Skip to comments.Contraception: The Reason Catholics Have Abandoned Confession
Posted on 03/24/2011 10:23:25 AM PDT by Mary Kochan
What about the 75% of American Catholics who, according to polls, receive the sacrament of penance less than once a year or never? Escapists perhaps?
This year as in other recent Lents, dioceses and parishes across the country are making a push to get Catholics back to this neglected sacrament. I wish them much success. The flight from sacramental penance has been one of the genuine disasters of contemporary Catholic life.
What explains it? Many things undoubtedly combine to play a part: an often-cited loss of the sense of sin, fatuous presumption that God approves of me no matter what, shame at the prospect of confessing ones sins after a long time (give it a try: it wont hurt). But part of it, I feel certain, has to do with contraception.
It works this way.
(Excerpt) Read more at catholiclane.com ...
Unbridled population expansions have led to wars including the two recent wars in the past. Somewhere between that and what we’re experiencing now is some sort of a happy medium...
It would be helpful if the Catholics actually understood what the word “contraception” means.
I can think of two reasons.
One, they confess their sins directly to God when they pray and ask for forgiveness.
Two, perhaps there is a lack of trust in the priests currently at their church.
I can ask God for forgiveness without a 3rd party.
I agree with SAM.
I’ve never found any compelling need to confess my sins to a priest. If God is to forgive me, then that’s between Him and me.
Is there a biblical justification for confessing to a priest vs in prayer?
Could you make this a caucus thread? I can see this going off the rails even more quickly with non-Catholics involved.
I agree with your assessment, asking God directly for forgiveness and the scandals in the church makes it a bit difficult to ask a priest for forgiveness.
I do not think it has to do with contraception
Were this observation correct, it would be a wonderful development of conscience regarding contraception. Nevertheless the impact of 'Nouvelle Theologie' and modernism in general has resulted in the widespread assumption that we're all saved, so why bother with confession! One of Hans Urs von Balthasar's books was titled "Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved?."
If the scheduled confession time is an hour a week before the vigil Mass for a parish of more than 1500 families, what message does that send to the laity about the importance of confession?
The Bible says that we are to “confess our faults to one another” but it’s not as strict a command as opposed to confession to God directly. The idea of a priest hearing a confession I think gets to that notion of “confessing to one another” in a safe psychological way since in practice, confessions in an open group fashion have a way sometimes of back firing on the confessor. Some confessions of personal sin and fault may involve such sensitive issues that it is best for only a priest, pastor and perhaps a few wise trusted deacons to hear the issues at the time. Many pastors and priests have had advanced training in psychological counscelling which can be useful in detecting mental health issues as well.
It needn’t be a priest but it is wise to find someone in your church to talk to and pray with you since it does reinforce accountability and ones resolve to repent and leave a sinful matter or habit behind in obedience to God.
Oh relax, I’m not Catholic but I see great utility in the priest confessional system the Catholics use...churches “on the other side” should adopt it. As for contraception, I have great sympathy for arguements against it.
Think its off...
I think the biggest issue is simply time.
Most curches have pennance at off times and hours, when people who are busy with their jobs and other items cannot make it.
Obviously, yes anyone can change priorities and make something work, but if your goal is to maximize the number of folks involved in it, you have to make in convient to them.
100 years ago, everyone lived in walking distance to church. Kids weren’t involved in all sorts of organized activities that required trips away from the home in evenings and weekends... they played with their buddies in the neighborhoods and had pick up ball at the park.. etc etc etc.. they didn’t have to go to tutoring on weeknights because the schools actually educated them so they didn’t have to go somewhere else to actually learn.. etc etc etc.
Best way to up its use is to offer it around times when people are already going to be at the church, Sundays after or before services etc. And certainly reminding folks from the pulpit (marketing) won’t hurt either.
I have never in my life walked into a confessional feeling conflicted about the use of birth control, or at least not to a point where I wouldn’t go to the sacrement over it, nor have I ever heard any other Catholic ever espouse that as a reason or excuse.
That presumes that the priest to whom one is confessing is directly involved with or responsible for the scandals in the Church. Rather a harsh condemnation of a probably innocent man, isn't it? The priest is not representing himself or his parish; he is not even standing in for the Church, which has guilt and problems as any human institution does. He is standing in for Christ.
Non-Catholics sometimes don't realize that the priest also often has helpful suggestions in getting over a sin, avoiding it in the future, and devising a really good penance for it. Confession really is good for the soul.
“Is there a biblical justification for confessing to a priest vs in prayer?”
Well, there is a verse that tells us to confess our sins to each other, and verses that gave the apostles power to forgive sins, but nothing that explicitly spells out the Catholic practice.
“Could you make this a caucus thread?”
Why not just re-post it as a caucus thread yourself, and leave this one open?
“One of Hans Urs von Balthasar’s books was titled “Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved?.””
What’s wrong with that hope? God hopes for the same thing, doesn’t He?
I think it has more to do with complacency— people thinking God would never punish them and that God will forgive without them confessing to a priest.
I would love to make it a caucus thread, but I don’t know how to do that. When I go to post, I don’t see any link for the Catholic caucus. Advise, please.
RM, see #19.
Shaw is a liberal—not a Kerry/Kennedy/Pelosi Catholic liberal, but more often left than right. It’s manifested here: he introduces and defends the argument that contraception may be the reason for Confession fall-off but rather than edifying his readers as to why contraception does or doesn’t need forgiveness, he leaps directly to something like confession-is-good-for-the-soul, and we ought to confess more often. This cumbaya cuddling abets the shunning of the sacrament. If contraception is, as the Church proclaims, a sin, it needs to be confessed. Those who don’t *believe* it’s a sin (and I don’t mean those who practice contraception) or refuse to confess it, or anything else for that matter, shouldn’t feel free to call themselves Catholics. Catholicism isn’t a club or a political party or one of the many protestant sects whose existence sprouted from disputes with the original Christianity.
I’ve been an editor in Catholic media for a decade and been working with his columns all that time. He has never truck me as a liberal, although, I could be wrong; I have never read any of his books.
I think he certainly views contraception as a sin. He keeps his column short and does not always deliver as much of an argument as he probably could make for every point because I think some of the outlets have a word count limit.
Here is a somewhat more complicated way that I think he may be correct. Confession ministers sanctify grace, or course. But beforehand, it is pure grace that drives us to the sacrament. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts of us sin and makes us long for forgiveness. I think that those Catholics who are practicing contraception may have dulled their heart to the prompting of the Spirit and so are not goaded by the Spirit to seek the healing of confession.
Why not just add the caucus tag and call it good?
See if the RM can help, I think that may be your best bet.
95% of Catholic parishes in America have confession in a one hour window somewhere between 3pm and 4:30. There are well over 100 Catholic churches within a one hour drive of me, and only one of them offers confession at an alternate time. And yes, I have checked them all at one time or another. I feel bad for Catholics who have to work on Saturday....
Is there a biblical justification for confessing to a priest vs in prayer?
Actually there is. Here is a great link to see for yourself!
“Why not just add the caucus tag and call it good?”
Well, the OP didn’t make it a caucus thread, and obviously non-Catholics have opinions to share on the subject too. Someone other than the OP trying to make something a caucus thread retroactively just smacks of stifling debate.
Plus, the thread is already full of non-Catholic comments, so making a caucus thread at this point wouldn’t undo that, unless you want the mods to go around deleting non-offensive posts. If you want a clean, caucus thread, the simplest way seems to be to make your own.
Ah, I just went back and looked at the comments and saw the OP does want to make it a caucus thread. Hadn’t seen that before, but I still think it’s easier at this point to repost, since the cat is out of the bag.
21He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. 22When he had said this, he Breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. 23Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.
JOHN 20:21 "As the Father hath Sent Me, I also Send You.
I read it's the only other time in the Bible God breathed onto men. The first was in Genesis Here:
7 Then the LORD God formed a man[c] from the dust of the ground and BREATHED into his nostrils the BREATH of life, and the man became a living being.
ALSO what about Jesus's criterion
Mk 2:7 Why does the man talk that way? He commits blasphemy! Who can forgive sins except God alone? (NAB)
Jesus clearly stated that he had the authority to forgive sins.
Mk 2:10 "That you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins [he said to the paralyzed man] I command you: Stand up! Pick up your mat and go home." The man stood and picked up his mat and went outside in the sight of all. (NAB)
What about Peter:
6But Peter said: Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, I give thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise, and walk.
7And taking him by the right hand, he lifted him up, and forthwith his feet and soles received strength.
8And he leaping up, stood, and walked, and went in with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
In the early church, people actually confessed their sins publicly (before the congregation), which is a far cry from today's private confessions between a person and a priest. This is unfortunately something that the protestants dropped which was always present in some form in Catholic church.
Catholics realize that the Church has authority (it has lasted 2000 and has stuck to the same doctrine) and quite frankly, has a better idea than some of us who only want to do what is convenient.
Confession is actually wonderful. It forces us to call to mind our sins - we don't want to keep going to our priest with the same ones. Obviously there are good and bad priests, but most of them can offer some type of wisdom which can assist one in preventing the sin in the future. It is so uplifting to leave the confessional and start fresh. I encourage Catholics to come back to confession. If it's a priest you don't care for, try another church in the area.
*The Catholic Church makes the distinction between “venial” sins and “mortal” sins. I won't make the distinction here, but venial sins can be forgiven just through prayer, while mortal sins require one to receive the sacrament of reconciliation.
A resource on Catholic confession beliefs:
I suppose you can ask but not at all certain you will receive.
And the worst thing is you might assume you received but didn't.
If you say so.
I guess the creep in the confessional had the power to absolve me thoroughly according to you.
I hope you get healed over that. Not good to stay bitter forever.
**I stopped going to confession at the age of 12 after a priest questioned me in an inappropriate manner in the confessional.
I can ask God for forgiveness without a 3rd party.**
Sounds like your pride got in the way. Why don’t you sit down with a priest in his office and get your questions about this answered.
I will post the words of absolution a little later. God forgives your sins in the sacrament of Reconciliation, not the priest.
|1449 The formula of absolution used in the Latin Church expresses the essential elements of this sacrament: the Father of mercies is the source of all forgiveness. He effects the reconciliation of sinners through the Passover of his Son and the gift of his Spirit, through the prayer and ministry of the Church:
Catholics have stood solidly against contraception, abortion euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, homosexuality and same-sex marriage. I don't know where you are getting your information (those tracts at a protestant church?) but it is wrong.
U.S. Bishops Publication Urges Priests to Preach on Contraception, Sterilization, IVF
Contraception: The Bitter Pill
Catholic Bishops Warn of Civil Disobedience Over Contraceptives [Philippines]
Relationships Market After 50 Years of The Pill
Contraception: The Bacteria Devouring Americas Soul
Christians examine morality of birth control [Ecumenical/Orthodox Presbyterian]
The Cost of Contraception: Women's Health - Response to CNN
The Connection between Contraception and Abortion
Baby Bust: The Demographics of Global Depression
The Surest Sign of a Decadent Culture
Protestants and Birth Control
The Protest of a Protestant Minister Against Birth Control
Contraception: Why Not?
The Bible & Birth Control
Our Gravest Moral Responsibility: Convert the Contraception Mentality
Contraception and Conversion
Evangelical Leaders are Ok with Contraception
The pill and 50 years of misery [the pill kills!]
The dawn of demonic deception [the birth control pill]
Researcher finds strong link between contraception and HIV
The Birth-Control Riddle
Social Science Proves Humanae Vitae
"Contraception Is Wrong. Now Here's How You Use It . . ."
Suit claims birth control warning not enough
Natural and Unnatural (father of 5 shocks mother of 1)
Planned Parenthood Uses Teens to Distribute Injectable Birth Control in Rural Ecuador
Study: Low-Dose Birth Control Pills Decrease Bone Density in Young Women
Spanish drug agency confirms grave effects of morning-after pill
Another Woman Dies of Hormonal Contraceptive in Switzerland
Study Finds Half of Women on "Birth Control Shot" Suffer Bone Problems
The Re-Birth of Population Control: Human Life Seen as a Carbon Problem
Radio Replies First Volume - Birth Control
Abortion, birth control pill linked to breast cancer, surgeon says
God before contraception (Australia)
Fighting the 'contraceptive mentality'
Birth control pill creator regrets population decline
Polluted Water, Polluted Culture (one more consequence from contraception)
Abortifacients -- The Other Forbidden Grief
NFP and Contraception: Whats the Difference?
Wisconsin requiring Catholic institutions to provide contraceptives coverage
Contraception: The history you may have missed and would rather not know
Why does Pope Benedict talk about Humanae vitae in the new encyclical? [Catholic Caucus]
New Evangelical Documentary Exposes Abortifacient Qualities of the Birth Control Pill, Promotes NFP
In Quiverfull Movement, Birth Control Is Shunned
Press in a Dither Again over Popes Reaffirmation of Catholic Teaching
How Birth Control Changed America for the Worst
If You Are Contracepting, You Are Part of A Very Big Problem
Vatican and Italian government criticize sale of RU 486 in Italy
New Condom Ads Target Catholics, Latinos
St. Padre Pio, Humanae Vitae, and Mandatory Abortion
Responsible Parenthood in a Birth Control Culture, Part Two [Open]
Responsible Parenthood in a Birth Control Culture, Part One [Open]
Humanae Vitae and True Sexual Freedom Part 6 of 6 [Open]
Contraception v. Natural Family Planning Part 5 of 6 [Open]
Sex Speaks: True and False Prophets Part 4 of 6 [Open]
Contraception and the Language of the Body Part 3 of 6 [Open]
Does Contraception Foster Love? Part 2 of 6 [Open]
Contraception and Cultural Chaos Part 1 of 6 [Open]
Priests still suffering from effects of Humanae Vitae dissenters, Vatican cardinal says (Must read!)
"Provoking reflection" (Contrasting views on Humanae Vitae)
Humanae Vitae The Year of the Peirasmòs - 1968
Catholics to Pope: Lift the Birth Control Ban
[OPEN] The Vindication of Humanae Vitae
Catholic Clergy Challenge Colleagues to Reacquaint Themselves and Their People with Humanae Vitae
White House proposes wide "conscience clause" on abortion, contraception
THE EX CATHEDRA STATUS OF THE ENCYCLICAL "HUMANAE VITAE" [Catholic Caucus]
A degrading poison that withers life
Australia Study: 70 Percent of Women Seeking Abortions Used Contraception
[Fr. Thomas Euteneuer] In Persona Christi: The Priest and Contraception
A Challenging Truth, Part Two: The Day the Birth Control Died
A Challenging Truth, Part One: How Birth Control Works
Ten Challenges for the Pro-Life Movement in 2008
The concept of the "intrinsically evil"
Pope Tells Pharmacists Not to Dispense Drugs With 'Immoral Purposes'
Massive Study Finds the Pill Significantly Increases Cancer Risk if Used more than Eight Years
Birth Control Pill Creates Blood Clot Causing Death of Irish Woman
Seminarians Bring Churchs Teaching on Contraception, Sexuality to YouTube
Abortion and Contraception: Old Lies
History of Catholic teaching on Contraception
Pope: Legislation "Supporting Contraception and Abortion is Threatening the Future of Peoples"
Contraception: Why It's Wrong
On Fox News Fearless HLI Priest Takes on Sean Hannity (may be indebted for saving his soul)
VIDEO - SEAN HANNITY vs REV. THOMAS EUTENEUER (must see!)
The Early Church Fathers on Contraception - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
Pope on divine love vs. erotic love
Conjugal Love and Procreation: God's Design
Being fruitful [Evangelicals and contraception]
Our priest has added another hour each week on Wednesday evening.
And during Lent and Advent there are Penance Services at all the churches, plus I think he does at least five other hours of confessions at our church.
The two marks og s GOOD Catholic Church are LLOOOOOONNNNGGGG confession lines and multiple vocations. We have both at our church — we are truly blessed.
The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor:
1 The first precept ("You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor") requires the faithful to sanctify the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord as well as the principal liturgical feasts honoring the mysteries of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the saints; in the first place, by participating in the Eucharistic c
2 The second precept ("You shall confess your sins at least once a year.") ensures preparation for the Eucharist by the reception of the sacrament of reconciliation, which continues Baptism's work of conversion and forgiveness.
3 The third precept ("You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season.") guarantees as a minimum the reception of the Lord's Body and Blood in connection with the Paschal feasts, the origin and center of the Christian liturgy.
4 The fourth precept ("You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church") ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts and help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.
5 The fifth precept ("You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church") means that the faithful are obliged to assist with the material needs of the Church, each according to his own ability. The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his abilities.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2041-2043
“There are well over 100 Catholic churches within a one hour drive of me...”
Holy moly you have a lotta choices! I have one church within an hour’s drive (35 minutes). Three others are just around an hour’s drive. I think those all have the hour on Saturday too.
We have another hour added on Wednesday too, for lent. It’s still just two hours a week for a parish of 1500+ families, and normally just one hour. I don’t think our priest is a fan of “frequent confession”. Of course it’s not like the line for confession is very long, either. If even a fraction of folks showed up once a month for confession there would be no way he could hear them all in the time alloted.
Freegards, thanks for all the pings
Can you say in what way you thought a pastor overstepped his authority?
A priest, through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, receives the power to forgive or not forgive sins.
What if someone went to confession, but really didn’t have a sin? The priest can’t forgive anything through God in the words of absolution.
Many powers are bestowed by Christ to those consecrated priests, and the powers of Christ are objective, not subjective. A priest who no longer believes in the True Presence can still confect the Holy Eucharist, a priest deep in sin can still forgive the sins of others in the confessional- just as surely as a validly obtained marriage is always valid and Richard Dawkins could baptise my new baby if he used the right words.
As far as their immortal souls go, however, these priests are heaping damnation on their own heads, and at their judgement Christ will not know them.
Know it all? Just a Catholic here.
I don’t understand how one bad priest or even just a bad question from a priest stopped you from going to confession for the rest of your life.
Sorry, but no. Any article that says it is about contraception, but begins by alluding to abortion doesn’t understand what the word “contraception” means. You can post all the links to insular Catholic websites that you like, but it still doesn’t change the fact that the author doesn’t have his definitions right.