Light on the dark box

13 February 2014 | by John Cornwell

A new book about confession finds that the split between church teaching and practice on sexual morality is a major cause of the decline of the sacrament. But the fall-off, says its author, may also be linked to traumatising experiences in childhood Preparing for a book on the Sacrament of Reconciliation/confession, I wrote an article for The Tablet in August 2012 inviting views from readers about reasons for its dramatic decline. I received more than 300 responses by letter and email (some lengthy). Then the article flew round the world on blogs and websites, prompting thousands of views, comments and amazing stories. The respondents, mostly ­laymen and -women, married and unmarried, were extraordinary for their honesty, joy, ­sorrow, and sometimes anger. Priests and nuns wrote

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