How does a catholic get absolution? what needs to be met to receive that from a priest. That is forgiveness of all sin correct? and were in bible if so, does that come from?.

The penitent has to go to Confession and make a sincere confession to the priest of all mortal sins that can be remembered and then the priest “in persona christi” will give the penitent absolution.

John 20:21-23

21 (Jesus) said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the holy Spirit.

23 Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."

thanks, so does the forgiveness come from the priest or from Jesus through the priest?. And who does the repentant sinner look to for that forgiveness? both Jesus and priest?

I posted this on another thread. The priest also will give advice on how to avoid the sins, and also maybe a different perspective on the damage that the sins have done.

1.) You cannot know the feeling of peace when you have stepped out of the confessional after having made a heartfelt confession. The agony you may feel ahead of time praying in the church pew before the crucifix, because you have to verbalize to another human being (even though they are in persona Christi) something you are terribly ashamed of. And even though you have been forgiven by God already it is like when Jesus cured and then said “show yourself to the priest”, my showing myself to the priest allows him to give me the official stamp of cleanliness. By the way 12 step programs operate on telling your faults to another. Something about verbalizing them allows healing.

2.) Would you ever think up this penance for yourself on your own?

He who robs another of his good name can never repair the terrible injury he has caused.A woman once came to St. Philip Neri, (1515-1595) confessing that she had a terrible weakness for gossiping. She asked the Saint to advise her how to conquer this fault. First, St. Philip tried to convince the woman of the grievous wrong that she did by spreading slander. But she would not believe that she did much harm by it. St. Philip then told her, "Do this for your penance, my daughter. Go to the market and buy a dead chicken that still has its feathers, and carry it through the streets. As you go along, pluck out the feathers one by one and scatter them on the way. When you have done this, come back to me."The woman fulfilled her strange penance, and returned to him. Naturally, she was very curious as to what he would say next. The Saint praised her obedience in following his first command. But now he told her to go again through the streets, and gather all the feathers she had plucked out! She was surprised by this command, and answered him, "Father, that is impossible. For the wind will have carried them away in all directions."And so, St. Philip Neri told her: "Just as the wind disperses feathers in all directions, so it is with calumny. The persons who hear it go their several ways and carry it far and wide, so that it is beyond reach or correction."This practical illustration taught the woman not the mere wrong, but the immense evil done by one who spreads evil tales about others. She had never thought about it seriously. But now she could see that the bad things she said spread so quickly among so many people that it was impossible to undo the damage. Because there was no way of knowingwhereto findall those people*who, by a short time, would be hearing and spreading the slander. Therefore, there was no way to gather the multitude of badly informed gossipers, to speak to them and repair the reputation of their victim.The lesson was well learned and, with Heaven’s help, the woman was more cautious in her speech from that time forward.__________________

I have a couple of blog articles that may help you with this.
Catholic Confession
Scriptures About Penance

John Martignoni deals with this question very well in his Q&A Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest, rather than going directly to God?

Jesus through the priest I believe.

In the Diary of St Faustina, Jesus said to her -

"…when you go to confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flows down upon your soul and ennobles it. Every time you go to confession, immerse yourself entirely in My mercy, with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul. When you approach the confessional, know this, that I myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity. The torrents of grace inundate humble souls." (Diary, 1603).

Jesus, but He acts through the Priest when he absolves us I believe.

I hope this has helped

God Bless

Thank you for reading

1] what do you mean by “even though you have been forgiven by God already” before confession? and at confession who does the forgiving god or priest?

thanks so very much. Question is there a crucifix there to remind you of jesus at all confession places?.

:slight_smile: Always.

You can’t miss it, it’s at the very front of the Church above the tabernacle.

God Bless

Thank you for reading

God delegated authority to forgive sins to twelve men on earth.

And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:22-23)

The ability to do this was won by Jesus Christ who shed his blood on the cross.

*In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace. (Ephesians 1:7)


so than your saying the forgiveness comes from priest but earned by Christ?

More needs to be said than I am saying.

It’s like a police officer who gives you a ticket for speeding. The ticket comes from the police officer but the authority to pull you over and enforce the law ultimately resides with the state. The police officer represents the state’s authority and has been delegated the task of enforcing the law by the state. The police officer has no authority of his own but acts only on behalf of the state and only when he has been trained and sworn in.

The authority and ability to forgive sins resides with Christ. The priest does nothing on his own authority but is Christ’s representative on earth. The priest has been delegated the task of forgiving sins by Christ. The priest does so not because of any power the priest holds but only after being trained and ordained to do so.

This is not something the Church invented but is part of Christ’s commission to the 12 Apostles, their successors and those they appoint.

*When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men. (Matthew 9:8)

"He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." (Luke 10:16)

If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." (John 20:23)

And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)*

The Apostles, their successors the Bishops, and the presbyters they appoint are Christ’s chosen representatives on earth. They speak with the authority of Christ, but that authority has been entrusted to them as stewards and is not something they have earned or possess by themselves.


perfectly said thanks.

It is also important to understand the difference between the words absolution and forgiveness. They are not the same thing and the Church chooses its words very carefully.

God forgives. The priest absolves.

Father David explainsit well in the 2nd post at forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=406160.


Not so fast - there is NO requirement that the sacrament of penance be celebrated only in a church. Most priests will hear a confession anywhere when asked if there is a reasonably private place to do so and he has time.

When a priest administers sacraments, he is in the Person of a Christ, so you are being forgiven by Christ.

glad to hear, but what does in the person of Christ mean?

Just this morning, I went to confession in a nearby Latin rite church. In the confessional
there was a crucifix in there above the “window” through which we speak to the priest.

Representative. Stand-in. Delegate.

The police officer stands-in for the state because the entire state government can’t pull you over. When the officer pulls you over, it is almost as if the state is pulling you over. At that moment he is the state. Likewise, the priest is a stand-in for Christ, is his representative, speaks with his authority as his delegate.

In Latin it is “in persona christi” literally translated “in the person of Christ”. You may hear it referred to as “another Christ”. This does not mean that the priest is actually a second Jesus, but is an expression of how we feel about the importance of the ministry he has been called to by God.

*A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master; it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. (Matthew 10:24-25)

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:15-16)*

Jesus is specifically speaking to “The Twelve” in both the passages above.


Confession and Forgiveness of Sin via the Priesthood Proved from Scripture

Some people object to the Sacrament of Reconciliation (commonly called “Confession”) on the basis that they only need to confess their sins directly to God rather than to a priest. Is this perspective correct? Let’s see what the Bible has to say.

Leviticus 5:5-6
5 " 'When anyone is guilty in any of these ways, he must confess in what way he has sinned 6 and, as a penalty for the sin he has committed, he must bring to the LORD a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin.

Notice that the Word of God says, “the priest shall make atonement.” Clearly in the Old Testament, the priesthood existed to offer sacrifices and make atonement for the sins committed by the people. Does this idea continue in the New Testament?

Hebrews 10:1
1 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves.

Here the author of Hebrews instructs us that the Old Testament prefigures and foreshadows New Testament truths; the Old is revealed more fully in the New. This seems to suggest that the role of the priest (ie, making atonement) as described in Leviticus should reveal something to us about the New Testament priesthood. So, what does the New Testament teach us about confession of sin?

1 John 1:9
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

We should confess our sins, and God will forgive us, but do we confess our sins to God alone? No!

James 5:13-16
13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.

Here the word of God tells us to call the elders (the Greek word is presbuteroi, or “presbyter”, from which the English word “priest” is derived). So, in this context, James is telling us to send for the priests who will pray over someone who is sick, and if he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Recalling the passage from Leviticus above, we see there is a strong parallel between the priests of the Old Testament who made atonement for sin and the presbyters or priests of the New Testament to whom we confess sins for forgiveness. But this sounds like blasphemy! Can men really forgive sins? This same question is asked in the New Testament.

Mark 2:5-7
5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7"Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

Who can forgive sins but God alone? This question is often asked by those who seek to deny the sacrament of confession. However, note that this question is asked by the scribes who did not accept Jesus. Those who quote this passage find themselves on the side of those who rejected the Messiah. There’s more to the story, however; let’s consider the same incident from the book of Matthew.

Matthew 9:1-7
1 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” 3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” 4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7And the man got up and went home. 8When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men.

The Bible teaches that God had given the authority to forgive sins “to men”. Note that this is not “to a man” but “to men” – plural. So, it is not only Jesus who has authority to forgive sins – “men” have this authority, also. This sounds like a “hard teaching”…is there confirmation of this in the Bible?

John 20:21-23
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”


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