Anyone know for sure? (Absolution)

Does anyone know for sure what constitutes a valid absolution? While I would prefer that priests use the regular forumla (CCC 1449), I am wondering what other forms are valid. For example, the Byzantine Liturgy recognizes different formulas (CCC 1481). Is straying from the established forms illicit? At what point do they become invalid?

CCC section on The Sacrament of Reconciliation: scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c2a4.htm

[quote=Madia]Does anyone know for sure what constitutes a valid absolution? While I would prefer that priests use the regular forumla (CCC 1449), I am wondering what other forms are valid. For example, the Byzantine Liturgy recognizes different formulas (CCC 1481). Is straying from the established forms illicit? At what point do they become invalid?

CCC section on The Sacrament of Reconciliation: scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c2a4.htm
[/quote]

“I absolve you of your sins” It matters not for validity what wording comes before or after.

What about something like “I give you absolution…”? Would that form be valid? Are there any Church documents that say that it is illicit to change the formula?

[quote=Madia]What about something like “I give you absolution…”? Would that form be valid? Are there any Church documents that say that it is illicit to change the formula?
[/quote]

Did somebody change it on ya? Have you asked in AAA?

[quote=Madia]Does anyone know for sure what constitutes a valid absolution? While I would prefer that priests use the regular forumla (CCC 1449), I am wondering what other forms are valid. For example, the Byzantine Liturgy recognizes different formulas (CCC 1481). Is straying from the established forms illicit? At what point do they become invalid?

CCC section on The Sacrament of Reconciliation: scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c2a4.htm
[/quote]

As long as they say “I absolve you from your sins in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The sacrament is valid. Also anything that means the same as absolve such as forgive the sacrament is stil valid. If they don’t stick to the traditional formula tell them, 'cause its not just your salvation but everyone that confesses to them thats at hand.

The person answering the questions at EWTN seems to indicate that any change in the form invalidate the confession:

ewtn.com/vexperts/showresult.asp?RecNum=447029&Forums=0&Experts=0&Days=30&Author=&Keyword=invalid&pgnu=1&groupnum=0&record_bookmark=9&ORDER_BY_TXT=ORDER+BY+ReplyDate+DESC&start_at=

ewtn.com/vexperts/showresult.asp?RecNum=424475&Forums=0&Experts=0&Days=2005&Author=&Keyword=invalid+absolution&pgnu=1&groupnum=0&record_bookmark=5&ORDER_BY_TXT=ORDER+BY+ReplyDate+DESC&start_at=

ewtn.com/vexperts/showresult.asp?RecNum=424615&Forums=0&Experts=0&Days=2005&Author=&Keyword=invalid+absolution&pgnu=1&groupnum=0&record_bookmark=3&ORDER_BY_TXT=ORDER+BY+ReplyDate+DESC&start_at=

However, I haven’t found anything official clearly supporting this. It seems reasonable though that if the priest follows the essential elements to the formula the absolution would be valid (CCC #1449):
scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c2a4.htm#VI

However, while changing the formula of absolution may be valid it would still most likely be illicit. The problems with using an illicit formula could be twofold:

  1. The formula might not be valid.
  2. Even if it is valid changing the formula could put the validity of the Sacrament in doubt and the penitent could be robbed of a sense of peace that he or she might normally receive when hearing an absolution that they know is valid.

Also, a scrupulous person might fear they are sinning by not correcting the priest if they hear the priest chaning the formula but at the same time be afraid about confronting him.

Imagine if the next time you went to confession you heard this formula of absolution (CCC #1481) instead of the normal:
scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c2a4.htm#XI

Now, since it is a formula recognized by the Byzantine Liturgy it seems reasonable to me that it would be valid regardless of the Rite. However, it seems to me that using the formula in the Latin Rite (even though it is invalid) would be illicit since the parishoners are not accustomed to the formula and may doubt the validity of the Sacrament.

I am interested in some official Church documents that I could use that show that it’s wrong to change the formula of absolution. Without them, it might be hard for a lay person like myself to convince a priest to stop changing the words of absolution.

I am interested in some official Church documents that I could use that show that it’s wrong to change the formula of absolution. Without them, it might be hard for a lay person like myself to convince a priest to stop changing the words of absolution.

Would #1125 of the CCC be proof that it is wrong to change the formula of absolution?
scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s1c1a2.htm#III

Any advise on bringing this up? Is it best to write a (non-anonymous) letter? Should I site the Catechism and also explain that if you change the form of the Sacrament not only are you possibly putting doubt of the validity of the Sacrament in the minds of the parishoners but you may actually be invalidating the Sacrament.

Also does anyone know the name of the principle in which if by reasons of the priest an absolution is invalid it will be made valid if neccesary for salvation?

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