According to the "Telegraph" there has been an increase in people going to Confession over recent months. Attributed to the influence of Pope Francis in the media and to the continuing effect of Pope Benedict's visit to the UK. Also according to the "Telegraph", in commenting on this phenomena Bishop Kieran Conroy says that when he was a child he "made up" sins to confess. When asked if that itself is not a sin he says, "Probably."
“For many people now it is a much more significant, meaningful, personal experience rather than just a weekly ‘I’ve got to go to confession and think of some sins’.But he went on to confess: “We used to make them up as kids, we had to say something … it might be ‘I hit someone’ or ‘I kicked the dog’ – if had a dog.“I would make up anything just to occupy a couple of minutes and get sent away forgiven.”Asked if making up sins in confession was itself a sin, he said: “Yes probably, you probably committed more sins in there than you committed in the week leading up to it – you were lying your head off.”
I would have thought that every priest knows that it is sinful to lie in Confession. I was sent to Confession as a child.
Did I like it?
No, I did not, but I can't recall ever making anything up.
Is it good that more people are going to Confession?
Of course it is.
Is it good that some people find it helpful to discuss their sins in context and in a deeper way?
Of course it is.
Is it necessary to be forever bad-mouthing every part of the Church's practice and belief from before the Second Vatican Council? No it is not.
Have those people who confess - and still confess - in the "old-fashioned" way been wasting their time? Surely not. For a bishop to publicly characterise the Sacrament of Confession as it was celebrated for so many years and as many people still use it seems to be... well, very unseemly. Although I can't believe that people did not experience Confession in a deeply prayerful and spiritual way through the older format as well as the newer. The re-writing of our understanding of the past in is one of the most distasteful things about so many "liberal" attitudes. More than distasteful, it always makes me suspicious, reminding me of George Orwell's "Animal Farm". Repeat the mantra, "Trad-it-ion bad. Mod-ern good." "Trad-it-ion bad. Mod-ern good." "Trad-it-ion bad. Mod-ern good."
Eccles has some more reflections on the bishop.