There have been a number of enquiries about how we should approach the whole subject of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is important that both the penitent and the priest are kept safe. Therefore, social distancing of two metres should be adhered to, unless there is a screen. A confessional box may not be the best place to hear confessions because, while the priest may be safe, a penitent with the virus could contaminate the confessional for others. The use of a room would be preferable and hand sanitiser should be made available, if possible.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis has made a statement this morning at Mass…..
“I know that many of you go to confession before Easter … many will say to me: ‘But Father ….. I cannot leave the house and I want to make my peace with the Lord. I want Him to embrace me ….. How can I do that unless I find a priest?’ Do what the catechism says. It is very clear. If you don’t find a priest to go to confession, speak to God. He is your Father. Tell Him the truth: ‘Lord, I did this and this and this. Pardon me.’ Ask His forgiveness with all your heart with an act of contrition, and promise Him, ‘afterward I will go to confession.’ You will return to God’s grace immediately. You yourself can draw near, as the catechism teaches us, to God’s forgiveness, without having a priest at hand.”