As a Catholic, confession for me was a life line that God gave me, I spoke directly to Christ when I was there, it was private, secret, safe. That is the key it was safe, and the answers came immediately, thru the priest. I was always treated with compassion. I heard God tell me time after time, "It's okay I'm here and I will always be here". It worked for me.
I've heard horror stories and I don't doubt them, but the overwhelming good done, (again in my experience) far outweighed any evil horrors related to me by others.
Holy Mother Church nurished me with faith when I was hopeless, made me a part of something bigger than all of us when I was abandoned.
Best part of my experience - I knew Christ was there because he always found a way to be at the center of attention with sinners.That's what I found out about most Catholics ---people who knew they were created for a greater good,their lives are a gift from God to the world, but they fall short, way short, but it's the struggle that counts.
This is just one man's thankfulness for a Church that has always been there for me, even if there were some in the heirarchy "giving me hell" when I needed a taste of Heaven.
yours in crosses
we are so accustomed to adopting masks before others, that we wind up being unable to recognize ourselves