The Telegraph reports that as part of the Year of Mercy, a special confession drive in England on March 4 and 5, known as “24 hours for the Lord,” invited non-Catholics to speak to a priest and unburden themselves of things that weighed heavy on their hearts. A priest was available to talk with participants, but they were not bound to the formal steps of expressing penitence for their sins, and instead of absolution, they simply received a blessing.
The idea was put forth by England's Bishop of Plymouth Mark O’Toole. He said, “Confession continues to be a priceless treasure in my own life, and I hope every Catholic can avail of its gift more deeply. Even if you are not Catholic, come and see. You are welcome in our churches, there will be time and space for prayer, and you can approach the priest and chat with him, and receive a blessing."
This initiative is part of the Year of Mercy, which is centered on forgiveness. The church hopes that this gives both Catholics and non-Catholics an opportunity to receive mercy, while also inspiring them to show mercy to others.