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The seal protects the dignity of the person, the official said (CNS photo illustration by Mike Crupi, Catholic Courier)

Church officials try to remove misconceptions about the sacrament

Confession is about our failure to respond to the Father’s love offered to us in Christ (Photo: PA)

How to make your best Confession ever

Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith urges Catholics to enter the confessional with newfound courage

St Augustine played by Franco Nero in a new film of his life called Restless Heart (Photo: CNS)

His book Confessions is proof that the human heart does not change much over the years

St Augustine and his mother, St Monica, by the French painter Ary Scheffer

His theology derives from experience: he is the great enlightener of the need for grace

St Augustine: the Shakespeare of Theology (Photo: CNS)

But he was a wonderful writer and preacher: his Confessions ranks as one of the greatest books ever written