Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, General Decree Concerning the Place of the Celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, January 1998.


In accordance with the prescriptions of c. 964, §3, and in light of the revisions made to the Roman Ritual following the promulgation of the Code of Canon Law, the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference hereby decrees that for the celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation, the following prescriptions are to be observed:

The place where the sacrament of reconciliation is celebrated is important in order to give full value to the signs of welcoming and forgiveness. Unless there is a just motive determining otherwise, a church or an oratory is the proper place of celebration of the Sacrament. The place for confessions shall be so arranged that those wishing to go to confession may do so in an open place:

– either in a confessional with a grille;

– or in a place which offers the possibility for the penitent to sit down and engage in a freer dialogue with the confessor.




Code of Canon Law Annotated (Montréal: Wilson & Lafleur Limitée, 2004): 1781.