Why must we be forgiven by a priest?

#21

If their contrition is perfect, the sins are forgiven.
Catholic teaching distinguishes a twofold hatred of sin; one, perfect contrition, rises from the love of God Who has been grievously offended; the other, imperfect contrition, arises principally from some other motives, such as loss of heaven, fear of hell, the heinousness of sin, etc. (Council of Trent, Sess. XIV, ch. iv de Contritione). For the doctrine of imperfect contrition see ATTRITION.

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#22

You do seek forgivweness from God, through the Sacrament that Christ established. You said that Protestants are gorgiven directly by God. How do you know that? Who told you the Early Christians did not confess their sins in some form of the Sacrament?

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#23

I guess what I dont understand is, and probably because I was raised protestant, why cant I just confess my sins to God himself. If the information im getting is true then what do you say about the protestants who seek forgiveness from God. Arent we supposed to trust in God’s mercy? I understand that Christ passed that power to his apostles but I just dont agree with confessing my sins to another mortal man.I will never leave the Church but im having serious conflict with this issue.

When I was in RCIA the video said that confession wasnt started until around 550 A.D.

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#24

Why are you having a serious conflict over this, especially when you acknowledge that Christ did give this authority to the Church? I think you’re going to need to dig deeply to identify your real objection. And I personally doubt that the real objection is theological.

When I was in RCIA the video said that confession wasnt started until around 550 A.D.

Does it really make sense that Christ would give the Apostles the power to bind and loose sin but that their successors wouldn’t use that power for over 500 years?

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#25

The RCIA video used stated that it occured around 550 A.D. and that it was begun by munks.

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#26

Where did you get a crazy idea like that? Being Protestant isn’t a “Get out of confession free” card.

Jeremy

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#27

You can. In fact you must. Venial sins are forgiven by God without confession, though of course one should go to confession even if all his sins are venial. Now, the problem comes when one sins mortally. Mortal sins cut us from God’s grace and the only straight forward way to reestablish this bond is to go to confession. When we go to confession we however still confess our sins to God even though we do it through out priest.

When we sin we not only sin against God but also against the Church. Thus when we go to confession we are **by **God **through **the Church.

If the information im getting is true then what do you say about the protestants who seek forgiveness from God.

Here you see a very good reason why Protestantism is so dangerous and why should rejoice and thank God for being Catholic.

Protestants are cut from the true Church and the Sacraments. When a protestant sins mortally he still must go to confession like every Catholic. If he doesn’t then he endangers his soul.

Arent we supposed to trust in God’s mercy?

They are but mercy doesn’t consist of being handed free-ride cards if you decide that you don’t need to go to confession.

I understand that Christ passed that power to his apostles but I just dont agree with confessing my sins to another mortal man.

Well, don’t take it with us. Take it with God himself.

But be aware that it is not wise to disagree with God. Apostles passed the power because Christ has given it to them for a reason.

When I was in RCIA the video said that confession wasnt started until around 550 A.D.

:eek:
Are you sure it was a Catholic RCIA?

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#28

They messed up then.

Don’t you realize that Protestants essentially put themselves in the same position as those in the early church who did not have auricular confession. Even in the time of Constantine, many people refrained from being baptized until they were near death because they had not developed the understanding of the sacrament of reconciliation that we have now.

I think this is an excellent example of the concept of development of doctrine, and also of the following scripture.
[FONT=“Palatino Linotype”]Matthew 16:19 And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

Matthew 18:18 Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.
**
Reconciliation (Confession):**Leviticus. 5:4-6; 19:21-22 (even under the Old Covenant, God used priests to forgive and atone for the sins of others.). Matthew 3:6,18:18, 9:6 & 8, Mark 2:7, John 20:21-23, Acts 19:18, 2nd Corinthians 5:18-19, James 5:16, 1st John 1:9-10.

I think it’s a failing of n-C Christianity that tries to deny these concepts…but then that is consistent with modern n-C theology. :shrug: [/FONT]

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#29

We are seeking pardon from God when we confess to a priest. The priest is acting in persona christi.

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#30

The video would be incorrect, it may have stated private individual confession with the confessor and priest in a single room began around that time, however confessions preceed Christ.
Protestants well there are many issues here

1)Whose sin you forgive are forgiven and whose sins you retain are retained - bible. In the bible forgiving of sins is delectated to the Church by Jesus. Some Protestants have a problem with this because the Church is Catholic not Protestant.

  1. Concerning the Catholic teaching of Protestant practices. This is a tricky subject but if a Protestant through no fault of his own ( or even a non-Christians) longs for God and follow God’s plan the person can be saved. The best example of this was the man crucified with Jesus. This man confessed his crime (sin) acknowledge his punishment as just, and asked Jesus to remember him. Jesus forgave and rewarded the man.

  2. Your confession is to God, the priest is there as Christ told the Apostles to be there. He acts as instructed by Christ. He is Christ Persona.

The Priest physical presents has nothing to do with whether your repenting. The protestant approach is to reject Christ’s instruction to the Apostles and substitute in an easier method. You as a Catholic are to follow the instruction as given by Christ

Hope That Helps

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#31

I recently finished reading Dietrich Boenhoeffer’s book Costly Grace. His prospective as a Luthern was interesting and is in line with Catholic teaching. Martin Luther, in recommending the Sacrament of Reconciliation did so that the penitent might become more Christian (quoted in the book). The following is a mix of information from the Costly Grace plus the book I am reading now–John Paul II’s Welcoming the New Millenium. Bear with me as I have neither book with me and therefore cannot reference direct quotes.
Jesus took our sins upon his own flesh. This flesh was mortified upon the cross. When we are baptized we are baptized into the death of Jesus Christ. Our sins are nailed upon the cross.
The early fathers referred to the Sacrament as “the new Baptism” (JPII). We are born anew when our sins are confessed and forgiven.
When we confess our sins, we mortify and humiliate the flesh. We die to self. In confessing before a priest we protect ourselves from self deception. The priest absolves our sins “in persona,” in the person of Jesus Christ. By the graces received in Holy Orders, he provides guidance for our journey to the Father. The grace of the Holy Spirit replaces the space taken up by the sin that was just confessed.
No doubt somebody else may better say what I have just stated. The grace and forgiveness received are experienced at a level beyond that which words can relate.

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#32

My wife is an ex-Pentecostal. She never felt like she was truly forgiven until she heard a priest tell her she was. I think particularly among the scrupulous it’s important to know for sure. The wisdom of Christ continues to astound.

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#33

But that’s just it! You can go straight to God. Anyone who tells you that you must go to God through them isn’t telling you the truth.

Ask yourself, am I going to go by what Roman Catholicism tells me? Or am I going to go by what the Bible says?

The Bible is very clear that we go directly to God. No priests, no Mary. Just us going directly to God.

Just look at Hebrews 4:11-16:

11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. 12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Notice that it says let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, not “let us go to our priest to speak on behalf of the throne of grace” or “let us ask Mary to go to the throne of grace and intercede for us”.

It’s us going to the throne of grace.

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#34

John 20:22-23
When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.

Tell me, how would the Apostles know what sins to forgive and retain if they were not somehow known to them? (ie: CONFESSED)

Just tell me how you get around this.

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#35

Simple. The passage has nothing to do with going to a priest to confess your sins to have the priest forgive you. It’s referring to the preaching of the Gospel.

Incidently, you never did tell us your explanation for Hebrews 4:11-16.

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#36
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#37

Word of God = Jesus

The Throne of Grace is the confessional in the Sacrament of Confession.

No contradiction, both are harmonized.

You need to address the Gospel passage because you can’t interpret the letters with understanding the underlying context.

So I’ll ask again:

John 20:22-23
When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.

Tell me, how would the Apostles know what sins to forgive and retain if they were not somehow known to them?

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#38

“Plain language”? If it were plain language, then it would actually mention confession to men for the forgiveness of sins. It doesn’t.

How do you read this as preaching the Gospel?

Before I answer that, tell me this. As a Roman Catholic, do you believe in the analogy of scripture?

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#39

How do you come to that conclusion?

So I’ll ask again:

John 20:22-23
When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.

Tell me, how would the Apostles know what sins to forgive and retain if they were not somehow known to them?

Before I get into that, just tell me this: as a Roman Catholic, do you believe in the analogy of scripture?

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#40

Based upon what Jesus said earlier in the passage I quoted.

I’m not sure exactly what you mean but let me guess.

The Catholic Church teaches that there are 2 ways to interpret scripture:

  1. the Literal sense
  2. the Spiritual sense

115 According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral and anagogical senses. The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church.

116 The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: “All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal.”

117 The spiritual sense. Thanks to the unity of God’s plan, not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs.

  1. The allegorical sense. We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ’s victory and also of Christian Baptism.
  1. The moral sense. The events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly. As St. Paul says, they were written “for our instruction”.
  1. The anagogical sense (Greek: anagoge, “leading”). We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem.

You asked me if we believe in Analogy, yes.
here is a quick example
The temple:
the temple of Jerasalem (the actual building)
the body of Christ (destroy this temple and in three days I will rebuild it)
the Church
all of us (St. Paul says we are temple of the Holy Spirit)

Anyhow I have to go to sleep now, but I maintain that an honest reading of John 20:22-23 will lead to the reality of confession.

It is important to note here that this is the second instance when God “breathed on them”: the first time was when God breathed the souls into Adam and Eve [Genesis 2:7]. This similarity in language is no coincidence: it allows us to contemplate the magnitude and importance of the event taking place in John 20:22-23-the initiation of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is evident from the words of Jesus that confession through a priest is part of His Divine Will. How would the Apostles know what sins to forgive or retain if they weren’t confessed to them first? HOW?!

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