Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan said that receiving the sacrament of penance is one way for Catholics to have a closer relationship with God.
He said there could also be “no new evangelization” without asking God for forgiveness.
“The mark of a spiritual life in the new evangelization is how a believer go to confession,” said Villegas, who chairs the Office for the Promotion of New Evangelization.
“The first step to knowing God is recognizing God that he is God, that we are sinners and we are in need of His mercy,” he said.
According to the Church law, Catholics are bound by an obligation to faithfully confess serious sins at least once a year.
But the current vice president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said that is sort of like saying a person must change his socks once a year.
“Yes that’s the minimum but if we have a minimalistic approach in life we will not grow,” said Villegas.
The archbishop made his remarks in his homily during a Mass on Friday to commemorate the 8th death anniversary of former Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin.
The liturgical celebration was held at the crypt below the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros where the remains of Sin was buried.
Villegas is known as the protégé and confidante of the late cardinal.
He recalled that Sin was a good example of going to confession frequently when he was still alive.
“He (Sin) went to confession every two weeks, sometimes every week. He went for confession and begged God for mercy,” Villegas said. (Roy Lagarde)