Irish Priests To Extend Confession Times To 8 Hours A Day Because Of “Gargantuan” Number Of Penitents
DUBLIN––At the annual conference of the Association of Catholic Priests in Dublin, pastors from across Ireland gathered to voice their concerns about the “gargantuan” number of Catholics going to confession. “This is a full blown crisis,” said Father Brian O’Brian from County Derry. “It’s causing severe pastoral strain on parishes up and down the country.” Father Seamus O’Shea echoed O’Brian’s concerns, going on to say that confession times had already been extended to 6 hours a day, but that the sheer volume of penitents were staggering. “Moving to 6 hours a day has hardly even put a dent in the lines. The confessional queue has been so long that many people have had to stand outside the church.” Possible solutions to the problem have been suggested at the conference, a few of which included extending confession times to 8 hours, limiting the number of sins a penitent may confess, and by giving priority to those carrying mortal sins. At press time, another major concern of Irish priests was being discussed, namely, the problem of parishioners spending so long in thanksgiving after Mass that there is not enough pew space for those attending the following Mass.