You would expect, with how earnestly we in the Church are preaching the Year of Mercy, that the Faithful and Semi-Faithful would be flocking to Confession.
But the headline here, indicating that more Catholics are availing themselves of Reconciliation, "rise in confessions to St Peter’s Basilica" is a bit misleading, and not necessarily borne out by the article.
Although there are some numbers to gladden the heart, there are others.
People "going" to the sacrament may have "increased noticeably in the first months of Year of Mercy", but not necessarily those receiving it, as it seems to have become like ashes, something non-Catholics are also drawn to, but do not really understand.
And the priest who is the source of any direct quotes in the piece says flatly that while most of the penitents are Italian, the numbers are actually down among the English speaking.
As in so much that is going wrong with the Church, we have to chalk this up to wretched catechesis. The family was dropping the ball, and the institution was too slow to see it, or worse, welcomed it as part of the general loosing of what had been bound, and not bothering to bind what was loose.
Many penitents have not received the sacrament since their First Communions?
Think again! Many NEVER received it.
There was, there still is a very wide-spread notion that as only mortal sin demands sacramental confession, there is no need to subject 2nd graders to it, right?
So instead, let's instill in them the idea that Penance is an onerous ritual, scary even, and thank God they don't have to go, and they should only do what is absolutely required.
Following the logic of that, the children would have been taught that they should only receive Communion once a year, right?
But this was not logical, this was not principled - it was a deliberate denigration of a very Catholic way of thinking, something that was at odds with the belief of our separated brother and sisters and therefore, ought gradually to be eased out of Catholic life.
So that, you know, all could be one.