Pope Benedict is calling on Catholics to rediscover the practice of confession. Are they listening?

Americans seem to be in the midst of a confession obsession. Teary-eyed couples sit on Oprah’s couch, sharing stories of infidelity. Authors churn out memoirs detailing their drug abuse. And Web sites like mysecret.tv and ivescrewedup.com are flooded with admissions of everything from pornography addiction to embezzlement. It seems the only place not buzzing with mea culpas is the confessional booth. The Catholic Church encourages followers to confess their sins to a priest at least once a month. But these days, just 2 percent of American Catholics maintain such a routine. Bridget CusickBridget Cusick of Minneapolis attends mass once a week, sometimes twice. But this devoted Catholic abandoned the confessional long ago. She’s more than willing to admit her sins to God. She just doesn’t see the need for a middleman. (CCI NOTES: Martin Luther didn’t see that need either…)