Power of the Keys... ...sufficient object of confession

So on a list of Certain Truths I found the following:
“Those sins which are already forgiven directly by the Church’s Power of the Keys are a sufficient object of confession.”
…and I have no idea what any of that means. Help?

see forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=1906498&postcount=10

Sheesh. That makes two of us.

Ott wrote Fundamentals in German. I think some of it gets lost in translation.

So “Those sins which are already forgiven directly by the Church’s Power of the Keys are a sufficient object of confession.” translates to “You may confess the same sin more than once even if you were already absolved.”. And some people reject that teaching based on the new Canon Law.

Is that right?

Why would someone confess the same thing twice? Once you have been absolved, it’s done. God doesn’t retain a list of past offenses if we are truly contrite and have availed ourselves of Reconciliation. Why would we keep re-hashing it? I suppose a person could say " I struggle with this temptation, but I have been avoiding the sin. I desire the grace to keep avoiding this sin". But that’s not the same thing as repeating a particular. sin.
:shrug:

Yeah exactly! I’m very confused.

I’d like to try that with a typical priest today:

“I’ve already confessed this sin, and been absolved, but I want to confess it again”

“You shouldn’t do that”

"But Dr Ott says… "

:smiley:

As I understand, if you only have imperfections and no objective sin to confess, but want/need the graces of confession to continue to fight sin, then confessing an already confessed and forgiven sin is"sufficient matter"to receive absolution. Thinking about it, venial sins are forgiven lots of ways. The ones I choose to confess are probably forgiven already by mass or Communion or prayer. I think he’s right.

“Those sins which are already forgiven directly by the Church’s Power of the Keys” are not sins confessed in the confessional. The Church’s Power of the Keys refers to Papal and Apostolic authority. Since mortal sins can only be forgiven in the confessional, the sins being referred to here are venial in nature, which are forgiven in a variety of different ways, * through the Church’s Power of the Keys*. Such ways include being blessed by a priest, receiving Communion, blessing yourself with Holy Water, making pilgrimages, etc. These are means of forgiveness which have been declared to be so by Papal and Apostolic authority.

Though these sins have already been forgiven, they may not yet have been confessed. “are a sufficient object of confession” means that these sins, though they have already been forgiven, are sufficient to merit going to confession in the first place, even if you don’t have any mortal sins to confess.

I’m not sure that’s correct (the bolded etc portion of your post above.) The reason is explained in this portion of a post linked to by a previous post in this thread. At that link we find concerning a pertinent canon:

Number 902 was replaced by 988? 988 states: Each of Christ’s faithful are bound to confess, in kind and in number, all grave sins, committed after baptism, of which after careful examination of conscience he or she is aware, which have not yet been directly pardoned by the keys of the Church, and which have not been confessed in an individual confession. Section 2 of 988: It is recommended that Christ’s faithful confess also venial sins.

peace
steve

Right, but look at the following phrase from 988:

…]which have not yet been directly pardoned by the keys of the Church, and which have not been confessed in an individual confession.

This speaks of two distinct events:

  1. Direct pardon by the keys of the Church, and;
  2. Individual confession.

I submit that direct pardon isn’t just via individual confession, but also through other means.

The OP’s quote:

Those sins which are already forgiven directly by the Church’s Power of the Keys are a sufficient object of confession.

It does not make sense that you should confess a sin in the confessional on two separate occasions, when the sin was absolved the first time. Therefore, since mortal sins cannot be forgiven by any other means than individual confession, I interpret the above quote to be referring to venial sins which have been directly forgiven through other means, but which constitute a sufficient object for confession, despite already being forgiven through other means.

Thank you MrSnaith! That makes a lot of sense :slight_smile:

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