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Archbishop Gianfranco Girotti, the Vatican’s number two man in the sometimes murky area of sins and penance, spoke of modern evils. Girotti also bemoaned that fewer and fewer Catholics go to confession at all.

He pointed to a study by Milan’s Catholic University that showed that up to 60 percent of Catholic faithful in Italy stopped going to confession. In the sacrament of Penance, Catholics confess their sins to a priest who absolves them in God’s name. But the same study by the Catholic University showed that 30 percent of Italian Catholics believed that there was no need for a priest to be God’s intermediary and 20 percent felt uncomfortable talking about their sins to another person.