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The following quotations are from an interview in which Marcus Grodi, host of the Journey Home television program (aired on EWTN), asked Roman Catholic Priest Father Randy Musselman about the particulars of priests and the sacrament of confession:

As a priest I really can’t look back at when I see someone and this is the third time that they’ve been to confession…

No, it’s ‘the here and the now,’

They come before Christ in the confessional and that’s Who they need to experience…

I might give them, whatever I can… whatever God gives me I give to them as far as advice or help…

but, ultimately, to allow them to convey to me that they are sorry for their sins and ‘ultimately I’m going to try to change my life’ and it is there that I (acting in the ‘person of Christ’; in personna Christi) grant them, I give them a penance and I grant them absolution. And…

I send them back to try again.

And we keep trying.

This is an important point to remember, that a priest is not in the business of keeping track of how many times a person goes to confession to him or what the person confesses in any particular confession.

Priests do not remember confessions.

We have the worse memory in the world…

The question was asked: ‘Is the erasure of memory a gift of the sacrament for priests?’

It’s part of the sacrament but it’s also…

They don’t want their sins (and) I don’t want them (their sins).

They came in there (the confessional) carrying over their shoulder this bag of stuff that they’ve collected…

I don’t want them (the stuff; the sin).

They didn’t want them.

We both get to leave free.

What really is important is what grace that is conveyed both to me, I get a splattering of that grace in the confessional from them receiving it.

Don’t be afraid of confessing your sins because you imagine that the priest will never think the same way about you once you divulge lurid details of your life… no, no, no…

No, no…

There but for the grace of God go I.

We all have sins.

We all fall short of God’s expectations of us.

And it’s there (in the confessional) that we get off the ground and crawl back (to God’s loving arms). So…

We don’t remember the things and there’s not a limit to what a person can come into a confessional and confess.

Let it all out.

That’s the confession… that I, as a priest, love to see, when someone comes into the confessional and they just can’t wait to get rid of everything, they hold nothing back.

And, I want to see them leave with everything (all their sins) left there (in the confessional)…

Many times I’ve seen people come in and say, ‘I have no sin,’ and I say, ‘Well, that’s a good place to start, let’s go through that.’ And, they find out that maybe they do (have sins).

See and hear this interview at this link: Fr. Randy Musselman On Confession

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