Confession Isn't Therapy, Church Warns
Priests told to get tough on sinners instead of providing counseling sessions
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2009 4:12 AM CDT
Pope Benedict XVI waits for the faithful inside a confessional in the St. Peter's Basilica.   (AP Photo/)
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(Newser) – The Vatican plans a campaign to remind priests that the confessional isn't a psychiatrist's couch, the Guardian reports. A handbook will be issued to emphasize that sinners are in confession to be given penance, not counseling sessions. The number of Catholics going to confession has slumped in recent years and church officials believe getting tough might win back those who miss traditional practices.

"An ever decreasing number of people see a clear difference between good and evil, between truth and lies and between sin and virtue, and therefore fewer are taking confession," a Vatican official said.