The Holy Father suggested last week that if good, honest Catholics like myself cannot find a priest, then they may confess their sins directly to God. Truly we live in extraordinary times! But before you Calvinists and Lutheranists pop any champagne over this temporary deviation from sacramental norms, this is all perfectly in order. Hard-headed as the Faith may be we are certainly not inflexible, hence our most beautiful Catechism No. 1452!
I would also very much like to stress the highly contingent nature of this novel practice. It is only permitted if one is restrictively cloistered-in-place or an ordained priest is completely unavailable (perhaps due to chloroquine poisoning). But already my brethren are finding novel ways to keep the confessional supply chain moving!
Furthermore, “perfect contrition” is a valid but ultimately provisional practice. When the coast is clear, all must get to a priest without delay for a proper expulsion of sins. Make sure to jot down all your transgressions!
This is not our first plague, dear Catholics. We’ve been beating back the Devil’s microbes since before the schismatics started marring our sacrosanct doorways with unsolicited comment cards.