Thank you for the reply and your thoughts on the matter (or form ;)) .
Hmmmmmm. :hmmm: I still don’t see this as very clear. You said that “it would seem” that the Trinitarian Formula is necessary. . . but although you may have a persuasive argument, that turn of phrase seems to indicate you don’t think it is definitive. And although St. Thomas indicates that the form must be “I absolve you”, that in itself would not be enough for us to establish the essential form, right? (By essential form, I mean the absolute bare minimum necessary for validity.)
I think awalt in post #4 admirably sums up the question:
[quote=awalt]The key issue here is whether the absolution has to be stated exactly as in the Rite of Penance, and if not is it considered that there was not absolution (which would be invalid.)
For instance Jimmy Akin makes this point:
Trent references the words of absolution in passing but doens’t quote them completely. It says “I absolve thee, etc.” In making these references, Trent is not attempting to specify the minimal form necessary for absolution. . .
There is no single set of words that are necessary for validity in the case of this sacrament. Various formluas of absolution are used in different rites of the Church, though “I absolve you” is the one used in the Latin rite.
Jimmy seems to be pointing out that in the current Latin rite the formula is “I absolve you”. . . but there may be other formulas that are valid.
This seems to square with Fr. William G. Most:
History shows that the form of absolution in confession had changed in the past. At one time the form was deprecative, e.g., May God absolve you. Now it is “I absolve you”. This does not mean a priest could at will use the old form. No, that is forbidden, it would be sinful. But if he should do it, acting illegally, the absolution is still valid.
And yet an article by Fr. Nicholas Halligan, O.P. in This Rock magazine states:
**For a valid absolution a confessor must pronounce the declarative words, “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” **To recite merely some prayerful formula, such as “May God forgive you your sins” or “May God reconcile you for your sorrow,” would be invalid. Priests have no right to make up their own formulas; the lawful formula is the integral one prescribed for this sacrament.
Is it possible that there is not an absolute (again pardon the pun) set of words for a valid absolution? Is it possible that validity is “doing what the Church intends”? Or is it possible as Fr. Halligan seems to be saying that the validity is derived from the use of the current lawful formula? Fr. Halligan says the priest MUST pronounce the devlarative words. . .but Fr. Most points out that in the past the words were deprecative, “May God absolve you. . .”.
Any thoughts on this folks?
As far as the original question posted (Hi Purgation Road), and given the above quotes, perhaps awalt’s words of wisdom are again appropriate.
[quote=awalt]If no expert chimes in maybe talk to your pastor…