I "Forgive you" of your sins in the name

I’m used to hearing “and I absolve you of your sins” in confession, but a priest in my area says “and I Forgive you of your sins in the name of the father etc…”.

Is this absolution valid? Is this an acceptable wording of the formula?

Just making sure. Thanks in advance.

Steve

It’s a doubtful formula and I would request that the Priest use the proper form or change confessors. Fr. Z has a discussion here on this topic:

wdtprs.com/blog/2009/03/quaeritur-i-forgive-instead-of-i-absolve/

The Council of Trent (Session 14 Ch 3) teaches that the proper form of absolutions is “I absolve you” - which implies a judgement (in a juridical sense) on your soul - the word “forgive” has different implications:

*The holy council teaches furthermore, that the form of the sacrament of penance, in which its efficacy chiefly consists, are those words of the minister: I absolve thee, etc., *

\The Council of Trent (Session 14 Ch 3) teaches that the proper form of absolutions is “I absolve you” - which implies a judgement (in a juridical sense) on your soul - the word “forgive” has different implications:

The holy council teaches furthermore, that the form of the sacrament of penance, in which its efficacy chiefly consists, are those words of the minister: I absolve thee, etc.,\

This formula is generally NOT used in either Orthodoxy or Catholic Churches of the Byzantine tradition.

Does that mean that Byzantine Catholics can say something like “I forgive you of your sins”? Does that mean, in the latin rite, that altuought the priest is not supposed to use that wording, it is still sacramentally valid?

I really need to know if it was “valid”. Regardless of whether or not it was ideal.

Thanks for the answers so far, though.

If you approached the Sacrament with a truly contrite heart, you confessed your sins, and you did the penance assigned to you, you have fulfilled all the requirements that rest on you for God to grant you forgiveness of your sins. Remember that every Sacrament we have is a sign of something that happens invisibly, beyond our ability to see, touch or “know” happened. Part of this particular Sacrament is the reassurance of hearing the Priest tell you, acting in persona Christi, that your sins are forgiven. That is for YOUR assurance, it has nothing to do with God forgiving or not forgiving your sins unless the Priest specifically tells you he will not grant you absolution (and that only happens if one of your requirements is not met, i.e.- you aren’t contrite, etc.).

In this case, the Priest used the wrong words from the official text, but he did indicate that you were forgiven those sins. So, translate that from “sign” to “reality” and where do you stand with God?

I think you were forgiven. I think it would be a difficult case to make that you did all that God required of you, then God did not forgive you because the Priest said one word wrong.

We must remember that these are not magical spells pronounced by the priest; the power of the sacrament lies within the intentions of the priest. While he should certainly stick to the official form of absolution, saying “forgive” instead of “absolve” does not (to me, at least) radically alter the general understanding of the sacrament. Unless the priest had nefarious intentions, the effect of the sacrament should be the same by the fact that the priest intends to do what the Church intends him to do, and that is to forgive or absolve one’s sins in the sacrament of penance.

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