FRIDAY-SATURDAY-SUNDAY, January 30 - February 1


COLUMNS: GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

by Sister Mary Lucy Astuto

Confession is good for the soul!

     Several years ago, publicly and frequently, Jimmy Swaggert criticized and condemned the Catholic Church for its teaching on Confession. We can go directly to God, he would indicate; we don’t have to "confess" to another human being.

      However, when he was "caught" committing adultery, he openly wept and "confessed" his sins to the WORLD via television. Hmmm! Interesting!

      Now it seems with the alleged misbehavior of President Clinton, we hear news reporters urging the President to just "own up" to the American people honestly what his association and behavior has been with regard to the former White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. Whether or not the news reporters give the nomenclature of "confession" to what they are asking the President to do, it remains a reality that that is exactly what they are requesting.

      For Catholics we know that the “confession” the news media is asking for is not of a sacramental nature. But it is interesting that they ARE asking the President to "confess" his behavior and to the world.

      I do wish our President that he would come to know the value and help that SACRAMENTAL confession would have for him and frankly for any and all involved in all of the allegations.

      Jesus gave us the Sacrament of confession to heal us, and for sure, everyone of us needs to be healed. I, personally, have always felt strengthened and encouraged by this Sacrament.

      Have you noticed, however, how readily people across our nation are ready to condone or tolerate alleged bad behavior of Clinton, whether it relates to adultery or lying? Our country has become so de-moralized that it the possible ill behavior is a ready excuse for other people for their possible bad behavior.

      The conscience of Americans has been darkened. Right and wrong are not judged by God’s Commandments but by the need to excuse immorality in their own lives. Twenty years ago, the alleged behavior of Clinton would not have been tolerated by our society, but it seems that the American people are too ready to conclude that what the President does in his private life is his business as long as he does a good job as President.

      Well, folks, a human being cannot be one person privately and another in his workplace. He cannot separate the principles by which he lives from one place to the other. He cannot lead with principles, if he doesn’t believe in them and exercise them in his private life. Our President either knows right from wrong, or he doesn’t. As the leader goes, so go his followers. Sodom and Gomorrah, are we better than you?

     God bless you!


January 1998