Katholik, #Catholique, #catholic