Receiving the Eucharist forgives venial sins?


#21

The Sacramental Theology of East and West in the Catholic Church very certainly does not diverge on this point.

And Paul is very seriously clear on this.

The Eucharist is yes the Sacrifice of the Cross made present – such is a reference to yes his Sacrifice made present (the pascal mystery – we receive the Risen Lord etc)-- so yes he is referring to all sins when he instituted the Eucharist in reference to the cross. But in terms of Holy Communion -the Eucharist is not ordered to the forgiveness of mortal sins --but is only to be food for the living --not the dead. The application of the forgiveness of mortal sins for his Pascal Mystery – is applied first in Baptism and then if need be later -in the Sacrament of Penance …

Those conscious of mortal sin are to first goto Confession…in any of the Catholic Churches. (see Eastern Code of Canon Law 720 et al) See also the Catechism of the Catholic Church which is the universal Catechism for the entire Catholic Church --east and west forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=9729529&postcount=11

As they say in the Divine Liturgy – Holy things for the Holy!


#22

Yes, but the East recognize that we are all sick with sin and we are all hoping for recovery. With that we cannot guarantee anyone is completely free from sin at any point in time. Unlike the West which has defined a “state of grace”, that concept is totally foreign in the East. Yes we are asked to confess, make penance, fast and pray a lot before receiving Communion.

The CCC isn’t the universal catechism. It is the catechism of the Roman Church. Aside from a few mentions of Eastern traditions, it is mostly Western theology. I can guarantee you as I am beginning to read into Eastern Sacramental Theology, East and West are miles apart.


#23

Theology and doctrines are two separate things. While I agree that the theology of the west can be completely orthogonal to the theology of the east, I also know that they cannot contradict each others’ formulation of the doctrines.

I think that the big difference with the eastern tradition is that they do not fret between venial and mortal sin as much as the Roman Catholics. However, they do not fret in that distinction because in the past, from a cultural point of view, the laity has shown a healthier relationship with confession and with the quest for holiness.


#24

[quote="Cristiano, post:23, topic:297252"]
Theology and doctrines are two separate things. While I agree that the theology of the west can be completely orthogonal to the theology of the east, I also know that they cannot contradict each others' formulation of the doctrines.

[/quote]

Sadly what I have found is that even the basic understanding of Sacraments is completely different between East and West. I'm talking about Orthodox and Catholics here, not Eastern Catholics and Roman Catholics. While the Eastern Catholics retain some of the traditions of the East, their theology has increasingly becoming Roman.

[quote="Cristiano, post:23, topic:297252"]

I think that the big difference with the eastern tradition is that they do not fret between venial and mortal sin as much as the Roman Catholics. However, they do not fret in that distinction because in the past, from a cultural point of view, the laity has shown a healthier relationship with confession and with the quest for holiness.

[/quote]

That is right, a sin is a sin and anyone who is repentant can receive God's graces and be forgiven. But even the fundamental understanding of how the Sacrament of Reconciliation figures in our Sacramental life is different from East and West.


#25

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:22, topic:297252"]
Yes, but the East recognize that we are all sick with sin and we are all hoping for recovery. With that we cannot guarantee anyone is completely free from sin at any point in time. Unlike the West which has defined a "state of grace", that concept is totally foreign in the East. Yes we are asked to confess, make penance, fast and pray a lot before receiving Communion.

The CCC isn't the universal catechism. It is the catechism of the Roman Church. Aside from a few mentions of Eastern traditions, it is mostly Western theology. I can guarantee you as I am beginning to read into Eastern Sacramental Theology, East and West are miles apart.

[/quote]

Your mistaken. It is NOT the Roman Catechism. It is the Catechism of the Catholic Church (east and west) even if much of the language is more western. It is for the whole Catholic Church "To my Venerable Brothers the cardinals, Patriarchs, Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, Deacons, and to all the People of God..." ..."to all the particular Churches in peace and communion with the Apostolic See"

and no --east and west within in the Church is certainly not miles apart --such would be an incorrect description.

(nor are we "miles apart" from the Eastern Orthodox Churches --we are very very close to each other --though yes certain ways of expressing things differ etc).

The State of Grace is certainly not foreign in the Eastern Catholic Churches. And what I noted above is certainly the Teaching of the Catholic Church regarding mortal sins -- for all the sui juris Catholic Churches.

The Eucharist is not ordered to the forgiveness of mortal sins --these are to be confessed Sacramentally in Confession and absolved prior to Holy Communion. There is no question on this point.

Holy things for the Holy! (for those in a state of grace..a state of being among the living....those who are thus Holy....those who have the light sins ...the daily sins (venial) are still Holy...though the are to grow more and more so by grace)

Yes we all struggle with daily sins (venial sins) and yes the Eucharist is ordered to their forgiveness. As you note above one is to confess prior to Holy Communion -- mortal sins that is (as it is said in both Eastern and Western Canon Law).


#26

I don’t understand why a simple question such as does communion pardon mortal sins gets a variety of answers. How discouraging.


#27

[quote="TrueLight, post:26, topic:297252"]
How discouraging.

[/quote]

Do not be discouraged --see the Catechism quotes above we are to bring such to confession first.


#28

[quote="TrueLight, post:26, topic:297252"]
I don't understand why a simple question such as does communion pardon mortal sins gets a variety of answers. How discouraging.

[/quote]

I think that one of the problems comes also from the difference between forgiveness and absolution. If we do the mental exercise where we assume that the Eucharist brings forgiveness of the sins that still does not imply that it brings absolution too. Absolution is a juridic act of the Church for the remission of the sins and the removal of the punishment due to the sins, and that does not happen with the Eucharist.

I just want to make sure that I am not trying to show that the Eucharist can ensure forgiveness of mortal sins, I am simply trying to show that it is CANNOT be an ordinary mean for absolution. Absolution during confession implies forgiveness but not vice versa.

In the Ordinary Form:
"...may God grant you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins..."
the "pardon and peace" means forgiveness

In the Extraordinary Form this is more clear:

May almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you your sins, and lead you to everlasting life. R.: Amen.
2. Next he raises the right hand toward the penitent and says:
May the almighty and merciful Lord grant you pardon, absolution, and remission of your sins. R.: Amen.
Form for Absolution
May our Lord Jesus Christ absolve you. And I by His authority release you from every bond of excommunication (suspension) and interdict, in so far as I am empowered and you have need. And now I absolve you from your sins; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. R.: Amen.

Note that there are prayers for forgiveness (and absolution) before the actual form of Absolution "I absolve you..."


#29

[quote="Bookcat, post:25, topic:297252"]
Your mistaken. It is NOT the Roman Catechism. It is the Catechism of the Catholic Church (east and west) even if much of the language is more western. It is for the whole Catholic Church "To my Venerable Brothers the cardinals, Patriarchs, Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, Deacons, and to all the People of God..." ..."to all the particular Churches in peace and communion with the Apostolic See"

and no --east and west within in the Church is certainly not miles apart --such would be an incorrect description.

[/quote]

Don't let that fool you. A read through of the CCC clearly shows that it is Western theology that is represented, not Eastern.

quote="Bookcat, post:25, topic:297252".

[/quote]

No, we are miles apart. Tell me, how much of Eastern theology do you really know?

[quote="Bookcat, post:25, topic:297252"]

The State of Grace is certainly not foreign in the Eastern Catholic Churches. And what I noted above is certainly the Teaching of the Catholic Church regarding mortal sins -- for all the sui juris Catholic Churches.

[/quote]

No offense but you are making sweeping statements here but are not able to quantify anything. Please do not make claims on things you don't know anything about.

[quote="Bookcat, post:25, topic:297252"]

The Eucharist is not ordered to the forgiveness of mortal sins --these are to be confessed Sacramentally in Confession and absolved prior to Holy Communion. There is no question on this point.

[/quote]

I point you to Scripture when Jesus said His Blood is poured out for the forgiveness of sins at the institution of the Eucharist.

[quote="Bookcat, post:25, topic:297252"]

Holy things for the Holy! (for those in a state of grace..a state of being among the living....those who are thus Holy....those who have the light sins ...the daily sins (venial) are still Holy...though the are to grow more and more so by grace)

[/quote]

What? No. Sins are sins, they are never holy.

By the way, you always point to that one line in the Divine Liturgy, have you examined the prayers before receiving Communion by both the laity and the clergy? It always says that Communion is for the forgiveness of sins. I posted that here responding to an earlier post you had. In case you missed it, here it is again forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=9725815&postcount=8

[quote="Bookcat, post:25, topic:297252"]

Yes we all struggle with daily sins (venial sins) and yes the Eucharist is ordered to their forgiveness. As you note above one is to confess prior to Holy Communion -- mortal sins that is (as it is said in both Eastern and Western Canon Law).

[/quote]

Canon Law is not Divine Law.


#30

I refer you to my above posts and to the Catholic Church.


#31

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:29, topic:297252"]

What? No. Sins are sins, they are never holy.

By the way, you always point to that one line in the Divine Liturgy, have you examined the prayers before receiving Communion by both the laity and the clergy? It always says that Communion is for the forgiveness of sins.

[/quote]

.

Such is not referring to known mortal sins. But to venial sins and to say the ones we are ignorant of.

What are Eastern Catholics to do if they are conscience of Mortal sins?

They are to go to Confession.

Canon 720
1. Individual and integral confession and absolution constitute the ordinary way by which the Christian faithful who is aware of a serious sin is reconciled with God and the Church; only physical or moral impossibility excuses one from confession of this type, in which case reconciliation can take place in other ways. (quoted above)

And CCC (for East and West): 1415 Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance.

as to the Canon Law / Divine Law --first off Catholics are to follow what is in Canon Law ...and secondly yes it would seem to me that it is also rather of the order of Divine Law that we are not to receive Holy Communion in a state of Mortal sin ...for such is to profane the Body and Blood of the Lord.

And as for "Holy things for the Holy" what I noted is correct -- it is referring to those who the Baptized are among are "living". Who are in a state of grace -- who are living temples of the Thrice Holy God -- even if they have some venial sins (which do not make them "not holy" see CCC for understanding of venial sin).

I have attended Eastern Liturgies -- the prayers are not referring to known mortal sins. Such are to be confessed first in confession....(we are not discussing any grave exceptions here )


The State of Grace is certainly not foreign in the Eastern Catholic Churches (they have the same Catechism and Councils...and Pope etc). And what I noted above is certainly the Teaching of the Catholic Church regarding mortal sins -- for all the sui juris Catholic Churches. Just see their Canon Law.

The Catechism, the Eastern Code of Canon Law ....etc etc are great sources for the various things that have been discussed.


#32

[quote="Bookcat, post:31, topic:297252"]
Such is not referring to known mortal sins. But to venial sins and to say the ones we are ignorant of.

What are Eastern Catholics to do if they are conscience of Mortal sins?

They are to go to Confession.

Canon 720
1. Individual and integral confession and absolution constitute the ordinary way by which the Christian faithful who is aware of a serious sin is reconciled with God and the Church; only physical or moral impossibility excuses one from confession of this type, in which case reconciliation can take place in other ways. (quoted above)

And CCC (for East and West): 1415 Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance.

as to the Canon Law / Divine Law --first off Catholics are to follow what is in Canon Law ...and secondly yes it would seem to me that it is also rather of the order of Divine Law that we are not to receive Holy Communion in a state of Mortal sin ...for such is to profane the Body and Blood of the Lord.

And as for "Holy things for the Holy" what I noted is correct -- it is referring to those who the Baptized are among are "living". Who are in a state of grace -- who are living temples of the Thrice Holy God -- even if they have some venial sins (which do not make them "not holy" see CCC for understanding of venial sin).

I have attended Eastern Liturgies -- the prayers are not referring to known mortal sins. Such are to be confessed first in confession....(we are not discussing any grave exceptions here )


The State of Grace is certainly not foreign in the Eastern Catholic Churches (they have the same Catechism and Councils...and Pope etc). And what I noted above is certainly the Teaching of the Catholic Church regarding mortal sins -- for all the sui juris Catholic Churches. Just see their Canon Law.

The Catechism, the Eastern Code of Canon Law ....etc etc are great sources for the various things that have been discussed.

[/quote]

As you show, the eastern Catholic also is bound to individual confession, except in grave circumstances, where perfect contrition must be present. There is a different practice in the eastern Churches, reflected in the canon law (CCEO) also, they are to confess their serious sins as soon as possible, rather than the minimum of a year as expressed in the Latin Church canons. Therefore the eastern Catholic practice is more restrictive. God does forgive our sins when we are contrite, yet has also given the power to bind and retain sins to the bishops (and their designated priests) and to help the faithful in healing so they also assign a proper penance. So individual confession of all serious sins is so that we may be worthy to receive the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist and not eat and drink our own condemnation.

An Orthodox authority, Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann, Dean, and Professor of Liturgical Theology at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary wrote after describing general confessions that: Experience shows, that those who take part in such a general confession begin to have a much better individual confession. For the whole point here is precisely that the general confession is under no circumstances meant simply to replace individual confession, is not and must not be a substitute. It is only for those and those alone who, receiving communion often and regularly confessing their sins, realize the self-evident need for purifying their conscience, for repentance, for that spiritual concentration and attention, which is so difficult to achieve in our modern life. I can testify to the fact that where such general confession is practiced, the personal confession not only has not faded away, but has become deeper, has been filled with meaning and reality. Meanwhile this general confession will give the priest the time necessary for a more attentive confession of those who really need personal confession, and will thus become a way to a common growth in the spirit of repentance.

Humbly submitting this report to the judgment of my Hierarchs, I wish to confess once more, that all that I write in it has been dictated by an extremely acute awareness of the need for a renewal of the eucharistic life, for here and only here is the source of her growth in Christ.

schmemann.org/byhim/confessionandcommunion.html

Catechism of the Catholic Church1457 ... Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession.57 ...

57 Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1647; 1661; CIC, can. 916; CCEO, can. 711.

CCEO Canon 711 A person who is conscious of serious sin is not to celebrate the Divine Liturgy nor receive the Divine Eucharist unless a serious reason is present and there is no opportunity of receiving the sacrament of penance; in this case the person should make an act of perfect condition, including the intention of confessing as soon as possible.


#33

"For the forgiveness of sins" is the motivation of the Sacrifice, not the effect.

It is not a matter of being "without sin" but a matter of having sanctifying grace in our heart. Without that, we lack the proper disposition to receive the Body and Blood of Christ. Since I want Christ to come into my life, I first of all reconcile myself with Him by repenting, confessing to Him my sins, and gratefully listening to Him as He says: "I absolve you." Then I can joyfully offer myself to Him as I receive Him in Holy Communion.


#34

No matter how much you say CCC is East and West will not change the fact that it contains only Latin theology. Repeating a lie doesn’t make it true, although it could fool other people to think it is but it doesn’t change the fact. Sorry, referring to the CCC to claim Eastern theology is like referring to the Canadian Constitution to claim American law.

What is referred to in the text is ALL sins. There is no distinction between mortal and venial sins in Eastern theology.


#35

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:34, topic:297252"]
No matter how much you say CCC is East and West will not change the fact that it contains only Latin theology. Repeating a lie doesn't make it true, although it could fool other people to think it is but it doesn't change the fact. Sorry, referring to the CCC to claim Eastern theology is like referring to the Canadian Constitution to claim American law.

What is referred to in the text is ALL sins. There is no distinction between mortal and venial sins in Eastern theology.

[/quote]

The CCEO refers to serious sins and sins. The word venial is not used. Serious sins must be confessed individually before reception of the Holy Eucharist, in fact it should be as soon as possible, even if the reception is much later.


#36

OP, I think you misunderstand what is meant by 'forgiveness' in this specific case.

Receiving the Eucharist forgives venial sins in the same way that receiving the sacrament of penance forgives all sins, i.e.

they are FORGIVEN but there may still be a temporal price to pay.

Your question 'is it plenary?' implies that you think the forgiveness is an indulgence, it isn't.

Receiving communion is not, in itself, an indulgenced act.


#37

You are mistaken. The Catechism is for the entire Catholic Church --though certainly local Bishop Conferences and Patriarchs etc can make use of it too to make local catechisms that are in harmony with it --that was part of its original intention–and in the case of the Eastern Churches --these will of course reflect the particular culture etc of the area etc. Mortal (serious sin, grave sin --these are other terms used for the same) and Venial sins are part of the Catholic Faith not just something in the West.

As is noted not only in the Catechism of the Catholic Church…but in the Eastern Code of Canon Law.

This not a matter in doubt but is the way in the Catholic Church.


“All those who are clean, may always draw near the holy Cup, whereas those who are unclean may not draw near even once. for they are given their own condemnation and disapproval and hell and punishment…”-- St John Chrysostom

"Therefore, my brethren, I implore you and say: let no blasphemer, perjurer or liar, no fornicator, adulterer or sodomite, no magician or fortune teller, no thief or heretic draw near to the awesome mysteries of Christ or touch them without having confessed and prepared himself, for “it is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

-St John Chrysostom


#38

[quote="Vico, post:35, topic:297252"]
The CCEO refers to serious sins and sins. The word venial is not used. Serious sins must be confessed individually before reception of the Holy Eucharist, in fact it should be as soon as possible, even if the reception is much later.

[/quote]

Indeed the terms "mortal sin" "serious sin" and "grave sin" get used as synonyms in the Catholic Church. (I know you know this -- I mention it for readers)

In the Latin Code -- it is "grave sin" that is used. They are all synonyms.

For example:

The Compendium of the Catechism issued by Pope Benedict XVI

"304. Which sins must be confessed?

1456

All grave sins **not yet confessed, which a careful examination of conscience brings to mind, must be brought to the sacrament of Penance. The confession of **serious sins is the only ordinary way to obtain forgiveness."

  1. What is required to receive Holy Communion?

1385-1389
1415

To receive Holy Communion one must be fully incorporated into the Catholic Church and be in the state of grace, that is, not conscious of being in** mortal sin*. Anyone who is conscious of having committed a **grave sin* must first receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before going to Communion.

And in a speech from Bl. Pope John Paul II

"The sacrament of Penance is meant to take away personal sins committed after Baptism: first of all mortal sins, then venial. If the penitent has committed more than one mortal sin, they can only be remitted all at once. In fact, the remission of serious sin consists in the infusion of the sanctifying grace which has been lost, and grace is incompatible with any and every** serious sin**. Venial sins are to be regarded differently..."

and in ECCLESIA DE EUCHARISTIA --Bl. Pope John Paul Encyclical

"If a Christian's conscience is burdened by serious sin, then the path of penance through the sacrament of Reconciliation becomes necessary for full participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice."


#39

To the OP, according to sources put forth by your fellow Latins, the answer to your question is yes: receiving the Eucharist will forgive your minor sins.

As to our Eastern heritage, please, stop comparing it to Latin practice. Yes, we have a different theology. Therefore, yes, we have a different sacramental theology. No, it is not wrong.

Those far wiser than any of us realize that these differences ALSO COEXISTED in the first thousand years. None of these disagreements are new.

Look. In the early church, confession was only given about once in a lifetime, and it was only for sins that cast a person outside the church, ie renouncing the church. This idea of needing to go to confession because you, say, lusted, is new (relatively speaking). This has been LATIN doctrinal development. Not Byzantine.

In the Byzantine East, the concepts developed in a different way. Remember, everything in our church revolves around theosis, getting closer to God. The sacraments all help us on our path to God. They are food for the journey, so to speak. Confession is viewed with more of a counseling type atmosphere. If you are committing very serious sins, they are very seriously hampering your journey towards God (we do not have the idea of ‘losing Grace’). Therefore, it is in your best interest to speak with your spiritual father to receive wisdom and blessing to help you overcome these sins. That does not mean that the Eucharist will not forgive the sins. It does mean that if you are truly repentant, as Constantine said - and ready to change your ways (metanoia), you will see a priest for guidance. Without repentance, there will be no forgiveness.

That does not mean that anyone can receive the Eucharist. In fact, many Orthodox priests will withhold the Eucharist from someone they do not recognize. This is because the Eucharist is also a sign of belonging to the church, and without having spoken to you in confession, or at least personally, they do not know how orthodox (right believing) you are.

The theology is contained fully in the liturgy. The liturgy is used to teach everyone, from peasants to kings. The liturgy can, and absolutely should, be taken at face value for what it says. Our liturgy predates St. John Chrysostom (he compiled it, but didn’t write all the prayers…). When the liturgy says that the Eucharist is for the forgiveness of sins, that is what it means, no further explanations needed.


#40

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