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  #1  
Old Jul 12, '12, 1:06 pm
Zenkai Zenkai is offline
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Default When did Confession to a priest start?

I know that John 20:22-23 says: "Then he breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.'"

I was wondering if any of the early Church fathers mentioned Confession to a priest.

-Thanks
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  #2  
Old Jul 12, '12, 1:08 pm
Credo ergo sum Credo ergo sum is offline
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Default Re: When did Confession to a priest start?

In early times confession was for the whole congregation, while the priest said the words of absolution. The Didache from around 90 AD says:

“In church confess your sins, and do not come to your prayer with a guilt conscience. Such is the Way of Life...On the Lord's own day, assemble in common to break bread and offer thanks; but first confess your sins, so that your sacrifice may be pure."
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Old Jul 12, '12, 1:15 pm
Buck Crosswhite Buck Crosswhite is offline
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Default Re: When did Confession to a priest start?

Even the Jews before Christ confessed their sins to a priest.
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Old Jul 12, '12, 1:56 pm
Todd Easton Todd Easton is offline
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Default Re: When did Confession to a priest start?

In his Homily on Leviticus 2:4, written about A.D. 249, Origen mentions "declaring his sin to a priest."
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  #5  
Old Jul 12, '12, 2:23 pm
KP3243 KP3243 is offline
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Default Re: When did Confession to a priest start?

When Jesus entered the upper room after right after his resurrection.
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  #6  
Old Jul 12, '12, 8:14 pm
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Default Re: When did Confession to a priest start?

Yet Christ brought the fullness of the revelation when He gave the apostles the power to forgive sins. The law of Moses had no such thing, and even when the Lord himself forgave people's sins they would accuse Him of blasphemy, saying that only God could forgive sins. What is interesting is that, indeed, their argument was not wrong: for Christ is God, and because in the Reconciliation the priest acts in persona Christi
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Old Jul 12, '12, 8:54 pm
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Smile Re: When did Confession to a priest start?

I have a couple of articles on my blog that you might find helpful.
Catholic Confession
Scriptures About Penance
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  #8  
Old Jul 14, '12, 5:49 am
panevino panevino is offline
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Default Re: When did Confession to a priest start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Crosswhite View Post
Even the Jews before Christ confessed their sins to a priest.
Lev5:5 And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these [things], that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that [thing]:
6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.
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  #9  
Old Jul 14, '12, 3:41 pm
jpennstar jpennstar is offline
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Default Re: When did Confession to a priest start?

Would it not be granted, though, that the OT example of confessing to a priest doesn't exactly follow anymore as we have Jesus Christ as our mediator...

Personally I think both confession to the Church and God are necessary...
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Old Jul 14, '12, 5:53 pm
TimothyH TimothyH is offline
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Default Re: When did Confession to a priest start?

Confession to a priest goes back to the time of Moses and the covenant at Mt. Sinai.
When a man is guilty in any of these, he shall confess the sin he has committed, and he shall bring his guilt offering to the LORD for the sin which he has committed, a female from the flock, a lamb or a goat, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin. (Leviticus 5:5-6)
The sinner would tell his sins to the priest, who would lay his hands on the animal and state the sins, thereby transferring the sin to the animal. The animal would then die in place of the person who had violated the covenant.

There is a long history of oral confession of sins in the Old Testament. Oral confession of sin is one of the first things Mark mentions in his Gospel.
John [the] Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. (Mark 1:4-5)

-Tim-
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  #11  
Old Jul 14, '12, 7:15 pm
panevino panevino is offline
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Default Re: When did Confession to a priest start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpennstar View Post
Would it not be granted, though, that the OT example of confessing to a priest doesn't exactly follow anymore as we have Jesus Christ as our mediator...

Personally I think both confession to the Church and God are necessary...
We no longer need to bring a lamb. Jesus , High priest and victm supersedes this.
We bring only ourselves in repentance humbly before God, formally in the ministry shown in John20:21-23, 2cor2:10, 1john1:9, James 5:16. Rom15:16(ezek44:11), 2cor5:18
The mediator is Jesus, as sin is only forgiven through Him.
As with the Eucharist and baptism and see james 5:16, and laying of hands, there is a tangible / real encounter.
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Old Jul 14, '12, 7:23 pm
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Default Re: When did Confession to a priest start?

The Epistle of James discusses confession. True, he says 'confess your sins to one another', but clearly confession to a priest has always been considered an essential part of obtaining forgiveness for serious sins, since Jesus did not give all, but only the Apostles, the power to absolve and retain.

And John in one of his epistles discusses the difference between sin which is 'not unto death' (venial), about which ordinary laypeople can and should pray and sin which IS 'unto death' (mortal) about which they should not - presumably meaning not praying for absolution, which is not reserved to the layperson for mortal sins, but only to the priests.
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  #13  
Old Jul 14, '12, 7:51 pm
jpennstar jpennstar is offline
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Default Re: When did Confession to a priest start?

I don't think one scripture can supercede another, but only add and enlighten others; they compliment each other.

So scripture says to confess our sins one to another, so we may pray for one another. It also says to confess our sins directly to God. It also talks about sins which are of degrees. It also speaks of the Apostles forgiving sins - as Christ had done. But also God forgives sins.

It then seems the forgiveness of sins is broader than one way.....

I find confession to a priest profitable because they give me recommendations for me to help me in my walk.

Last edited by jpennstar; Jul 14, '12 at 8:07 pm.
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  #14  
Old Jul 14, '12, 8:18 pm
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Credo in Deum Credo in Deum is offline
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Default Re: When did Confession to a priest start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpennstar View Post
I am puzzled though why scripture doesn't speak specifically of the bishops forgiving sins.

In the Church their are many ways in which we confess our sins. In mass we make a public confession, praying for one another that we may be strengthend by the grace of God. Venial sin when confessed privately or publicly with a sincere sorrow for your sins and a firm resolution to amend your life is sufficent to remit venial sin (usually the Lords Prayer is said). For Mortal sin however there is more that needs to be done since we have lost sanctifying grace. We have left the fathers house and have squandered the riches we were given (sanctifying grace) and therefore must humbly approach Christ in the confessional in order to ask for his forgiveness and the inheritance He wants us to have. He clothes us in new garments and riches (sanctifying grace) and tells others to rejoice for we were lost but now we are found; we were dead (living in a state of mortal sin) but now we are alive again (living a life in sanctifying grace).

Paul in his epistles speaks about his office and says he has been given this ministry of reconciliation; telling fellow Christians that when he forgives sins he doesnt do so of his own power but rather he forgives sins in the person of Christ. Paul was an Apostle which means he was a Bishop in Christ's Church..
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  #15  
Old Jul 14, '12, 9:49 pm
jpennstar jpennstar is offline
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Default Re: When did Confession to a priest start?

Okay it makes sense now why we do the public confession in church now.

But what of then mortal sins being required to be confessed to priests? 1 Jn 1:8 doesn't make this distinction.

Is there something in scripture that does?
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Last edited by jpennstar; Jul 14, '12 at 10:03 pm.
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