Is the General Reconciliation Mass all we need?

Hi

I converted to Catholicism 9 years ago. I’m still learning! :wink:

My friend who was raised Catholic told me that we do not need to go to individual confession anymore. She said at her Parish (which I use to go to and left because it’s too liberal) they hold a general reconciliation Mass and that is all we need to do to be absolved. Is this true? It doesn’t sound right to me. I’d like to know what to tell her.

She told me that her two teenage daughters only went to confession before First Holy Communion and they’ve never been again. She also said she doesn’t break any of the 10 Commandments, therefore she doesn’t need to go anyway!! :rolleyes:

What that parish is doing goes against the teaching of the Church.

Yes, we still need to go to individual confession. The only time absolution is appropriate is when there is a large number of people and serious time constraints, and there is a strong possibility if imminent death, such as soldiers about to go to battle.

[quote=axolotl]What that parish is doing goes against the teaching of the Church…
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I thought so. Thanks for the information.

well, there is no “general reconciliation” at Mass, although there is a Penitential Rite, in which we publicly express contrition for all our sins, and the Eucharist removes all venial sins. One may not approach holy communion worthily if conscious of mortal sin, and the only way for mortal sin to be absolved is in the sacrament of confession, or through the sacrament of anointing (which must be preceded by confession if the person is able). The newly baptized are of course free from all sin, original and actual. There is a provision, the third option in the new Rite for Penance and Reconcilation, for general absolution, but its use is rare and only in case of grave necessity–wartime, natural disaster etc.

Thank you.

Doesn’t the Church require everyone to go to confession at least twice a year, at Christmas and Easter?

My friend actually told me that Confession was no longer necessary and that the Church did not require it. I guess she thinks it’s no longer a sacrament. She said “things have changed.” She say her Priest told her that she does not need to go to confession because they have a special Mass where everyone who attends is absolved of their sins.

He also told her that missing Mass on Sunday or Holy Days of Obligation is NOT a mortal sin. Now I know that’s not correct…but she misses Mass often but since she doesn’t believe it to be a mortal sin, she doesn’t need to confess it.

The Church REQUIRES confession only once a year, at Easter.

The Church REQUIRES confession only once a year, at Easter.
Actually, the Church requires reception of Holy Communion once a year, during the Easter Season. Now, for those who are not in the state of grace, the only way for them to fulfill their Easter duty will be to go to Confession first, before receiving communion. But the actual requirement is for communion.

That being said, I think it’s awful that people are being so horribly misinformed about Confession. It is such a gift from God! We are SO lucky to be able to go to Confession as often as we like and get a fresh start.

And while I’m on my soapbox, let me add that Confession isn’t just for people in mortal sin! It’s for everybody! You can go every week if you like, even with no mortal sins, and you can still get the grace of the sacrament to help you in your struggle against venial sin!

Now I think we just need to add some flashing lights and then we can start playing Confession commercials on TV… :slight_smile:

Pope Paul VI - Decree on the Rite of Penance

"Individual, integral confession and absolution remain the only ordinary way for the faithful to reconcile themselves with God and the Church, unless physical or moral impossibility excuses from this kind of confession.

Code of Canon Law

Can. 960 - Individual and integral confession and absolution constitute the only ordinary means by which a member of the faithful conscious of grave sin is reconciled with God and the Church. Only physical or moral impossibility excuses from confession of this type; in such a case reconciliation can be obtained by other means.

Can. 961 §1. Absolution cannot be imparted in a general manner to many penitents at once without previous individual confession unless:

1/ danger of death is imminent and there is insufficient time for the priest or priests to hear the confessions of the individual penitents;

2/ there is grave necessity, that is, when in view of the number of penitents, there are not enough confessors available to hear the confessions of individuals properly within a suitable period of time in such a way that the penitents are forced to be deprived for a long while of sacramental grace or holy communion through no fault of their own.

Sufficient necessity is not considered to exist when confessors cannot be present due only to the large number of penitents such as can occur on some great feast or pilgrimage

.

CCC

1424 It is called the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament.

I agree with you 100%. The sacrament of Reconciliation is beautiful. I think people should take advantage of it more often.

The misinformation goes both ways in my opinion. If you are looking for the easy road you can find a Priest and a parish to support that. My friend goes to this parish because it’s a liberal parish…the same reason I left!

It just bothers me that she makes such claims as “the Church no longer requires confession.” I told her I thought it would have been big news if the Church had gotten rid of one of the Sacraments!!

Thanks for the posts. It helps me a lot in my understanding and therefore in my ability to respond to these off the wall statements.

I don’t want to be uncharitable, but I find it very hard to believe that this friend (or even her children) manage not to break the 10 commandments. I myself can’t get through one DAY, let alone weeks, months, or years, without breaking at least one, try as I might. Even if (God willing) they don’t turn out to be mortal sins, even (thank God) though all our venial sins are remitted with reception of the Eucharist while in a state of grace. . .well, it’s like any other sort of habit. . .the more you do something, the easier it is to do, and the easier it is to justify, and the easier it is to slide into WORSE things. (Besides, we do know already that if she is missing Mass, she IS in mortal sin. . .and because she’s thrown out confession, how can she get OUT of mortal sin? May God lead her to confession, and quickly too. . .)

[quote=Red Meg]The Church REQUIRES confession only once a year, at Easter.
Actually, the Church requires reception of Holy Communion once a year, during the Easter Season.
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To clarify: It is a precept of the Church to confess your sins at least once a year. The precept doesn’t specifiy that the confession has to be at Easter.

[quote=Tantum ergo]I don’t want to be uncharitable, but I find it very hard to believe that this friend (or even her children) manage not to break the 10 commandments. I myself can’t get through one DAY, let alone weeks, months, or years, without breaking at least one, try as I might. Even if (God willing) they don’t turn out to be mortal sins, even (thank God) though all our venial sins are remitted with reception of the Eucharist while in a state of grace. . .well, it’s like any other sort of habit. . .the more you do something, the easier it is to do, and the easier it is to justify, and the easier it is to slide into WORSE things. (Besides, we do know already that if she is missing Mass, she IS in mortal sin. . .and because she’s thrown out confession, how can she get OUT of mortal sin? May God lead her to confession, and quickly too. . .)
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I agree with you. I told her I break the Ten Commandments regularly, not on purpose but because I am a human being. I think she “decides” to think the stuff she does becasue it’s easy. And she’s found a Parish with a Priest to back it all up. So…she feels content. Of course missing Mass is a mortal sin, but she chooses to believe that it isn’t. What we really need to do is pray for her and people like her. Especially pray for these priests who are in grave danger for leading these people astray.

In our parish, in the UK, we have a service of Reconciliation before Christmas and before Easter. At the service we have some 4/6 priests at the front of the church. After readings from Scripture and a homily, all those present who wish to receive absolution go forward individually to a priest, accuse themselves one sin, and return to their places. The priests then also confess individually to each other. Absolution is then given to the entire assembly. I have never heard of a General Reconciliation Mass in this country.

[quote=Roz]In our parish, in the UK, we have a service of Reconciliation before Christmas and before Easter. At the service we have some 4/6 priests at the front of the church. After readings from Scripture and a homily, all those present who wish to receive absolution go forward individually to a priest, accuse themselves one sin, and return to their places. The priests then also confess individually to each other. Absolution is then given to the entire assembly. I have never heard of a General Reconciliation Mass in this country.
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Yes, they do that here. I thought that was what she was talking about, but she said no. This was a mass that her parish held but there was no individual confession. I know that she attends a very liberal parish, because I used to attend there too. I believe (and this is just guessing on my part) that the priest is offering this because so many people do not come to confession anymore and he wants to make it easier for them. He does not agree with the Vatican on many things.

I had never heard of doing confession like this, and I was just wondering if it was valid. It seems wrong to me.

IMO, whether you approve of it or not, the act of going to confession, is a dying act. Sure, some people still go, but I think more times than not, the priest sits in the confessional, twiddling his thumbs waiting on somebody to come in.

I agree with earlier posters that most folks use the Pentitential Rite to ask for forgiveness vs. going to Confession.

What exactly are you stating with this post? Are you making an observation about a lamentable state of affairs or are you suggesting that this state is acceptable?

Simply because so few sinners go to Sacramental (individual) Confession does not mean that it is unnecessary or that they do not commit sacrilege in receiving Holy Communion.

Yes, it does seem to be a dying act, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay not to go.

It’s still one of the sacraments of the church and it’s still required and necessary.

The Church has never been one to “go with the flow” …thanks be to God. Just because people have gotten lazy in their faith doesn’t make it okay.

[quote=jebojora]Yes, it does seem to be a dying act, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay not to go.

It’s still one of the sacraments of the church and it’s still required and necessary.

The Church has never been one to “go with the flow” …thanks be to God. Just because people have gotten lazy in their faith doesn’t make it okay.
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:amen:
By the same definition, I suppose Holy Orders are a dying “act”, as well. Still required and necessary, but hey, since less people are taking advantage of this Sacrament, maybe we should bend the rules…
:rolleyes:

[quote=msproule]What exactly are you stating with this post? Are you making an observation about a lamentable state of affairs or are you suggesting that this state is acceptable?

Simply because so few sinners go to Sacramental (individual) Confession does not mean that it is unnecessary or that they do not commit sacrilege in receiving Holy Communion.
[/quote]

I was making an observation.

However, I wouldn’t be surprised that sometime in the future, something isn’t done to alter the confession ritual. Either doing away with the Pentitenial (sp?) Rite in the Liturgy to force more folks to go to confession, or putting more “forgiveness” power into the Rite (possibly making it the actual sacrament); leaving individual confession as an option.

By the same definition, I suppose Holy Orders are a dying “act”, as well. Still required and necessary, but hey, since less people are taking advantage of this Sacrament, maybe we should bend the rules…
:rolleyes:
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Its sad to see, but if things don’t change, the number of priests will continue to decline, till we don’t hardly have any left. The old ones will eventually die, with no replacements.

Sometimes reality is tough to accept.

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