Re: Karl Keating's E-Letter of March 20, 2007
This letter strikes a chord. The laity have the absolute right to the sacraments. Recently a our priest stopped saying Mass every weekday morning and on some mornings only a deacon is present for a prayer service. I think this is inexcusable. Catholics who show up for Mass every morning deserve just that and no less, even if the priest goes through it quickly.
By the same token, it is fine to talk about Confession (reconciliation,etc) but it has to be made available. For suburbanites in a large parish to be told that the priest will be available for confession from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. Saturday afternoon just doesn't cut it. I understand that in small rural parishes where one priest is trying to serve three churches, this is a problem. But in large parishes, I think a priest should always be reasonably available (say, withing ten to fifteen minutes) to hear confessions - and in an old-fashioned confessional, too.
Sadly, many new churches don't even have confessionals anymore. To me they were constant reminders of the need to confess and the availability of the clergy to aldminister that sacrament.