Off shore confession growth yet to gain real momentum in NZ

The “confession boom” reported to be hitting Roman Catholic parishes in England and Wales does not yet fully seem to have reached New Zealand.

With the exception of the Auckland Cathedral, where the priests report an increase in young people attending the sacrament, a ring-around survey, yesterday, of several New Zealand parishes showed most  recorded no significant increase in the number of people going to confession.

From the informal survey, no New Zealand parish has made special arrangements to regularly accommodate extra demand for confession.

The New Zealand situation is different from  that in England and Wales where reports are emerging that there is a significant increase in numbers receiving the sacrament.

While the evidence is anecdotal, the Telegraph reports that two thirds of priests had noticed the upturn.

Some dioceses in England and Wales are attributing the increasing number going to confesion to what they are calling “papal bounce”; a effect of the election of Pope Francis and the positive visit of Pope Benedict to Britain three years ago.

One priest said, “Some people are coming in saying I don’t know what to say or do because they haven’t been since they were at school or for 30 years, and are asking for help with the words to say.”

The Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, Kieran Conry said a more informal approach to confession than in the past had also helped attract younger people.

There’s even a App to help them, he said.

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News category: New Zealand.

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