The following is from the Diocese of Sacramento, posted last week on the diocesan website:
Commentary on the General Instruction of the Roman Missal
Re: Sacrament of Reconciliation: the Confessional
Confessionals should be built so as to give penitents the option making their confession from behind a screen or ‘face-to-face’. Penitents cannot be required to offer their confession in one way or the other.
From the USCCB, October 20, 2000 –
“Provision must be made in each church or oratory for a sufficient number of places for sacramental confessions which are clearly visible, truly accessible, and which provide a fixed grille between the penitent and the confessor. Provision should also be made for penitents who wish to confess face-to-face, with due regard for the Authentic Interpretation of canon 964, §2 by the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, July 7, 1998” (AAS 90  711).
Thank you for all that you do.
James Cavanagh Director of Worship