Russell Shaw of Our Sunday Visitor thinks that one of the reasons Catholics avoid confession is because they are pro contraception.
This year as in other recent Lents, dioceses and parishes across the country are making a push to get Catholics back to this neglected sacrament. I wish them much success. The flight from sacramental penance has been one of the genuine disasters of contemporary Catholic life.
What explains it? Many things undoubtedly combine to play a part: an often-cited loss of the sense of sin, fatuous presumption that God approves of me no matter what, shame at the prospect of confessing one’s sins after a long time (give it a try: It won’t hurt). But part of it, I feel certain, has to do with contraception.
It works this way.
Last time I looked, the surveys were reporting that something like eight out of 10 American Catholics said they thought contraception was OK and the Church was wrong about it. Obviously this includes many of childbearing, child-rearing age who are practicing contraception now.
As far as the Sacrament of Penance is concerned, these people don’t want to confess contraception because they believe — or anyway say they believe — it isn’t wrong, and they don’t care to give it up. But they don’t want not to confess it since they know perfectly well that the Church says something different, so not confessing would be, well, kind of dishonest. The non-solution to the dilemma is not to receive the sacrament at all. Which is where we are now. “ Read more here.
Hmm. I don’t really think that contraception is a reason people avoid confession. As a deacon’s wife I have listened to many people in the pews and I have never heard that given as a reason. It is only in recent years that the clergy have been encouraging people to go to confession and to offer it on a regular and frequent basis. Consequently people have not gone to confession for many years. It can be intimidating to return to the sacrament.
Also I do see signs that Catholics are embracing the Sacrament.
What do you think? Why do people avoid the Sacrament?