St. Dominic Catholic Church

2002 Merton Ave | Los Angeles, CA 90041 | (323) 254-2519

Pastor's Corner

October 21, 2018

So let us confidently approach the throne of graceto receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.

Hebrews 4:16

The “throne of grace” is God’s throne in heaven which we approach in confidence when we come to the sacrament of Confession.  It is more than simply receiving God’s mercy and forgiveness. There is grace that is offered by God through the sacrament to help us better withstand temptation.

The confessional should be a safe place to seek God’s love and mercy.  But some victims of clergy sexual abuse revealed that their abuse happened in the confessional!  For this reason, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, along with many others, has required confessional interiors be visible from the outside. While what is saidin confession must be kept in strictest secrecy by the priest, there is nothing that forbids one from being able to seeinto the confessional at all times.

For the safety and good reputation of both penitents and priests who use our confessionals, I am having a double-paned window installed in the door of each of our confessionals soon.  They will be filled with an inert gas to absorb sound.  They will be approximately four feet high and about 18 inches wide, replacing the shields and extending low enough to replace the vents at the bottom of the door.  In addition, a half door will separate the penitent from the confessor.  Those who wish to go to confession face to face will have that option, but they will still be within view from the outside. 

Remember, when the red light is on, a penitent is confessing, so please do not enter!  If they go face to face, the priest has to flip a switch.  Now, if he forgets, you’ll see the person before you open the door!