Monday, 11 May 2020 16:26

Protocols to be observed for Confession


Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila recently released pastoral guidelines pertaining to the celebration of the Sacraments amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidelines, which was released last May 6, 2020, is entitled the "Protocol for Religious Services."



The document reminds the faithful of the importance of the sacrament of confession and how it should properly be observed. To protect the sacredness and the seal of Confession (secrecy), it requires a personal encounter between the priest and the penitent, and thus "online confession" will not be possible. However, for granting a blessing or counseling, teleconferencing applications or telephone may temporarily be practiced.

"When the sacrament of Reconciliation is not possible, for example, to a patient who is isolated or in quarantine, they can make an Act of Perfect Contrition. An Act of Perfect Contrition always has been a part of our Catholic tradition. God is always present to us, even when the Sacrament of Reconciliation is not possible," he said.

The priests may guide the faithful in doing the "Act of Perfect of Contrition," which aims to temporarily suffice as Sacrament of Reconciliation at this time when it is not yet possible to receive due to the quarantine period and the threat of spreading of the virus.

The bishop also pointed out that small confessional boxes are to be remodeled to comply with the necessary distance for interaction. When it is impossible for the parish, they can conduct the confession outside the confessional box but with observance to proper social distancing. Moreover, the priest and penitent are required to use facemasks.

Once the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) is lifted and public worship is allowed, parishes are encouraged to organize their Kumpisalang Bayan within their respective Vicariates, for the priests to be able to support one another in hearing confessions.

"Proper social/physical distancing should be observed as during the Mass. The parishes in the vicariates can help one another here," he added. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)

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