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  #1  
Old Sep 15, '10, 10:48 am
bobolink bobolink is offline
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Default Withholding absolution

Can a priest withhold absolution on condition that a penitent hand himself in to law enforcement?

Can a priest compel a penitent to go the the police as a pre-condition for absolution?
  #2  
Old Sep 15, '10, 10:52 am
Evan Evan is offline
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Default Re: Withholding absolution

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Originally Posted by bobolink View Post
Can a priest withhold absolution on condition that a penitent hand himself in to law enforcement?

Can a priest compel a penitent to go the the police as a pre-condition for absolution?
No... a priest cannot require that a penitent break the seal of the confessional as a condition on his absolution.
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  #3  
Old Sep 15, '10, 11:15 am
ConstantineTG ConstantineTG is offline
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Default Re: Withholding absolution

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobolink View Post
Can a priest withhold absolution on condition that a penitent hand himself in to law enforcement?

Can a priest compel a penitent to go the the police as a pre-condition for absolution?
No
The only time absolution can be withheld is if the penitent shows that he is not actually sorry for his since, hence making a mockery of the Sacrament.
  #4  
Old Sep 15, '10, 11:18 am
Jesness Jesness is offline
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Default Re: Withholding absolution

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Originally Posted by ConstantineTG View Post
No
The only time absolution can be withheld is if the penitent shows that he is not actually sorry for his since, hence making a mockery of the Sacrament.
But doesn't being truly repentant include being willing to take responsibility for ones actions?
  #5  
Old Sep 15, '10, 11:20 am
ConstantineTG ConstantineTG is offline
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Default Re: Withholding absolution

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Originally Posted by Jesness View Post
But doesn't being truly repentant include being willing to take responsibility for ones actions?
God's justice is different from man's justice. Why do you still need to go to the police if God has already forgiven your sins? Isn't God the higher authority? (Highest in fact)


EDIT:

To add, didn't Jesus do the same? When he forgave the adultrous woman who was about to be stoned, did Jesus still subject her to earthly authority? Which means she is still to be stoned? So why do we need to go to prison after God has forgiven us?
  #6  
Old Sep 15, '10, 11:22 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Withholding absolution

yes he can withhold absolution until the sinful condition is rectified. No he cannot make it conditional on revealing the substance of the confession to any third party, including law enforcement. to do so would be to break the seal which is absolute.
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  #7  
Old Sep 15, '10, 12:05 pm
Aramis Aramis is offline
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Default Re: Withholding absolution

Looking at Canon Law:
Can. 980 If the confessor has no doubt about the disposition of the penitent, and the penitent seeks absolution, absolution is to be neither refused nor deferred.
The corollary, therefore, is that if there is doubt, absolution may be deferred or refused.

Further, canon law reserves several excommunication offenses to the bishop or even Rome.

So yes, absolution can be withheld for cause.
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  #8  
Old Sep 15, '10, 12:07 pm
bobolink bobolink is offline
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Default Re: Withholding absolution

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Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post
yes he can withhold absolution until the sinful condition is rectified. No he cannot make it conditional on revealing the substance of the confession to any third party, including law enforcement. to do so would be to break the seal which is absolute.
You seem to contradict yourself there?
  #9  
Old Sep 15, '10, 12:08 pm
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FrDavid96 FrDavid96 is offline
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Default Re: Withholding absolution

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobolink View Post
Can a priest withhold absolution on condition that a penitent hand himself in to law enforcement?

Can a priest compel a penitent to go the the police as a pre-condition for absolution?
No.

And No.

The priest can never require any penitent to do anything which would reveal the penitent's guilt. No. Nay. Never. No never nomore. Nothing.

This comes up every few months, so just to anticipate the follow-up questions, and to anticipate the "but what if....." scenarios, the answer will still be the same: No.

Once again, whatever else gets posted here, because inevitably people will post again and ask "but what if....." The answer will still be the same: No.

One last time, folks, whatever you are thinking of posting, the answer will still be: No.

Unfortunately, I'm sure we'll get the "but what if..." scenarios because someone out there will try to imagine a scenario where the answer will be yes. It won't be. The answer will still be: No.
  #10  
Old Sep 15, '10, 12:13 pm
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FrDavid96 FrDavid96 is offline
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Default Re: Withholding absolution

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aramis View Post
Looking at Canon Law:
Can. 980 If the confessor has no doubt about the disposition of the penitent, and the penitent seeks absolution, absolution is to be neither refused nor deferred.
The corollary, therefore, is that if there is doubt, absolution may be deferred or refused.

Further, canon law reserves several excommunication offenses to the bishop or even Rome.

So yes, absolution can be withheld for cause.
While that's true, it isn't the question being asked. The questions have to do with the priest somehow requiring the penitent to turn himself in to law enforcement. Reserved sins are a different matter.

You might be getting at the idea that a priest can say "if you don't turn yourself in, then you're not repentant, and therefore I'll withhold absolution" A priest cannot do that, because he's forbidden to require the penitent to reveal the sin.
  #11  
Old Sep 15, '10, 12:19 pm
jpjd jpjd is offline
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Default Re: Withholding absolution

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrDavid96 View Post
No.

And No.

The priest can never require any penitent to do anything which would reveal the penitent's guilt. No. Nay. Never. No never nomore. Nothing.

This comes up every few months, so just to anticipate the follow-up questions, and to anticipate the "but what if....." scenarios, the answer will still be the same: No.

Once again, whatever else gets posted here, because inevitably people will post again and ask "but what if....." The answer will still be the same: No.

One last time, folks, whatever you are thinking of posting, the answer will still be: No.

Unfortunately, I'm sure we'll get the "but what if..." scenarios because someone out there will try to imagine a scenario where the answer will be yes. It won't be. The answer will still be: No.
lol !
  #12  
Old Sep 15, '10, 12:26 pm
Garyjohn2 Garyjohn2 is offline
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Default Re: Withholding absolution

but..but...

but what if its part of the penance? I've heard of priests saying to return something that was stolen (or donate the equivalent amount in money to the poor) as part of the penance. Could a priest subscribe "turning oneself in" as penance?
  #13  
Old Sep 15, '10, 12:30 pm
ConstantineTG ConstantineTG is offline
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Default Re: Withholding absolution

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garyjohn2 View Post
but..but...

but what if its part of the penance? I've heard of priests saying to return something that was stolen (or donate the equivalent amount in money to the poor) as part of the penance. Could a priest subscribe "turning oneself in" as penance?
No



seriously
  #14  
Old Sep 15, '10, 12:35 pm
revert_jen revert_jen is offline
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Default Re: Withholding absolution

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobolink View Post
You seem to contradict yourself there?
I don't see a contradiction. If you are, to take a horrible example, holding someone prisoner in your basement, the priest can require you to rectify the situation, that is, release the person. That is not the same as saying you have to turn yourself in.

--Jen
  #15  
Old Sep 15, '10, 1:15 pm
Jesness Jesness is offline
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Default Re: Withholding absolution

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConstantineTG View Post
God's justice is different from man's justice. Why do you still need to go to the police if God has already forgiven your sins? Isn't God the higher authority? (Highest in fact)


EDIT:

To add, didn't Jesus do the same? When he forgave the adultrous woman who was about to be stoned, did Jesus still subject her to earthly authority? Which means she is still to be stoned? So why do we need to go to prison after God has forgiven us?
She was breaking God's law. As God Jesus can grant her mercy if he likes.

If you have committed a crime such as murder, you have broken not only God's law but earthly laws as well. You are held accountable for that act even if God has forgiven you. As I said, true repentance tends to be willing to make restitutions for the wrongs its committed.

In terms of your eternal salvation, Jesus' sacrifice gains us God's mercy. Even so, Paul tells us that we should be subject to earthly authorities as it is God who put them over us. Since it is against earthly law, that same earthly law will demand restitution for the crime committed. Thankfully, even if the person does go to jail, a few years in prison beats an eternity in Hell. We won't be destroyed for our sins, but neither will we get off Scott-free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremiah 30:11
I am with you and will save you,' declares the LORD. 'Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.'
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