Children’s Liturgy 3rd and 4th Grade Faith Formation – ReconciliationThe above excerpt is from a local "Catholic" parish bulletin...Did I misread this or is God a "she"? Secondly, if God is "unconditionally" forgiving us, do we even need the Sacrament of Penance?
The focus for this year is the meaning of forgiveness. Depending on the parent catechists, this theme is explored in a number of ways. Scripturally, the parables of mercy (The Found Sheep, The Found Coin, The Forgiving Father) and our connection to the True Vine are particularly related to this theme. The Parable of the Good Samaritan and Jesus’ forgiveness of Simon Peter are also rich reflections. Materials from the Institute of Peace and Justice, especially the forgiveness component of the Peace Pledge, further illumine the meaning of forgiveness and reconciliation.
It may or may not be the time for children to receive the sacrament of reconciliation. The primary focus in this sacrament for children this age is the gift of God’s love for us, not our shortcomings. The main point is that God is always unconditionally loving and forgiving us, falling over Herself, extending Her love to us again and again. The sacrament of reconciliation begins and ends by dwelling on this wonderful gift of God’s infinite tenderness for us. This focus is important for children of this age because a somewhat unsettling awareness of their own limits is just dawning on their tender developing moral sensibility. They need to experience the encouragement and affirmation of God’s unconditional love. Blame, shame, and criticism are not helpful. (Emphasis is mine)
Don't believe me? Here it is (PDF file)...