Can a non-Catholic Christian go to confession in a Catholic Church?

[quote=Catholic Tom]The last post contradicts much of what has been posted here. So what is it?

Sunniva makes good points. I guess my question is, if a person is a validly baptized Christian and is converting to the Catholic faith, do they have to be baptized Catholic?

No. Unless their baptism is not recognized by the Church (JW, Mormon, some Pentecostal baptisms in the name of Jesus only . . .). A baptized Christian coming into the Church may approach the Sacrament of Confession when the priest responsible for his preparation deems him ready. Like Sunniva, I received the Sacrament twice before my Confirmation: general confession and one more confession shortly before I was received. Actually, since receiving the Sacrament of Confession requires full acceptance of the faith, I consider my general confession, rather than Confirmation, the point at which I entered the Church.

hi Tom,

here is what i know, being an RCIA sponsor.

If you are a validly baptized Christian, you are not rebpatized and you would need to make a confession before being received into the Church.
you will receive absolution prior to your profession of faith because you will have met all of the requirements for reciving absolution.

If you are not baptized, you need not make a confession because baptism takes care of all previous sins.

[quote=DavidFilmer]Technically (from a Catholic point of view) any Baptized person is a Catholic (whether s/he realizes it or not). Jesus only instituted ONE Christian Baptism (He did not institute one for Catholics and another for protestants). Most protestant Baptisms are recognized as Sacramentally valid by the Catholic Church.

Regarding Confession: there are five components necessary for a any Sacrament to be valid: there must be proper form, matter, minister, intent, and subject. The required “subject” of Confession is a baptized Christian. Since there is only one Baptism (i.e., Catholic Baptism), anyone who is validly Baptized is a suitable subject for the Sacrament. Presuming the other conditions are met, there is no reason why a validly baptized protestant may not receive the Sacramental Grace of Confession. The Church surely has authority to pronounce God’s Grace for schematics and/or heretics!

St.Cyprian did not think so, however - had persecution not arisen to cut short the dispute between him and St, Stephen of Rome, he might never have been a martyr; he might be remembered today as a schismatic. Not that he was alone in thinking as he did, either - in several Churches, his position was the traditional one, rather than the position taken by Stephen. Tradition is rather confusing when there are several traditions of comparable dignity and comparable origin.

However, it does beg the question: if a non-Catholic recognizes the authority of the Catholic Church to pronounce (or withold) God’s forgiveness (Matt 16:18), why does this person not convert to the fullness of the Catholic Faith? Can the subject really possess the intent for amendment of life that the Sacrament presupposes if this person rejects the fullness of the Church from which s/he seeks God’s absolution?

This seems to apply to Anglicans. To answer the question: not all who believe that the CC has valid sacraments, believe that the CC is free of doctrinal error: which is how one can believe that the CC has preserved the Apostolic succession, by and large at least, while not being persuaded that all seven sacraments are truly and fitly so-called: which is one reason why Anglican theology has spoken of two “sacraments of the Gospel”.

Can Catholics “really possess the intent for amendment of life that the Sacrament presupposes if this person rejects the fullness” of the Orthodox Church ? Yet Catholics are allowed - from our side at least, and under certain conditions - to apply for the sacraments from Orthodox pastors. So Orthodox Christians might ask your question about such Catholics. ##

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