Help defending confession (Question about Beginning Apologetics book 1)


#1

I’m putting this in Apologetics since it is about defending confession as opposed to the Sacraments section which would be more just general questions about confession.

I was reading through Beginning Apologetics 1: How to Explain and Defend the Catholic Faith, when I got stuck on one paragraph in the Confession section that I could use a little help on. I’m going to quote the paragraph directly out of the book:

Fundamentalists say they confess their sins to God while Catholics confess their sins only to priests. Wrong. Catholics always confess their sins to God. They do it directly as well as through His ministers because that is what God requires, as clearly taught in Scripture.

Based on the scripture that is referenced earlier in the section (JN 20:19-23), I don’t feel that it is clearly taught in Scripture that we need to confess to God directly as well as through his ministers. Could the author be reffering to some other portion of scripture that he failed to mention?

My problem is that I actually plan on defending the doctrine of Confession to a Baptist based on what I’m reading/learning here and in the book and I’m afraid he is also going to think that it is not clearly taught in scripture solely based on John 20:19-23. If it’s not more clear in another portion of scripture, I’ll just leave that part out of my sentence: ex. “Catholics always confess their sins to God. They do it directly as well as through His ministers. Period.”

As always, thanks, and God Bless!
Richard


#2

We might try this.

catholic.com/library/Confession.asp


#3

The Council of Trent explicitly taught that prior to receiving the Sacrament of Penance (now called Reconcilliation), repentance is required. Whenever you first become aware that you have committed a particular sin, you should immediately confess that sin directly to God and make an act of Contrition; not because God doesn’t know what’s in your heart, but because He desires that we actively seek Him and His forgiveness.

In addition, Jesus established the Sacrament as the normal means He wished for us to receive His forgiveness so you still need to resolve to go to Sacramental Confession.

forum.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=265122#post265122


#4

The Penetential Rite of the Mass ( Lord, have mercy, Christ, have mercy…) forgives any venial sins. Mortal sins require confessing to a priest.

Peace,
Linda


#5

. Catholics always confess their sins to God. They do it directly as well as through His ministers because that is what God requires, as clearly taught in Scripture.

if you notice, the verses you have mentioned say: whosoever’s sins you forgive, they are forgiven; and whosoever’s you retain, they are retained.
now, if a priest has authority to forgive sins, it is conceivable that he can do so without knowing what the sins are. just like in non- catholic churches, when the pastor says the prayer of forgiveness over the congregation, one could imagine that the sins are forgiven though they have not been told to the pastor.

however, it doesn’t make sense that a priest can retain someone’s sins without knowing their gravity, and thus, what they are (because the judgement of the gravity of the sin can only be made objectively by the priest and not by the person confessing the sins). you may not know that the priest does have authority to refuse absolution for various reasons including being convinced of the sinners lack of repentance (i should know, it’s happened to me!). it is not a right they exercise very commonly but it does exist.

thus, when the verse gives the power to forgive as well as retain sins, it’s obvious that the sins need to be confessed to the priest because…

that is what God requires, as clearly taught in Scripture.

one last thing, the verses say that jesus said these words after breathing on them. god breathing on man occurs only twice in the bible- creation and the institution of this sacrament. this shows the undeniable importance of adhering to these verses.

i hope this helped
pax kristus
justin


#6

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