Why is the Ruth Institute running a "Go to Confession" campaign?
The Ruth Institute defends the family and equips others to do so. Families do not just “fall apart.” Marriages do not just “break down.” Somebody is selfish or mean or ugly. In other words, somebody sins. Sin is the root cause of family breakdown.

But why should I go to confession?
You can do something to improve your family life. Go to confession. Confess your sins. (Not your spouse’s! I’ve tried that. The priest called me on it. It’s lame.) Think about your contribution to whatever problems may be going on. If the priest asks you about the context of your sins, you can tell him. Otherwise, just come to the point, and tell him what you did. Going to confession can help you improve your behavior and attitude. In the process, you will find peace and clarity.

There is physical violence in my family. Will confession help us?
Perpetrating physical violence is a sin. One way or another, you must address any physical violence in your family.

  • If you are the perpetrator, you need to confess and stop it. Get help if you need it.
  • If you are the co-perpetrator (since some domestic violence is mutual), confess your part in it and stop your part in it.
  • If you are the victim of someone else’s violence, tell the priest about it. You must get help for yourself and other family members who may be depending on you.

You may also benefit from the Ruth Institute’s resource, “4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Divorce.”

I told a priest about my husband’s violence. The priest basically told me to suck it up.
If the priest asked you some pointed questions, I hope you answered them honestly, and made amends for any of your own sins.

I certainly did. He still told me to suck it up.
Go to another priest.

I thought the Catholic Church doesn’t allow divorce.
The Catholic Church prohibits a second marriage while your spouse is still living. The Church does NOT prohibit moving out of the house from a violent spouse. In fact, you have an obligation to protect yourself and any other people who are depending on you. You can protect yourself and your family members without attempting another marriage.

I’m sold. I want to go to Confession. Where do I go?
You can go to www.masstimes.org and type in your zip code. You can find confession times listed for churches near you.