Three Reasons Your Change Initiative Will Fail


Leadership Digital

06.12.2019

When you stop and think about it a big part of leadership is about convincing people to do things differently. It could be persuading customers to buy your product or try your service. It could be getting employees or vendors to raise their game. It could be convincing regulators and other rules makers to support what you want to do. In each of these examples or a dozen others that you could come up with, success depends on getting people to change their behaviors.

And, as oft-cited research from Gallup suggests, there’s about a 70 percent chance you’re going to fail.

Why is it that so many change initiatives fail? Based on a few decades of experience as a corporate leader or a coach to leaders, I regularly see three related reasons your change initiative will fail. They all involve too much of this and not enough of that.

Here they are and what you can do to increase your odds of success:

Too much solution, not enough acceptance: Years ago, I learned a simple little equation about change management developed by leaders at GE. It’s Q x A = E. What it means is the quality of your technical solution multiplied by the acceptance strategy for your solution equals your overall effectiveness. If you score 10 out of 10 on both the Q and the A then you end up with a 100 percent effective solution. Most leaders and organizations don’t end up at 100 percent though and it’s rarely because they don’t have a good enough technical solution. The relatively easy part of the equation is pulling together a group of subject matter experts to develop a good to great solution. What usually doesn’t get the same amount of effort is putting together an awesome strategy for stakeholder acceptance of the solution.  The math makes the impact of that kind of obvious. If you score a 10 on the Q and a 3 on the A, you’re only going to be 30 percent effective. A score like that is usually a fail.

Too much thinking, not enough feeling: Overemphasizing the quality of the technical solution and underplaying the acceptance strategy stems from the second reason most change initiatives fail. There’s too much emphasis on logical thinking and not enough emphasis on emotional feeling. The problem with that is people almost always take actions based on their emotional feeling rather than their logical thinking. Too many leaders believe that just getting their logical thoughts out there about the change will be enough to win people over. As in, “They’ll see the logic of this and then we’ll be good to go.” Logical to you, maybe; perhaps not so much to them. A more effective approach is to consider how you need people to feel to take the actions that will lead to the change result you’re hoping for. For instance, if they’re feeling angry, ignored or disengaged, they’re probably not going to take the actions you’d like for them to take. If, on the other hand, they’re feeling excited, appreciated and engaged, you’re much more likely to generate actions that lead to positive outcomes. What do you need to do as a leader to get your stakeholders’ feeling more supportive of your change?

Too much results, not enough relationships: Here’s a hint for answering that last question. Focus at least as much on the relationships as you do the results. You’ve probably picked up by now on one of the big things these three reasons for change failure all have in common. The mistake too many leaders make is over-indexing on “what” and under on the “how” of the change. One variant of this is when their time, attention and behavioral energy is focused too much on the results and not enough on the relationships that will yield the results. Great change leaders exhibit roughly equal measures of results-oriented behaviors and relationship-oriented behaviors. I summarized the differences between the two in this post from ten (!) years ago. The spoiler alert is that a lot of the differences I outlined come down to that old idea that they don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Relationship building works best when it is part of your everyday routine and not a last-minute activity like you’re cramming for a final exam.

Why do change initiatives fail? There are lots of reasons – way more than I covered here. But if you want to do a post-mortem on why your latest crashed and burned or prevent the next one from doing so, I’d argue that the three I’ve listed here are a pretty good place to start.

Paradoxical Effect of Anti-HPV Vaccine Gardasil on Cervical Cancer Rate


Being reblogged for the good of humanity. Knowledge is power.

February 6th 2019 By: Nicole Delépine


Originally published on www.docteur.nicoledelepine.fr

“How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress”. Niels Bohr (Nobel prized for his works on the structure of the atom and chemical reactions)

Changing the natural history of cancer that increases in frequency and occurs faster.

It takes a long time to affirm that a preventive action really protects. But the failure of this supposed protection can sometimes be very quickly obvious. To prove that the Titanic was truly unsinkable would have required decades of navigation on the most dangerous seas of the world. Demonstrating that it wasn’t, took only a few hours … This » Titanic » demonstration is unfortunately reproduced by the Gardasil vaccination.

Evidence that vaccination increases the risk of invasive cancer can be rapid, if the vaccine changes the natural history of cancer by accelerating it. The analysis of trends in the incidence of invasive cervical cancer published in official statistics (registers) was studied in the first and most fully vaccinated countries (Australia, Great Britain, Sweden and Norway). Unfortunately, it’s the case for HPV vaccines.

Pre-vaccination period: spectacular success of cervical smear screening with a steady decrease in the rate of invasive cervical cancer.

In all countries that performed smear screening, the pre-vaccination period from 1989 to 2007 was marked by a significant decrease in the standardized incidence of cervical cancer.

In less than 20 years, the incidence of invasive cancer of the cervix decreased from:

  • 13.5 to 9.4 in Great Britain [1]
  • 13.5 to 7 in Australia [2]
  • 11.6 to 10.2 in Sweden [3]
  • 15.1 to 11 in Norway [4]
  • 10.7 to 6.67 in the USA [5]
  • 11 to 7.1 in France

Globally, in the countries that used smear screening, the average annual rate of decline was 2.5% between 1989 and 2000 and 1% between 2000 and 2007, resulting in a total decrease of nearly 30% across 1989-2007.

Era of vaccination: reversal of the trend. Gardasil’s prevention failure erases the beneficial effects of the smear and accelerates the onset of cervical cancer. 

Since vaccination, in all the countries implemented with a large vaccination program, there is a reversal of the trend, with a significant increase in the frequency of invasive cancers in the most vaccinated groups. Let’s look at OFFICIAL sources.

AUSTRALIA: contrary to the FAKE NEWS OF THE MEDIA AND POLITICS, REGISTER DOES NOT SHOW CANCERS OF THE CERVIX DISAPPEAR, BUT INCREASE.

Australia was the first country to organize routine immunization for girls (April 2007 school-based program for females aged 12–13 years, July 2007 time-limited catch-up program targeting females aged 14–26 years) and then for boys (2013). According to the last Australian Institute of Health and Welfare publication (2018 publication describing the detailed rates until 2014) [6], the standardized incidence in the overall population has not decreased since vaccination 7/100000 in 2007 versus 7.4 in 2014.

This global stabilization results from two contradictory trends that only appear by examining trends, according to age groups.

Vaccinated age groups women have seen their risk increase:

100% increase for those aged 15 to 19 (from 0.1 in 2007 to 0.2 in 2014)

113% increase (from 0.7 to 1.5) in groups aged 20 to 24 more than 80% of them were catch up vaccinated when 13 to 17 years old.

But, as the figures are very small, this increase does not reach statistical significance.

About a third increase for 25-29 group (from 5.9 to 8,p=0.06) and for 30-34 (from 9.9 to 12.4 c=0.80 p=0.01) less vaccinated. These increases are statistically significant cannot be due to hazard.

A drama known to one top athlete: Sarah Tait

This increased risk of cancer following vaccination was dramatically illustrated by the sad story of Sarah Tait, olympic rowing champion, at the 2012 London Olympics. This champion saw her life shattered in full glory: she suffered invasive cervical cancer a few years later, being vaccinated and died at age 33. Of course, we don’t know if vaccination was the direct cause of her cancer, but she has, statistically, a one in two chances of having suffered from a cancer linked to vaccination (to be part of the 113% increase of cancer observed after vaccination). In addition, we remark that cancer appears very early in this woman.

Non vaccinated women continue to benefit from screening with pap smear

During the same period, older women (and therefore unvaccinated) saw their cancer risk decrease significantly:

  • less 17% for women aged 55 to 59 (from 9.7 to 8.1)
  • less 13% for women aged 60 to 64 ( from 10.3 to 8.9)
  • less 23% for those aged 75 to 79 (from 11.5 to 8.8)
  • and even less 31% for those aged 80 to 84 (from 14.5 to 10)

GREAT BRITAIN: THE PARADOXICAL EFFECT OF GARDASIL PROMOTING CANCER

In UK, a national program was introduced in 2008 to offer HPV vaccination routinely to 12–13-year-old and offer catch-up vaccination to girls up to 18 years old. The UK national program initially used the bivalent HPV vaccine (Cervarix), but, changed in 2012 to use the quadrivalent vaccine (Gardasil). HPV vaccination coverage in England has been high with over 80% of 12–13 years old receiving the full course coverage. The catch-up cohort has been lower covered (ranging from 39% to 76%).

Since the vaccination, the standardized incidence in the overall population increased from 9.4 per 100000 in 2007 to 9.6 in 2015. We observe contrasting trends between the age groups.

Vaccination promoters expected cervical cancer rates decrease in women aged 20 to 24 from 2014, as vaccinated adolescents enter their second decade. However, in 2016, national statistics showed a sharp and significant increase in the rate of cervical cancer in this age group. This information of 2016 has unfortunately not been publicized. They could have served as an alert.

Women aged between 20 and 25 yearsvaccinated for more than 85% of them, when they were between 14 and 18 years old, have seen their cancer risk increase by 70% in 2 years (from 2.7 in 2012 to 4.6 per 100,000 in 2014 p = 0.0006) and those aged 25 to 30, ( aged between 18 and 23 at the time of the vaccination campaign) have seen their cancer risk increase by 100% between 2007 and 2015 [7] (from 11 / 100,000 to 22 / 100,000 ).

Women 25 to 34 years, (less vaccinated, only exposed to some catch-up vaccinations), have seen their risk increased by 18% (from 17 in 2007 to 20 in 2014).

In Great Britain, as in Australia, older, unvaccinated women have seen their risk decrease:

(-13% for women aged 65 to 79 and -10% for those over 80), most likely because continuation of smear screening.

SAME PARADOXICAL PHENOMENON OF GARDASIL IN SWEDEN: THE RATE OF CANCER INCREASES IN THE VACCINATED AGE GROUPS. ALERT!

In Sweden, Gardasil has been used since 2006. The vaccination program was rolled out in 2010, with vaccination coverage of 12-year-old girls approaching 80%. In 2012-2013, with a catch-up program, almost all girls aged 13 to 18 were vaccinated.

In this country, the standardized incidence of cervical cancer in the global population has increased steadily since vaccination from 9.6 per 100000 in 2006 to 9.7 in 2009, 10.3 in 2012 and 11.49 in 2015 [8]. This increase is mostly due to the increase in the incidence of invasive cancers among women aged 20-24 whose incidence doubled (from 1.86 in 2007 to3.72 in 2015 p<0.001) [9] and in women aged 20 to 29 the incidence of invasive cancer of the cervix increased by 19% (from 6.69 to 8.01)

In contrast, as in Australia and Great Britain, a decrease in the incidence of invasive cancer has been observed in women over 50, a group that has not been included in the vaccination program. The incidence of invasive cancer of the cervix decreased between 2007 and 2015 by 6% for women aged 50 to 59 (from 14.24 to 13.34), and 4% for those aged 60 to 69 (12.63%). at 12.04,) 17% for those aged 70 to 79 (from 15.28 to 12.66) and 12% for those over 80 (from 15.6 to 13.68).

IN NORWAY

Cancer registry shows an increase in the standardized incidence of invasive cancer of the cervix from 11.7 in 2007 to 12.2 in 2009, 13.2 in 2012 and 14. 9 2015 [10].

This increase is due -almost exclusively- to young women, which include all vaccinated, as evidenced by the sharp decline of the average age of onset of the cervix cancer from 48 years in 2002-2006 to 45 years in 2012-2016.

Between 2007 and 2015, the incidence of invasive cervical cancer increased by 8% among women aged 20 to 29 (from 7.78 to 8.47). [11]

During the same period, a decrease in the incidence of invasive cancer was observed in older women, not involved in the vaccination program: -11% for women aged 55 to 64 (15.47 to 13.7), -16% for those aged 65 to 74 (17.7 to 14.71) and -29% for those aged 75 to 85 (18.39 to 13).

IN USA

In this country, vaccination coverage is lower than in previous countries (close to 60%).

According to the Cancer Statistics Review 1975-2015 [12], the standardized incidence of invasive cervical cancer remains stable (+0.1) since vaccination.

In US, the same discrepancy is observed according to age groups, but of lesser amplitude. Women over 50, benefit a 5% decrease in their risk (from 10.37 per 100000 in 2007 to 9.87 in 2015), whereas younger women, which include vaccinated, have given their risk increase of 4% (5.24 in 2007 to 5.47 in 2015).

WITNESS COUNTRY: FRANCE 

The evolution of these countries, with high immunization coverage, can be compared to the trend observed in metropolitan France, where HPV vaccination coverage is very low (around 15%). France can be considered, for this reason, as a control country. In France [13] the incidence of cervical cancer has steadily decreased from 15 in 1995 to 7.5 in 2007, 6.7 in 2012 and 6 in 2017, much lower than those of countries with high vaccine coverage.

This decrease in incidence was accompanied by a decrease in mortality from 5 in 1980 to 1.8 in 2012 and 1.7 in 2017.

It is paradoxical and very worrying that these excellent French results, with low cervix cancer rate and low related mortality, could be jeopardized by an obligation considered in the short term by our policies, for some misinformed and other big pharma links [14].

DRAMATIC AND UNEXPECTED PARADOXICAL EFFECT OF GARDASIL: THE ALERT MUST BE GIVEN TO DECISION MAKERS AND THE MEDIA. 

In all countries that achieved high HPV vaccination coverage, official cancer registries show an increase in the incidence of invasive cervical cancer. 

For women under 20, the crude numbers are too small to reach statistical significance, but the similar increases in all the studied countries constitutes a strong alarm signal.

For women 20-30 the incidence increases after catch up vaccination, and is highly significant (p<0.01or 0.001). In these same countries, during the same period, older women, not vaccinated, have seen their risk of cervical cancer continue to decline.

Similarly, in metropolitan France, a country with low vaccination coverage, the incidence of cervical cancer continues to decline at a rate comparable to the pre-vaccination period.

These paradoxical results plea for a rapid revision of recommendations and intensive research to explain this catastrophic issue.

25 Reasons to Avoid the Gardasil Vaccine (Long Piece)


May 22nd 2019 By: Children’s Health Defense

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Gardasil Science Day Presentation Video 

“Many of the things I’m going to say today would be slanderous if they were not true. And if they’re not true, then Merck should sue me. But Merck won’t do that. And they won’t do it because in the United States, truth is an absolute defense against slander.” ~ RFK Jr.

Gardasil’s safety record has been nothing short of disastrous

It has been 13 years since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) supplied fast-tracked approval for Merck’s Gardasil vaccine–promoted for the prevention of cervical cancer and other conditions attributed to four types of human papillomavirus (HPV). The agency initially licensed Gardasil solely for 9- to 26-year-old girls and women, but subsequent FDA decisions now enable Merck to market Gardasil’s successor–the nine-valent Gardasil 9 vaccine–to a much broader age range–9 to 45 years–and to both males and females.

As a result of Gardasil’s expanding markets not just in the U.S. but internationally, the blockbuster HPV vaccine has become Merck’s third highest-grossing product, bringing in annual global revenues of about $2.3 billion. However, Gardasil’s safety record has been nothing short of disastrous. Children’s Health Defense and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. have just produced a video detailing the many problems with the development and safety of Gardasil. Please watch and share this video so that you and others may understand why Mr. Kennedy refers to Merck’s methodologies as “fraudulent flimflams.”

What follow are 25 key facts about Gardasil/Gardasil 9, including facts about the HPV vaccines’ clinical trials and adverse outcomes observed ever since Merck, public health officials and legislators aggressively foisted the vaccines on an unsuspecting public.

Inappropriate placebos and comparisons

1. A placebo is supposed to be an inert substance that looks just like the drug being tested. But in the Gardasil clinical trials, Merck used a neurotoxic aluminum adjuvant called AAHS instead of using an inert saline placebo.

2. Among girls and women who received the vaccine and among girls and women who received AAHS, an astonishing 2.3% in both groups experienced conditions indicative of “systemic autoimmune disorders,” many shortly after receiving Gardasil.

3. Multiple scientific studies associate aluminum not just with autoimmune diseases but with autism, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and Parkinson’s disease as well as behavioral abnormalities in animals.

4. Merck lied to study participants, falsely saying that the clinical trials were not safety studies, that the vaccine had already been found to be safe and that the “placebo” was an inert saline solution. [Source: The HPV Vaccine on Trial (photo evidence, pp. 6 and 12).]

5. When Merck conducted clinical trials for its next HPV vaccine formulation, Gardasil 9, it used Gardasil as the “placebo” in the control groups, again relying on the lack of an inert placebo to mask safety signals.

6. The 500 micrograms of aluminum adjuvant (AAHS) in Gardasil 9 are more than double the amount of aluminum in Gardasil; this raises the question of whether Gardasil 9’s heavy reliance on the Gardasil trials for comparison is justifiable.

7. The World Health Organization states that using a vaccine (rather than an inert substance) as a placebo creates a “methodological disadvantage” and also notes that it may be “difficult or impossible” to assess vaccine safety properly without a true placebo.

Inappropriate inclusion and exclusion criteria

8. In the only Gardasil trial in the target age group (11- and 12-year-old girls) with a control group design, fewer than 1200 children received the vaccine and fewer than 600 served as controls. This single trial involving fewer than 1800 children set the stage for the vaccine’s subsequent marketing to millions of healthy preteens all over the world.

9. The Gardasil clinical trials had numerous exclusion criteria. Not allowed to participate in the trials were people with: severe allergies; prior abnormal Pap test results; over four lifetime sex partners; a history of immunological disorders and other chronic illnesses; reactions to vaccine ingredients, including aluminum, yeast, and benzonase; or a history of drug or alcohol abuse–yet Merck now recommends Gardasil for all of these groups.

Inadequate monitoring

10. Some of the study participants–but not all–were given “report cards” to record short-term reactions such as redness and itching. The report cards monitored reactions for a mere 14 days, however, and Merck did not follow up with participants who experienced serious adverse events such as systemic autoimmune or menstrual problems.

11. Injured participants complained that Merck rebuffed their attempts to report adverse side effects. In numerous instances, Merck maintained that these “weren’t related to the vaccine.”

12. Half (49.6%) of the clinical trial subjects who received Gardasil reported serious medical conditions within seven months. To avoid classifying these injuries as adverse events, Merck dismissed them as “new medical conditions.”

“Annual deaths from cervical cancer in the U.S. are 2.3/100,000. The death rate in the Gardasil clinical trials was 85/100,000–or 37 times that of cervical cancer.”

Cervical cancer risk-benefit ratio not worth it

13. The median age of cervical cancer death is 58 years. Gardasil targets millions of healthy preadolescents and teens for whom the risk of dying from cervical cancer is practically zero. Interventions for healthy people must have a risk profile that is also practically zero.

14. Annual deaths from cervical cancer in the U.S. are 2.3/100,000. In the Gardasil clinical trials, there were 40 deaths in the groups exposed to either the vaccine, the aluminum-containing “placebo” or a solution containing polysorbate 80 and borax. Although about half of the deaths were accident- or suicide-related, among the remaining fatalities (~65/100,000), many of the causes of death–such as sepsis, cardiac events, and autoimmune conditions–could plausibly be vaccine-related.

15. With 76 million children vaccinated at an average cost of $420 for the three-shot Gardasil series, the cost of saving one American life from cervical cancer amounts to about $18.3 million dollars. By contrast, the value of a human life according to the Department of Health and Human Services’s (HHS’s) National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is $250,000–the maximum amount that the government program will award for a vaccine-related death.

16. According to Gardasil’s package insert, women are 100 times more likely to suffer a severe event following vaccination with Gardasil than they are to get cervical cancer.

17. The chances of getting an autoimmune disease from Gardasil, even if the vaccine works, are 1,000 times greater than the chances of being saved from a cervical cancer death.

18. Women in Gardasil clinical trials with evidence of current HPV infection and previous exposure to HPV had a 44% increased risk of developing cervical lesions or cancer following vaccination.

19. Women who get the Gardasil vaccine as preteens or teens are more likely to skip cervical cancer screening as adults, mistakenly assuming that HPV vaccination is a replacement for screening and that the vaccine will eliminate all risk.

“Since Gardasil came on the U.S. market in 2006, people have reported over 450 deaths and over 61,000 serious medical conditions from HPV vaccines to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.”

Fertility effects

20. Accumulating evidence points to Gardasil’s potentially severe adverse effects on fertility, including miscarriage and premature ovarian failure.

21. Merck never tested the vaccine for fertility effects. However, Gardasil and Gardasil 9 clinical trials showed high spontaneous miscarriage rates of 25% and 27.4%, respectively–significantly higher than the background rates of approximately 10%-15% in this reproductive age group.

22. Polysorbate 80 and sodium borate (Borax) are associated with infertility in animals. Both are Gardasil ingredients, and both were present in the one clinical trial protocol that professed to use a benign saline placebo.

Post-licensing

23. In 2015, Denmark opened five new “HPV clinics” to treat children injured by Gardasil. Over 1300 cases flooded the clinics shortly after their opening.

24. Since Gardasil came on the U.S. market in 2006, people have reported over 450 deaths and over 61,000 serious medical conditions from HPV vaccines to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

25. Merck lied to VAERS about the case of Christina Tarsell’s death, falsely claiming that her doctor blamed a virus instead of Gardasil. [Source: The HPV Vaccine on Trial  (p. 144).]

Don’t Stay Away From Confession


By Constance T. Hull

A friend of mine texted me recently to tell me that she had a powerful experience of God’s mercy and love through the priest in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation (Confession). Like so many of us, she has been grappling with an area of her spiritual life. She desperately needed to see Christ in the priest and know that she is forgiven and strengthened, by God’s grace, to grow in holiness.

My friend left the confessional filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit and at peace, once more. She had a tangible encounter with Christ through the witness and guidance of this priest as he stood in persona Christi in the Sacrament.

Confession is a tremendous gift from Christ to His Church. It is through this Sacrament that we are reconciled to God and to His Church. Our sin wounds us deeply and it damages the Mystical Body.

Sin is never committed in isolation. The Catechism of the Catholic Church 1422 states: “Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion.” We are intimately connected to one another, which is why the Sacrament reconciles us with God and it reconciles us with the Body of Christ.

One of the greatest tragedies of the clergy sex abuse scandals is the sacrilegious abuses that have occurred in relation to the Sacraments and the Mass. In fact, reading of such horrific abuses can easily make a devout Catholic’s blood boil. The damage done by abusive priests and bishops cannot be overstated. The last 50 years have already seen a great decline in those who regularly go to Confession, which is tragic in its own right, but the abuse of this Sacrament by some clergy is nothing short of destructive.

There are parents who are now afraid to let their children go to Confession because they are alone with the priest in the confessional and others who are avoiding the Sacrament altogether. Bishop Robert Barron reports that 37% of Catholics are now considering leaving the Church. Priests are now confronted with the abuses committed in the confessional by their brother priests and how best to minister to God’s people in an age of scandal.

To be clear, our anger about the evils committed by some members of the hierarchy should not keep us from the graces Christ wishes to extend to us through His Church. If there is an issue with a specific priest, then another priest should be sought out. Abuse of any kind should be reported immediately.

We also have to keep in mind that the Enemy wants to keep us from the Sacraments, which is why he vehemently attacks the priesthood. He wants to divide the laity from the priesthood and we must do everything in our power to fight back and not allow him to win, despite our horror and fear in the face of what has been done by some priests.

Confession is meant to be a time of healing and peace, even with its discomforts, sorrows, and embarrassment. It can also be accompanied by great joy and a deeper realization of how much we are loved by Our Triune God. The priest is meant to reflect the love of God to us in this Sacrament and extend the mercy of God that we all desperately need.

Here are some things to keep in mind about the Sacrament of Confession and a portion of how the priest is understood in this Sacrament:

“1464 Priests must encourage the faithful to come to the sacrament of Penance and must make themselves available to celebrate this sacrament each time Christians reasonably ask for it.

1465 When he celebrates the sacrament of Penance, the priest is fulfilling the ministry of the Good Shepherd who seeks the lost sheep, of the Good Samaritan who binds up wounds, of the Father who awaits the prodigal son and welcomes him on his return, and of the just and impartial judge whose judgment is both just and merciful. The priest is the sign and the instrument of God’s merciful love for the sinner.

1466 The confessor is not the master of God’s forgiveness, but its servant. The minister of this sacrament should unite himself to the intention and charity of Christ. He should have a proven knowledge of Christian behavior, experience of human affairs, respect and sensitivity toward the one who has fallen; he must love the truth, be faithful to the Magisterium of the Church, and lead the penitent with patience toward healing and full maturity. He must pray and do penance for his penitent, entrusting him to the Lord’s mercy.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 1464-1466.

My friend’s joy at being forgiven and her experience of Christ’s mercy—which she saw in the priest—is an essential aspect of this ministry. The priest is meant to radiate the love of Christ to the flock and to draw us more closely to the Good Shepherd. She was able to see Christ in the priest and left praising God.

While great sacrileges have been committed by some priests in this Sacrament, it is not the norm. It also doesn’t change the nature of the Sacrament or the mission of the priesthood in conferring this, and all of the Sacraments. We must remember that it is Christ Himself who seeks to heal us in Confession. This is accomplished through absolution, but we are also ministered to through the guidance the priest offers to us in this Sacrament.

Let us pray for our brothers and sisters who stay away from the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, that they may seek to draw closer to Christ through the forgiveness of sins. And let us pray for our priests, that the Holy Spirit may be poured out upon them, so that they can be witnesses of Christ’s mercy and love, that we may leave this Sacrament singing His praises.