Confessions making a comeback, insists Dundalk priest
A Dundalk-born priest believes confessions are making a comeback.
While many of us probably haven’t gone to confession in years, possibly even as far back as before our confirmation, Redemptorist priest Fr Clem McManus believes it is becoming popular again.
Rather than people owning up to their sins, Fr McManus told The Irish Times today that confessions were now more focused on “just having someone to chat to”.
From Alphonsus Villas, Fr McManus is one of a number of priests celebrating the nine-day solemn Novena in Galway at present. Other local priests taking part include Fr Michael Cusack.
As a former chaplain of Dundalk IT, Fr McManus is used to listening to people from a range of backgrounds and he said he has been struck by the number of people who said they had been going to confession far more reguarly of late, something which was backed up by queues outside the confessional stalls during the 11am Novena Mass in Galway yesterday.
“For some people, they don’t want or can’t afford to be waiting for counsellors or psychiatrists,” Fr McManus told The Irish Times.
They don’t want labels, they want to be treated as normal,” he says. “The confessional is somewhere they can find a little reassurance.”
“The original confession was based on the notion of an ‘anam cara’, or spiritual friend, who gave guidance, before the church introduced all these rules and regulations,” he said.