why do Catholics confess to a priest?

one reason is that when we sin we sin not only against God (and ourselves) but against other human beings, whom we are to love as we love ourselves…

and so going to a priest offers us the chance to confess our sins to, and be forgiven by, someone who is just like us - weak, sinful… human.

it is SO awesome to be forgiven by another human being, especially a priest who usually knows more about God / Jesus than ordinary people do…

Also because Jesus told us to (John 20:19) :slight_smile:

Yep.

Jon

Not to be a picky-puss but it’s really John 20:21-23 that you should be using to cite the usual Roman Catholic statement for the need of auricular confession. Some might point out that this passage shows a power of forgiveness/absolution being given to the apostles, but not necessarily a mandate for auricular confession.

we can further say we’re following in that example.

I made a thread about this: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=380548

Hope it helps :slight_smile:

Protestants think they can just confess their sins to God without any priest involved, but they don’t listen to what God commanded about confession. They tend to neglect Scripture as taught by Jesus. When their glorious Reformers had changed God’s word and caused division in the one true church, the Catholic church, it became unimportant.

I’m sure you researched what the “glorious reformers” (your word, not mine), so you obviously are familiar with these words by the Lutheran reformers.
From the Augsburg Confession

Article XI: Of Confession.

1] Of Confession they teach that Private Absolution ought to be retained in the churches, although in confession 2] an enumeration of all sins is not necessary. For it is impossible according to the Psalm: Who can understand his errors? Ps. 19:12.

I’ve given the link to the section on Confession/Holy Absolution in the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, because Melanchton wrote so much about something that, according to you, OTCA, he considered so unimportant. :shrug:
bookofconcord.org/defense_9_confession.php

From Luther’'s Small Catechism

V. Confession

How Christians should be taught to confess.

What is Confession?*

Confession embraces two parts: the one is, that we confess our sins; the other, that we receive absolution, or forgiveness, from the confessor, as from God Himself, and in no wise doubt, but firmly believe, that our sins are thereby forgiven before God in heaven.

What sins should we confess?

Before God we should plead guilty of all sins, even of those which we do not know, as we do in the Lord’s Prayer. But before the confessor we should confess those sins alone which we know and feel in our hearts.

Which are these?

Here consider your station according to the Ten Commandments, whether you are a father, mother, son, daughter, master, mistress, a man-servant or maid-servant; whether you have been disobedient, unfaithful, slothful; whether you have grieved any one by words or deeds; whether you have stolen, neglected, or wasted aught, or done other injury.

Pray, Propose to Me a Brief Form of Confession.

Answer.

You should speak to the confessor thus: Reverend and dear sir, I beseech you to hear my confession, and to pronounce forgiveness to me for God’s sake.

Proceed!

I, a poor sinner, confess myself before God guilty of all sins; especially I confess before you that I am a man-servant, a maidservant, etc. But, alas, I serve my master unfaithfully; for in this and in that I have not done what they commanded me; I have provoked them, and caused them to curse, have been negligent [in many things] and permitted damage to be done; have also been immodest in words and deeds, have quarreled with my equals, have grumbled and sworn at my mistress, etc. For all this I am sorry, and pray for grace; I want to do better.

A master or mistress may say thus:

In particular I confess before you that I have not faithfully trained my children, domestics, and wife [family] for God’s glory. I have cursed, set a bad example by rude words and deeds, have done my neighbor harm and spoken evil of him, have overcharged and given false ware and short measure.

And whatever else he has done against God’s command and his station, etc.

But if any one does not find himself burdened with such or greater sins, he should not trouble himself or search for or invent other sins, and thereby make confession a torture, but mention one or two that he knows. Thus: In particular I confess that I once cursed; again, I once used improper words, I have once neglected this or that, etc. Let this suffice.

But if you know of none at all (which, however is scarcely possible), then mention none in particular, but receive the forgiveness upon your general confession which you make before God to the confessor.

Then shall the confessor say:

God be merciful to thee and strengthen thy faith! Amen.

Furthermore:

Dost thou believe that my forgiveness is God’s forgiveness?

Answer.

Yes, dear sir.

Then let him say:

As thou believest, so be it done unto thee. And by the command of our Lord Jesus Christ I forgive thee thy sins, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. Depart in peace.

But those who have great burdens upon their consciences, or are distressed and tempted, the confessor will know how to comfort and to encourage to faith with more passages of Scripture. This is to be merely a general form of confession for the unlearned.

  • These questions may not have been composed by Luther himself but reflect his teachings and were included in editions of the Small Catechism during his lifetime.

It is true that some Protestants consider private confession and Holy Absolution to be unnecessary (they’re wrong), but your blanket statement without facts, from your triumphalist view is, as usual, just as wrong.

Jon

When you confess your sins to people like yourselves, you don’t get the joy of communicating directly with God Almighty. You don’t feel that you are close to God unless you talk to Him directly. God hears you and sees you everywhere, and all you have to do is to confess your sins to God directly. Don’t put a mediator between yourself and God because this will let you feel that you are far away from God. If you sin, seek forgiveness from God directly, and if you need something, ask God directly.

And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should answer My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way. (Quran 2: 186)

Great, but we, as Catholics do what Holy Scripture tells us to do, and that is one of the teachings of Jesus Christ who is God, and King of Kings, Our Savior, YOUR Savior, we confess to a priest as God intended us to do. We do not go by the Quran. The Quran is not of Christ, therefore not real.

Hi distracted. Would you have a source for your first proposition, that confession to a priest is considered by the Church to be necessary in part because we also sin against human beings?

Thanks,

Rory

I suggest you stick to an intellectual discussion, instead of an emotional discussion, because otherwise you won’t be taken seriously.

yes, funny how many protestants say they believe in sola scriptura but they really don’t… They see this kind of passage and others… and… well, from waht i’ve seen, they just ignore it… just merrily skip along to some other passage that seems more understandable and more protestant…

how can you be sola scriptura when you throw out the scriptura? :smiley:

so you seem to believe in confession…

why arent you catholic… Just wondering…

***i heard this story once (true story in newspaper) about a woman who said she heard God telling her to throw her child down the stairs…

so much for speaking directly to God… ***

We don’t just need God anyhow… We need HIs laws… We need to be purified… which is why we need Jesus and why he was sent to us… to pay a price we cannot pay…

maybe that’s why Muslims are doing so much terrorizing around the world…

maybe they would be doing well to ask themselves, before engaging in such activities:

What would Jesus do…

not Mohommad… a mere man.

i got this info from a priest at an RCIA class…

and i wouldn’t have validated the info… as i have in my OP if i didn’t 100% believe it to be true (know it to be true)…

I was under the impression that in the Sacrament of Reconciliation that it is Christ that forgives the penitent, not the priest. This is what makes it sacramental. A warm fuzzy is always down played as ill advised by the Catholics on this forum, unless it’s their own warm fuzzy, of course.

What difference does it make how much someone knows about Christ? How does knowledge positively or negatively impact ones ability to forgive? Relying on some sort of knowledge in the manner lends this reader to suspect a leaning toward Gnosticsm.

I have heard a few arguments for confession in the Catholic tradition, this one is pretty weak.

distracted, I’m sorry, but I laughed. This is true.

it can’t be both (??)

A warm fuzzy is always down played as ill advised by the Catholics on this forum, unless it’s their own warm fuzzy, of course.

i have no idea what that is supposed to mean…

What difference does it make how much someone knows about Christ?

if you don’t know, i’m not sure i can begin to tell you …

How does knowledge positively or negatively impact ones ability to forgive?

who said it did?

I have heard a few arguments for confession in the Catholic tradition, this one is pretty weak.

to those who refuse to believe, it is all weak…

It might be. Is that what the Catholic Church teaches?

[quote=distracted]i have no idea what that is supposed to mean…
if you don’t know, i’m not sure i can begin to tell you …
who said it did?
[/quote]

You did in your original post:

Your original post:

why do Catholics confess to a priest? - one reason is that when we sin we sin not only against God (and ourselves) but against other human beings, whom we are to love as we love ourselves…

and so going to a priest offers us the chance to confess our sins to, and be forgiven by, someone who is just like us - weak, sinful… human.

it is SO awesome to be forgiven by another human being, especially a priest who usually knows more about God / Jesus than ordinary people do…

Also because Jesus told us to (John 20:19)

If confession to another person who is weak and sinful as I, why then must it be to a Catholic Priest? Why not to anyone I choose, like my pastor, my friend, my Dad, etc.? If it’s just about how awesome of a feeling you get by confessing to another person what’s the big deal about it being to a priest? Just follow that awesome feeling and select your own confessor.

If confession in the Catholic Tradition is so awesome because you’re forgiven by another person, rather than by God, who actually removes those sins from us, then we are talking about a feeling, aren’t we? It FEELS awesome to bear your sins to another person, it doesn’t matter if the forgiveness is efficacious or not, it’s just a nice warm fuzzy to do it.

None of these are sound Catholic arguments for the Sacrament of Penance. It’s just you posting your stuff so you and your buddies can all join hands and say as you sway, “Yeah for our side! We’re the only place where Jesus is, so neener-neener to all you that don’t subscribe to the God we keep in our own little box.”

Your scriptural passage is the corner stone for Apostolic Succession and a logical sequence of history that culminates into the clergy of the Catholic Church we have today. It is not a biblical proof for confession in the Catholic Tradition. If it were we would have something from St. Paul in his plethora of letters to congregations and individual Bishops about the importance of this Sacrament and their correct application, of it, but we don’t have that in Scripture at all, anywhere.

The Catholic method of confession of sins is great, and for those that receive the grace of Christ through it – that’s wonderful. It is however, not the only method for Christians to receive forgiveness of sins.

[quote=distracted]to those who refuse to believe, it is all weak…
[/quote]

Weak arguments are weak arguments, Belief has nothing to do with it.

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