Can anyone explain to me confession as a whole? What’s the parishoner’s duty and Priests duty? Can Parishoners speak about other things than sins in confession? And do Priests only impose penance, or can they do other things?

Confession is a sacrament where we confess our sins and receive absolution for them. The parishioner’s duty is to confess his sins. The priest listens, may offer some advice, and gives absolution.

I’m sure people speak of many things in the confessional. However, it’s not intended to be a therapy session. If you wish to seek counseling from the priest it would probably be best to make an appointment so that you know you’ll have more time available. It would be hard to have an extended conversation when you know there are other people waiting in line.

A priest can give a penance, he can give advice, he can give absolution. I’m not sure what other things you’re referring to.

First and most important…I recommend that you look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)…paras: 1422-1439…for general and background information and …paras: 1440-1449 for specifics on the* Sacrament of of Penance and Reconciliation*. The Penitent’s requirements/actions are discussed in **1450-1460 **and the minister’s (priest’s) actions in 1461-1467.[INDENT][note: these paras 1461-1467 are really incredible teachings about the priest’s role]
[/INDENT]Second, I quote the paras on effects of the Sacrament below (note: emphasis is mine)…to highlight what this sacrament gives you. I ask myself…would I be in my “right mind” if I did not want what is guaranteed (in this sacrament)…by Jesus Christ (himself who is mysteriously the minister in the person of the priest)…in this sacrament…through His Church:

1468 “The** whole power of the sacrament of Penance consists in restoring us to God’s grace and joining us with him in an intimate friendship.”**73 Reconciliation with God is thus the purpose and effect of this sacrament. For those who receive the sacrament of Penance with contrite heart and religious disposition, reconciliation "is usually followed by peace and serenity of conscience with strong spiritual consolation."74 Indeed the sacrament of Reconciliation with God brings about a true “spiritual resurrection,” restoration of the dignity and blessings of the life of the children of God, of which the most precious is friendship with God.75
1469 This sacrament reconciles us with the Church. Sin damages or even breaks fraternal communion. The sacrament of Penance repairs or restores it. In this sense it does not simply heal the one restored to ecclesial communion, but has also a revitalizing effect on the life of the Church which suffered from the sin of one of her members.76 Re-established or strengthened in the communion of saints, the sinner is made stronger by the exchange of spiritual goods among all the living members of the Body of Christ, whether still on pilgrimage or already in the heavenly homeland:77[INDENT] It must be recalled that . . . this reconciliation with God leads, as it were, to other reconciliations, which repair the other breaches caused by sin. The forgiven penitent is reconciled with himself in his inmost being, where he regains his innermost truth. He is reconciled with his brethren whom he has in some way offended and wounded. He is **reconciled with the Church. He is reconciled with all creation.**78
1470 In this sacrament, the sinner, placing himself before the merciful judgment of God, *anticipates *in a certain way *the judgment *to which he will be subjected at the end of his earthly life. For it is now, in this life, that we are offered the choice between life and death, and it is only by the road of conversion that we can enter the Kingdom, from which one is excluded by grave sin.79 In converting to Christ through penance and faith, the sinner passes from death to life and "does not come into judgment."80 [/INDENT]

Third, partaking and receiving this sacrament is your RIGHT as a Catholic…you have what some theologians call TITLE…to its gifts (graces)…like a title to your car or home…it is a legal recognition of your ownership of this RIGHT…as baptized and being brought into full communion with the Catholic Church. For me…naturally the Blessed Sacrament ( Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and receiving the Holy Eucharist)…is the source and summit of my life in the Church…but as a christian who has a desire to be a much better disciple in obedience and doing the will of God via the Two Great Commandments…the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is simply incredible…and I get my “money’s worth” (forgive my jargon) from this gift.

Lastly…don’t let the manner/style or demeanor of the priest be a factor…hopefully he is great on all accounts…but, if you needed critical and life saving brain or heart surgery and the best person available…with an absolute guaranteed 100 percent successful results…was also the biggest “horse’s fanny” in beside manner…style, demeanor…personality, etc…I bet that you would go to that person anyway. Thank God…nearly everyone of the priests that we will encounter in the sacrament of forgiveness…are top notch…and true servants of Our Lord Jesus Christ’s ministry of love, compassion, mercy and healing. God bless.

Pax Christi

Is confession a requirement for going to heaven?


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