What the Pope did was remove that requirement for this Year of Mercy, from December 2015 to November 2016.
I'd love to talk with you if you want to discuss:
* What it means to excommunicate someone.
* Why confession is an important part of the Catholic faith.
* Why abortion is a sin.
* What other things would be equivalent levels of sin (like, 'shockingly,' divorce and remarriage).
* How awesome this Pope is, even though he is the opposite of a progressive. (Or why that is so, if you didn't know it.)
I don't really care about your opinion related to this issue if you want to discuss:
* Why religion is stupid.
* Why Christians don't need confession.
* Why the Papacy is a form of idolatry.
* Any other blatantly anti-Catholic drivel.
, you aren't wrong, but there is so much more to our faith than just being forgiven. There was much more to Jesus life than dying on the Cross. Salvation is just the first step.
I like 's statement that there is more to our faith than simple belief. That's absolutely true, belief is the first step. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is about that continued conversion to the likeness of Christ. It calls Christians to be very introspective, vulnerable, and mindful. My sense, having run the gamut from atheist, through Protestantism, and rejoining the Catholic faith, I find the act of sacramental confession to be much more of a focused act than anything I experienced outside of the faith. I find it most focused when it is from a priest that I know personally.
This is one of the largest sources of disagreement between Protestants and Catholics. The point that is largely missed (even by many Catholics) is that the Sacrament of Reconciliation is about improving ourselves, not cleaning ourselves for salvation.