Magazine article The Christian Century

Bring Back Confession, Urges Reformed Pastor

Magazine article The Christian Century

Bring Back Confession, Urges Reformed Pastor

Article excerpt

A Reformed pastor in the Netherlands has called on Protestant churches to adopt the Roman Catholic practice of confessing sins to a priest. The pastor, P. J. Weij, from the village of Sint Jansklooster in the northeastern province of Overijssel, believes the Catholic practice of confessing sins to a priest is a good way for Christians to seek spiritual advice. But he also insists that if the practice is adopted by Protestant churches, it must be voluntary.

According to Weij, people need to speak about their mistakes in order to make a fresh start. "Many know the experience of guilt, and need to speak out. That requires people who are able to listen and accept people as they are," he said. Weij sees confession as a confidential conversation in which Christians can articulate their feelings and speak of what they believe to be their sinful acts. However, he envisages less formality than is the case with the Catholic practice, and suggests that confession could take place almost anywhere in the church, or even at home, rather than in a confessional box. …

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