Doubts about sacrament of confession

Hello to everyone . I was trying to tell my husband about confession. I showed him the bible on john 20, 22-23 . And his response was that jesus gave to the apostles also the power to cure sick people , do miracles, and to expel demons out of people and asked to me : how many priests do all of this today? Referring that may be they don’t have that power anymore, so that it is better to confess directly to god. What can i response??

Don’t let him drag you down to the level of “scripture alone.” It is true, from scripture alone, we do not know which powers and privileges were unique to the Apostles, and which were handed on to their successors.

But neither do we know from scripture alone a host of other things which your husband undoubtedly professes to know, such as the *doctrine *of the Trinity (not just the existence of the three persons, but the content of the Creeds), or for that matter that the Bible is inspired, or which books are in it.

He may not be open to hearing appeals to Tradition or Magisterial teaching, but perhaps he will at least be willing to look at history. Penance and the other four sacraments which he presumably rejects as such can be traced back to the Primitive Church. Consult the Fathers on this.

Many are assigned specifically to cure the sick… Anointing of the Sick: received by Eastern Catholics and Orthodox whenever they are sick or spiritually need it; and by Latins when sick or at death’s door.
Miracles: All priests are ordained to turn simple bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit; many do this daily.
Expel Demons: Many priests are assigned to ONLY this task as “Exorcist”, driving out demons; others do so with the Holy Sacraments, driving out demons during Baptism and Confession, as well as blessing sacred objects for us to use as spiritual weapons against the demonic.

All of us baptised and confirmed have a share in Christ’s priesthood, the ordained priests from the community of Baptized and Confirmed priests in their special unit, also doing their Sacramental duties for all of us!

Well…ask him where in the Bible does it say to confess directly to God? I do not think there is any such passage.

Instead, aside from John 20, which you have cited, there are these examples in the Bible:

2 Corinthians 5: 17-20
Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

: 2Sam 12 (please read the whole chapter, will only cite this verse):

13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”

Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. 14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for[a] the LORD, the son born to you will die.”

Question: Why did God send Nathan to David to confront him for his sin? Why was Nathan needed? Why did God not just forgive David directly?

Here, King David admits his sin to Nathan, the prophet, and Nathan pronounces the absolution. This seems like a forerunner of the sacrament of confession, doesn’t it?

First get him a book on the history and lives of the saints, - every saint has had to produce miracles to be named a saint.

Second, adivse him that there are special priests who are indeed exorcists, who expell demons.

And there are many occassion of miraculous healing of the sick both with priests and laypersons intervening inprayer, in the name of a saint or JESUS or Mary.

Then simply ask him if he believes in JESUS? Yes, no.

If you believe in JESUS then you can never reject or redefine HIS PERSONAL commands or requests. In granting to HIS apostles to power to “…whose sins you forgive they are forgiven, and whos sins you retain they are retained…” then you cannot “now” deny this, and still believe in JESUS, as to do so you dinegrate the Glory, Grace, Mercy and Power of GOD through JESUS.

To sin is to enter “with pride” into living your life your way, and not GOD’s way. To enter into confession with a priest is to enter “with humility” - the opposite of sin - and live your life according to the command given by JESUS. To reject that command is to continue in “pride” to live your life your way - not GOD’s way.

The song, “I did it my way”, is the theme song of hell and the demons - they love to make us believe that doing things “my way” is the best way, when it is the worse way.

Hi. Just to add to the thread. I think that most people’s objections to confession is emotional rather than objective. They just don’t want to go for whatever reason (embarrassment, fear, uncertain how to go etc.). One of the reasons I go every week is because it fills me with so much peace and joy.

The Power of Confession

Others here can offer more help than I can on this one, but I thought it might be helpful for me to share the fact that one of the chief reasons I became Catholic was that I felt deep down in my heart that only in confessing my sins to a Catholic Priest would I even have a remote chance for absolution.

This is the faith that I had even before conversion. Some things cannot always be proven or explained on a Biblical level.

It must be pointed out that the Catholic Church is not the only communion that responds to Christ’s direction that the Church bind and loose sin. Lutherans do so, as well.
I would like to draw a distinction between “Casting out demons”, and granting absolution after confession.
Attached to the power of the keys is the promise of grace, a promise of grace which is available to all. I am not convinced that this is the case in the casting out of demons.
The Church is the place where the means of grace are found, specifically hearing the word, and administration of the sacraments. And the ministerial priesthood is appointed by the Church to act in persona christi for this purpose.


“Our Father… forgive us our trespasses”.

Btw I’m not saying Catholics or others shouldn’t confess to a priest or their pastor. I know in TEC there’s an option to confess to priests. I find it reasonable based on bind and loosen. But neither am i convinced it’s the only manner for Christians. The Lord’s Prayer is an example. The Apostle James even speaks of confessing to one another. Just what I believe.

You can tell him that Catholic priests and bishops still cure sick people (Last Rites), do miracles (Padre Pio and a host of other saints) and expel demons (exorcisms).

Ask him what he thinks Jesus meant when he gave the Church the power and authority to forgive sins (Matthew 20:23). And why would he ever remove this power?

Interesting angel. I like that.

Thanks for all of your replies. They were very useful to me… i never thought to tell him about the exorcisms and all of that , because i was thinking about a regular priest that offers mass and do confessions , just a regular priest could all of them have these powers? ( expel demons and do exorcisms), because what he referred to is that ALL must do this , if one of them cannot expel demons then , how would i know he has the power to forgive sins? That was his question… and also told me in the bible mt 9,2 Jesus forgave sins to a disabled man and he did not ask for it . Saying that anybody can say that. … somw baptists people here to help understand his thoughts???

Yes, all priests have this power for the simple reason that all priests and bishops are ordained through the laying on of hands from a successor of the Apostles, who received power and authority from Christ.

When the Apostles cured people and expelled demons it was not through their own power, but rather the power of Christ working in them. So it is with all priests and bishops. They do not act on their own power and authority but act in persona Christi, in the Person of Christ. It is Christ who is present in the sacraments which are administered by bishops and priests. It is Christ who expels demons and forgives sins and heals and comes to us in the Eucharist.

The entire issue is one of authentic succession from the original Apostles. Authority and power are given, not assumed. The Apostles were given the authority and power from Christ. The Apostles, in turn, gave this authority and power to their successors through the laying on of hands. Every bishop and every priest can trace their priestly lineage all the way back to the Apostles, the Bishop of Rome to Peter himself.

And here is something else that you need to tell your friend. Priestly authority is not dependent upon the virtue of the priest. Even a bad priest can validly administer the sacraments for the simple reason that it is actually Christ, who is all holy. If you confess your sins to a Catholic priest and he absolves you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit then you have been forgiven, no ifs, ands or buts about it. Christ is the Head of the Church, his Body. It is a divine institution. That is why these things still take place in the Catholic Church (and EO, who also have valid apostolic succession).

He asked for healing. Christ not only healed him physically but healed him spiritually as well by forgiving his sins. Can you imagine Christ healing a person physically but leaving him to die spiritually in his sins? Christ knew the true healing that he needed. He also used this circumstance to show that the Son of Man has the power to forgive sins. God can heal whom he chooses, when and where he chooses. But he has given us the Church and the sacraments as the ordinary means of being forgiven. We need to ask for forgiveness, feel at least some degree of sorrow for our sins and resolve to change our life of sin. If your friend is implying that he is forgiven without asking for it, I wouldn’t bet on it. Christ started a Church and gave it the power to forgive sins for a reason.

God bless.


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