Some Reflections on CCEO c. 372

  • Aidan McGrath
Keywords: Pope Francis, Sacrament of Reconciliation, Mercy


In the Bull of Indiction of the Holy Year of Mercy, Pope Francis underlined
the need to put the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the centre of the Jubilee.
Naturally, this draws attention to the role of the confessor. This Article
examines the fundamental ordinary duties of the confessor outlined in canon
732 CCEO, comparing them to what is found in the prescriptions of canons
978-981 CIC 1983. The approach of CCEO is altogether more succinct and
less concerned with practical details. Nevertheless, there is much in common
between the norms of the two Codes. A reflection on these basic
responsibilities will help all confessors become “authentic signs of the
Father’s mercy” (Misericordiae vultus n. 17).

Author Biography

Aidan McGrath

Aidan McGrath OFM, born on 5 March 1954 in Banbridge, Northern Ireland;
Ordained priest on 29 June 1980; Doctorate in Canon Law (PUG), 1985; 1984-
2009, Judge and later Judicial Vicar of the Dublin Regional Marriage Tribunal;
1995-2001, President of the Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland;
1995 – present, Professor invitatus PUG; 1996-2005, Definitor of the Franciscan
Province of Ireland, 1996-2005; 2009 - present, Secretary General of the Order
of Friars Minor..