Is this a valid confession

My daughter went to confession at School and they had a very old and hard of hearing visiting priest to do the confessions. My daughter (3rd grade) said she went up to him and started to speak and the priest raised his hand and blessed her and said “your absolved” and sent her on her way.

What do I tell her, is this a valid confession or not?

Pansy

The child had the intention of making a Confession so it is a case of ‘Ecclesia Supla’.

As long as the Priest gave Absolution, then Yes! it is a valid Confession.

By the way a Confession is not valid if mortal sins are knowlingly withheld. This was not the case here.

Embrace your Child and be confident in the great Mercy of God.

you don’t have to tell her anything. you just need to reassure her that all is well. don’t sour anything in her view of things. she’s only 8 yrs. old. let her be 8 yrs. old without throwing adult baggage on her. she’ll have lots of opportunities for more normal Church experiences. she’ll see worse too. don’t open her eyes to before she is mature enough to considering these things without faulting the Church. kids see adult inconsistencies all the time. protect the Church in her eyes, or she’ll have a harder time.

is it valid? how technical do you want to be? law requires that the formula of absolution be used. but real life happens and there is flexibility which sides with the penitent. power is power when it comes to ordination. will Jesus pass judgement against your daughter because the exact words weren’t used? i don’t think so. Jesus’ judgement might wind up being harsh against a horrible sinner on the last day, but it won’t be ridiculous. if there is an issue here, it is between the Lord and the priest.

just tell her the priest was elderly and he may have been sick. tell her that it’s a good thing that he was able to see her at all, and that you hope he is ok. you don’t need to make any positive statements about validity or forgiveness. instead of having her focus her faith inward, lead her to charity toward the priest. it is better for her anyway, after all she’s just 8 yrs. old. she not a hell bound sinner yet. if she is worried, remind her that Jesus’ judgement is tempered with mercy. He is the Just Judge. He doesn’t beat up on kids.
this is a teaching opportunity for you. it is ok.

[quote=Pansy]My daughter went to confession at School and they had a very old and hard of hearing visiting priest to do the confessions. My daughter (3rd grade) said she went up to him and started to speak and the priest raised his hand and blessed her and said “your absolved” and sent her on her way.

What do I tell her, is this a valid confession or not?

Pansy
[/quote]

One one hand you need to realize that she is only eight years old and may not have known what was taking place. On the other hand, there are so many abuses with regard to the sacraments in our day that it would not be a surprise if the absolution was incorrect and invalid. I once went to confession and was given an incorrect form of absolution. After leaving the confessional, I went one confessional over and reconfessed the same sins. I also told the priest in that confessional that the other priest had given me an incorrect form of absolution.

After leaving Church that day, I wrote the original priest a letter. I very nicely told him that the form of absolution he gave me was not correct, and I supplied him with a portion of the “Summa” of St. Thomas that directly addressed the incorrect form of absolutiont that he gave me. He wrote a letter back to me and said he was aware of what St. Thomas said about the form of absolution he used, but he did not say if he would begin using the correct form.

Several years later, while in line for confession at the same Church, I notice that he was the only priest hearing confession that day. I decided to go ahead and confess to him. I was very happy to find that he started using the correct form of absolution.

My advice to you is this: Since there are so many abuses these days with regard to the sacraments, it would be wise on your part to take your daughter to another priest, and have her reconfess the sins. No harm will come from reconfessing the same sins again, but harm would occur from an invalid confession. It is better to be safe than sorry.

this was probably answered but i didn’t take the time to read all of the posts…

i went to confession. the priest said the sign of the cross, and then I confessed. Then he gave me my penance, so to speak, and then simply said “I absolve u…” usually, when I go to my regular confessor he says something that mentions the life, death, and resurrection of Christ and then something about the “through the ministry of His Church…”. My question: is omitting all of that and simply saying, “I absolve you of your sins, in the Name,…” still a valid absolution? if not, what do I do? make another confession?

Dear FrDave20

It is not even necessary to hear the words of Absolution. It would be nice if we did all the time but there are times when these words are said silently by the Priest.

It is wonderful to hear the words of Absolution but it is not necessary. Your Confession is valid. Entrust all to the mercy of God.

By the way there are only 4 posts before yours. Would not take even 2 mins to read them! Some good advice there.

[quote=frdave20]this was probably answered but i didn’t take the time to read all of the posts…

i went to confession. the priest said the sign of the cross, and then I confessed. Then he gave me my penance, so to speak, and then simply said “I absolve u…” usually, when I go to my regular confessor he says something that mentions the life, death, and resurrection of Christ and then something about the “through the ministry of His Church…”. My question: is omitting all of that and simply saying, “I absolve you of your sins, in the Name,…” still a valid absolution? if not, what do I do? make another confession?
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Yes, it is valid. The only words necessary are “I absolve you”.

[quote=otm]Yes, it is valid. The only words necessary are “I absolve you”.
[/quote]

Are you basing this on Aquinas?

The English translation of the documents of the Council of Trent (I think it is Session IV) puts an “etc.” after “I absolve thee” when describing the form of the sacrament. What does that mean?

[quote=atsheeran]Are you basing this on Aquinas?

The English translation of the documents of the Council of Trent (I think it is Session IV) puts an “etc.” after “I absolve thee” when describing the form of the sacrament. What does that mean?
[/quote]

Sorry, let me try that again.

“I absolve you of your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”, completing that with the sign of the Cross.

[quote=RSiscoe]My advice to you is this: Since there are so many abuses these days with regard to the sacraments, it would be wise on your part to take your daughter to another priest, and have her reconfess the sins. No harm will come from reconfessing the same sins again, but harm would occur from an invalid confession. It is better to be safe than sorry.
[/quote]

are you out of your mind? why don’t we just paint her room to look like hell and tell her to get used to it, cuz that’s where she spending eternity. she’s just 8. no harm. what’s the matter with you?

believe me pansy, you’ll be lucky if she ever speaks to you again if you do that. she’ll feel like she acting out a scene from “Carrie”.

even if there were some sin that was not forgiven, when she is absolved in her next confession, all the sins of her life will be removed. the child didn’t intend to withhold anything. nothing will be retained.

it is silly to think 1) that by the time she faces judgement, Jesus is going to send her packing for a botched confession when she was eight and 2) that any of us have confessed out loud every single mortal sin we have committed. if we were that aware of our sins, we wouldn’t need confession.

if the only two options are traumatizing your kid or dropping it, then for the love of God, drop it.

and RSiscoe, if i were that second priest, i would have reprimanded you and sent you home without any penance just to freak you out.

[quote=JustSomeGuy]are you out of your mind? why don’t we just paint her room to look like hell and tell her to get used to it, cuz that’s where she spending eternity. she’s just 8. no harm. what’s the matter with you?

believe me pansy, you’ll be lucky if she ever speaks to you again if you do that. she’ll feel like she acting out a scene from “Carrie”.

even if there were some sin that was not forgiven, when she is absolved in her next confession, all the sins of her life will be removed. the child didn’t intend to withhold anything. nothing will be retained.

it is silly to think 1) that by the time she faces judgement, Jesus is going to send her packing for a botched confession when she was eight and 2) that any of us have confessed out loud every single mortal sin we have committed. if we were that aware of our sins, we wouldn’t need confession.

if the only two options are traumatizing your kid or dropping it, then for the love of God, drop it.

and RSiscoe, if i were that second priest, i would have reprimanded you and sent you home without any penance just to freak you out.
[/quote]

Very interesting response. So, if your were a priest and a person came to you who had just received an invalid form of absolution, from your fellow priest (who took it upon himself to tamper with the sacraments), you would send that person home, “just to freak them out”. Interesting. You do realize that a person who receives an invalid absolution is not absolved of their sins. If they have perfect contrition the sin is forgiven, that is true, but if not (and perfect contrition is rare) their sins are not forigiven.

And what would be so “traumatizing” about telling her child that the priest may have not been able to hear her confession and so maybe she should confess them again. What would be so traumatizing about that?

Interesting that you did not seem surprised that a priest committed the mortal sin of giving me an invalid form of absolution; but instead were shocked that I went to another priest and reconfessed. That is a very twisted way to think.

A valid confession requires that the priest say these words, “I absolve you in the name of the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit.”

If he didn’t say that it was not valid.

Regardless of what went on when your beautiful daughter celebrated the Sacrament of Reconcillation and was absolved, remember that the Priest was in Personae Christie and was speaking for God.

She has been forgiven.

[quote=martino]A valid confession requires that the priest say these words, “I absolve you in the name of the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit.”

If he didn’t say that it was not valid.
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Can you cite a source for that? That is neither the essential words from the Rite of Penance (“I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”) nor from Thomas Aquinas (“I absolve you”).

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