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Why do Catholics have to confess their sins to a priest instead of praying straight to God? [Ecu]
Black Cordelias ^ | July 2, 2008 | bfhu

Posted on 07/03/2008 10:06:26 AM PDT by NYer

Q. Why do Catholics have to confess their sins to a priest instead of praying straight to God?

A. In obedience to Christ.

John 20:19-23 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

After His resurrection, Jesus, appeared to His disciples on Easter Sunday evening. He conferred the power to forgive sins by breathing on them. This corresponds to God breathing life into Adam. And so, Jesus breathes life giving power to forgive sins into his disciples. Note that this is before Pentecost and the general bestowal of the Holy Spirit. This is a special and unique pouring out of the Holy Spirit for the disciples, the first priests and bishops of the Christian Church.

And the purpose of this special dispensation of the Holy Spirit is to empower the apostles with the authority to forgive or not forgive sins in the name of Christ. This specific action cannot mean some sort of general power such as that by the preaching of the Gospel sins are forgiven or not depending upon the hearer. Jesus says, “If you forgive….if you do not forgive…” It would be impossible for the disciples to obey Jesus without audibly hearing the confessions of men and women, boys and girls.

2 Corinthians 5:17-20 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

Now this verse can be interpreted in a Protestant way to mean salvation by the preaching of the Gospel. However, we see this verse as further proof for the sacrament of reconciliation/confession. Also, James points out

James 5:13-16 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

The Greek word for elders is presbuterous. This is the Greek etymological root from which we get our English word for priest. So, James is saying to call the priests to pray for healing both physical and spiritual. Why would James specify the calling of the elders/priests for those who are sick if they had no more authority than the average Christian?



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; confession; penance
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1 posted on 07/03/2008 10:06:26 AM PDT by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...
Fr Dwight Longenecker, over at Standing On My Head blog, writes:


This evening I was in the confessional for an hour and a half. We have the great problem in our parish of not enough priests and too many penitents.

While hearing one confession I had this sudden impression of heaven opening up and there being great joy in that small room. Then I remembered the gospel verse about angels rejoicing over one soul who repents.

Surely this is so true. Repentance is when we make a quantum leap forward with God. When our heart cracks open a little bit with repentance, we suddenly make a way for grace to get in.

2 posted on 07/03/2008 10:09:14 AM PDT by NYer ("Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." - St. Jerome)
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To: NYer
In addition to the above, a requirement for the Sacrament is a sincerely contrite before confessing your sins to the priests. This contrition is motivated by a love of God or a fear of the punishments of Hell.

One resouce for the Sacrament that I've consulted from time to time recommends that the penitent make the Act of Contrition before going into the Confessional, so the Act of Contrition is renewed before the priests gives absolution.

3 posted on 07/03/2008 10:13:49 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
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To: Pyro7480

So what happens to those who repent of their sins, ask for forgiveness, offer forgiveness to others who have wronged them, but refuse to let the issues go and don’t want to make amends?

Is that truly forgiving?


4 posted on 07/03/2008 10:16:39 AM PDT by Lucky9teen (We dont have 2 go 2 a madhouse 2 find disordered minds; earth is the mental institution of theworld)
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To: NYer

Never found a Bible in the pews of the RC Church either.
Only the priests are allowed to read, and interpret for us?


5 posted on 07/03/2008 10:22:48 AM PDT by ropin71 (God Bless our Troops!)
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To: Lucky9teen

Catholics can and do pray directly to God, just like everyone else. Jesus hears every word and knows every thought and intention of the heart.


6 posted on 07/03/2008 10:24:46 AM PDT by shineon
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To: NYer

“Whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven them, and whose sins you shall retain they are retained”


7 posted on 07/03/2008 10:26:52 AM PDT by ex-snook ("Above all things, truth beareth away the victory.")
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To: Pyro7480
Oops, that should have said, "...a requirement for the Sacrament is to be sincerely contrite before confessing your sins to the priests
8 posted on 07/03/2008 10:29:11 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
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To: ropin71
There isn't a cover-to-cover Bible in many Catholic Churches for each person in the pew, but there are missal or missalettes that have the Sunday readings, and the daily Responsorial Psalm. That isn't to say Catholic "aren't allowed" to go out and get a Bible for themselves! As long as it has ALL of the books in the Good Book and it's a proper translation, Catholics can read the Bible all they want. In fact, one can get an indulgence for merely reading the Bible for more than half an hour.

A partial indulgence is granted the Christian faithful who read sacred Scripture with the veneration due God's word and as a form of spiritual reading. The indulgence will be a plenary one when such reading is done for at least one-half hour [provided the other conditions are met].

9 posted on 07/03/2008 10:33:28 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: ropin71

Not exactly.

The priests, or deacons, read the Gospel. That reading and the readings mentioned below usually form the basis of their homilies.

However, only LAY people read the lessons at mass from the old and new testaments - even if the pope himself is celebrating that mass. The laity is deeply involved in the celebration of the mass.

But we,too, pray directly to God and Christ daily(at least I do!). We also pray to saints to intervene for us. At this moment, I am wearing a St. Anthony’s medal. He was a remarkable man, and a superb example of how to live a sincere and thorough Christian life.


11 posted on 07/03/2008 10:35:21 AM PDT by RexBeach ("Americans never quit!" Douglas MacArthur)
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To: RexBeach

Do an hour of Eucharistic Adoration for peace of mind.


12 posted on 07/03/2008 10:39:57 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: massgopguy

Yes! That is a great blessing!


13 posted on 07/03/2008 10:40:59 AM PDT by RexBeach ("Americans never quit!" Douglas MacArthur)
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To: Hebrewbrother

“As in all things Catholic.......follow the money.”

That was un-called for and inappropriate!

What are the rules for the religion forums again? I can’t find them anywhere. Even if this thread is not one which is restricted, that comment was still un-called for.

If you have something against the Roman Catholic Church, then perhaps you should stop reading the threads.


14 posted on 07/03/2008 10:51:53 AM PDT by marine86297 (I'll never forgive Clinton for Somalia, my blood is on his hands)
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To: Hebrewbrother

If your moniker is true, would you be upset if someone said that about the Jews?


15 posted on 07/03/2008 10:56:22 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
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To: NYer
Confession was done in the early Christian Church.

There are stories that some people had as penance standing in front of the church outside during the service perhaps for a year. I do not know what the sins were, but there were sometimes tough penances given -- from stories handed down. But then magic, homosexuality, paganism, killing (gladiators) was common in those times...

16 posted on 07/03/2008 10:58:36 AM PDT by topher (Let us return to old-fashioned morality - morality that has stood the test of time...)
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To: Hebrewbrother

...a deep emptiness in your denial


17 posted on 07/03/2008 11:03:23 AM PDT by rbmillerjr ("bigger government means constricting freedom"....................RWR)
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To: topher
But then magic, homosexuality, paganism, killing (gladiators) was common in those times...

And it isn't now?
18 posted on 07/03/2008 11:03:38 AM PDT by Scythian
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To: marine86297

You can find the R. forum rules by clicking on the R. Mod’s name (as in “Religion Moderator”). This is an “ecumenical thread”, and the post you responded to seems to be breaking the rules, as well as being laughably infantile.

Freegards


19 posted on 07/03/2008 11:21:46 AM PDT by Ransomed (Son of Ransomed says Keep the Faith!)
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To: ropin71; Pyro7480
Never found a Bible in the pews of the RC Church either.

As Pyro pointed out, the missalettes in each pew contain the verses from scripture that will be read on each Sunday. For Catholics and Orthodox, the Holy Bible is so important, that it is worthy of veneration. Prior to reading from the Gospel, the priest incenses it. When he has finished proclaiming the Gospel, he blesses the congregation with the Word of God

But, from your perspective, one of the best explanations I have ever heard, comes from Dr. Scott Hahn, a former Evangelical minister.

Hahn begins by describing the first mass he ever attended.

"There I stood, a man incognito, a Protestant minister in plainclothes, slipping into the back of a Catholic chapel in Milwaukee to witness my first Mass. Curiosity had driven me there, and I still didn't feel sure that it was healthy curiosity. Studying the writings of the earliest Christians, I'd found countless references to "the liturgy," "the Eucharist," "the sacrifice." For those first Christians, the Bible - the book I loved above all - was incomprehensible apart from the event that today's Catholics called "the Mass."

"I wanted to understand the early Christians; yet I'd had no experience of Liturgy. So I persuaded myself to go and see, as a sort of academic exercise, but vowing all along that I would neither kneel nor take part in idolatry."

I took my seat in the shadows, in a pew at the very back of that basement chapel. Before me were a goodly number of worshipers, men and women of all ages. Their genuflections impressed me, as did their apparent concentration in prayer. Then a bell rang, and they all stood as the priest emerged from a door beside the altar.

Unsure of myself, I remained seated. For years, as an evangelical Calvinist, I'd been trained to believe that the Mass was the ultimate sacrilege a human could commit. The Mass, I had been taught, was a ritual that purported to "resacrifice Jesus Christ." So I would remain an observer. I would stay seated, with my Bible open beside me.

As the Mass moved on, however, something hit me. My Bible wasn't just beside me. It was before me - in the words of the Mass! One line was from Isaiah, another from Psalms, another from Paul. The experience was overwhelming. I wanted to stop everything and shout, "Hey, can I explain what's happening from Scripture? This is great!" Still, I maintained my observer status. I remained on the sidelines until I heard the priest pronounce the words of consecration: "This is My body . . . This is the cup of My blood."

Then I felt all my doubt drain away. As I saw the priest raise that white host, I felt a prayer surge from my heart in a whisper: "My Lord and my God. That's really you!"

I was what you might call a basket case from that point. I couldn't imagine a greater excitement than what those words had worked upon me. Yet the experience was intensified just a moment later, when I heard the congregation recite: "Lamb of God . . . Lamb of God . . . Lamb of God," and the priest respond, "This is the Lamb of God . . ." as he raised the host. In less than a minute, the phrase "Lamb of God" had rung out four times. From long years of studying the Bible, I immediately knew where I was. I was in the Book of Revelation, where Jesus is called the Lamb no less than twenty-eight times in twenty-two chapters. I was at the marriage feast that John describes at the end of that very last book of the Bible. I was before the throne of heaven, where Jesus is hailed forever as the Lamb. I wasn't ready for this, though - I was at Mass!


20 posted on 07/03/2008 11:30:09 AM PDT by NYer ("Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." - St. Jerome)
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To: Hebrewbrother
To paraphrase Ronaldus Maximus...”There you go again...”.
Keep your bigotry to yourself.
21 posted on 07/03/2008 11:32:46 AM PDT by Apercu ("A man's character is his fate" - Heraclitus)
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To: NYer
"Q. Why do Catholics have to confess their sins to a priest instead of praying straight to God?

A. In obedience to Christ."

Whose obedience to Christ?

In the scripture you cite, Jesus does not command people to confess to priests.

Just where is it, exactly, where Jesus says, "Don't confess your sins to me (or to my Father) directly. Instead, I command you to confess your sins to other human beings, ordained for that purpose. If you do that with a pure and contrite heart, you sins shall be forgiven"???

22 posted on 07/03/2008 11:33:28 AM PDT by chs68
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To: NYer

Which of Hahn’s books is that excerpt from? I haven’t read any of his books, but I relate to those emotions.


23 posted on 07/03/2008 11:38:23 AM PDT by rbmillerjr ("bigger government means constricting freedom"....................RWR)
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To: Hebrewbrother
As in all things Catholic.......follow the money.

Sorry ... I'm not following you. Are you suggesting that people pay for remission of their sins?

24 posted on 07/03/2008 11:39:33 AM PDT by NYer ("Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." - St. Jerome)
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To: NYer
Q. Why do Catholics have to confess their sins to a priest instead of praying straight to God?

Because a duly-ordained priest has received his authority directly from Christ, through Peter, down through each pope to bishop. When you receive absolution from a duly-ordained priest, you are in essence receiving absolution from Christ Himself -- same goes for all the Sacraments.

Believe/accept this or not, but this is the reason for Roman Catholics.

25 posted on 07/03/2008 11:43:17 AM PDT by MozarkDawg
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To: NYer

I suspect he’s referring to the old medieval and Renaissance practice of the Church selling plenary indulgences.


26 posted on 07/03/2008 11:44:11 AM PDT by Emperor Palpatine ("There is no civility, only politics.")
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To: chs68
Just where is it, exactly

In John 20:21, before He grants them the authority to forgive sins, Jesus says to the apostles, "as the Father sent me, so I send you." As Christ was sent by the Father to forgive sins, so Christ sends the apostles and their successors forgive sins. In the next line, John 20:22, the Lord "breathes" on the apostles, and then gives them the power to forgive and retain sins. The only other moment in Scripture where God breathes on man is in Gen. 2:7, when the Lord "breathes" divine life into man. When this happens, a significant transformation takes place. Jesus then says in John 20:23 "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained." In order for the apostles to exercise this gift of forgiving sins, the penitents must orally confess their sins to them because the apostles are not mind readers. The text makes this very clear.

27 posted on 07/03/2008 11:44:50 AM PDT by NYer ("Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." - St. Jerome)
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To: NYer
A. In obedience to Christ.

I notice a lot of that in Catholicism.

:O)

28 posted on 07/03/2008 11:45:17 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: ropin71
Never found a Bible in the pews of the RC Church either.

The missalettes are filled with Scripture.

29 posted on 07/03/2008 11:46:44 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: rbmillerjr
Which of Hahn’s books is that excerpt from? I haven’t read any of his books, but I relate to those emotions.


30 posted on 07/03/2008 11:47:41 AM PDT by NYer ("Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." - St. Jerome)
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To: chs68
Just where is it, exactly, where Jesus says, "Don't confess your sins to me (or to my Father) directly. Instead, I command you to confess your sins to other human beings, ordained for that purpose. If you do that with a pure and contrite heart, you sins shall be forgiven"???

John 20:22-23

31 posted on 07/03/2008 11:50:18 AM PDT by magisterium
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To: RexBeach
The priests, or deacons, read the Gospel. That reading and the readings mentioned below usually form the basis of their homilies.....

You're talking about liturgical practice during services, aren't you? There's nothing preventing lay people from reading the Gospels for themselves....

32 posted on 07/03/2008 11:52:10 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: NYer
I always especially liked that the priest has the option not to forgive. At least according to Jesus. I don't think that option gets much play nowadays.
33 posted on 07/03/2008 12:18:38 PM PDT by isrul (Help make every day, "Disrespect a muzzie day.")
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To: NYer
The only other moment in Scripture where God breathes on man is in Gen. 2:7, when the Lord "breathes" divine life into man.

The Breath of God creating the priesthood for His Church!

His Church that will not be destroyed or fall away from him. With the Holy Spirit who will guide the Church to always teach the Truth, and He will always be with us. The Church with the teaching authority and the authority – given by Christ- to bind and loose in matters of faith. The Church of the apostles was definitely one: " One body and one Spirit: as you are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all. (Eph. 4:4-6).

The Catholic view of the Church is the only one that is consistent with all of Scripture.

The view that the church is based on the Bible is supported nowhere in the Bible itself, and was created by men 1,500 years after the resurrection of Christ.

34 posted on 07/03/2008 12:22:11 PM PDT by FatherofFive (Islam is an EVIL like no other, and must be ERADICATED)
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To: NYer

Are you a priest, NYer? That’s hoe I interpret your message.

Confession to a priest is a wonderful grace-filled act. Unfortunately most Catholics, myself included do not make use of the sacrament as often as we should. After I’ve been to confession, I have a deep feeling of closeness to God. It’s wonderful!


35 posted on 07/03/2008 12:25:46 PM PDT by Gumdrop
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To: andysandmikesmom; Antoninus; ArrogantBustard; celticfreedom; CTK YKC; dan1123; DaveMSmith; ...
If you want to be on the Catholic Theology for non-Catholics list but are not on it already, or if you are on it but do not want to be, let me know either publicly or privately.

Previously posted:

On Salvation Outside the Catholic Church
The Great Heresies
SALVATION PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE
JUSTIFICATION IN CATHOLIC TEACHING
Hermits and Solitaries [Ecumenical]
THE PRIESTHOOD DEBATE
RIGHTEOUSNESS AND MERIT
A Well-Rounded Pope [Ecumenical]
A Monastery to Last 1,000 Years [Ecumenical]
Explaining Purgatory from a New Testament Perspective [Ecumenical]
In the Crosshairs of the Canon [How We Got The Bible] [Ecumenical]
'An Ordinance Forever' - The Biblical Origins of the Mass [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Church Authority In Scripture [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Catholic Tradition: Life in the Spirit [Ecumenical]
Christian Atheism
Vatican plea to uncover Virgin Mary and show her breast-feeding baby Jesus

36 posted on 07/03/2008 12:48:47 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex

If the confessional were for counseling, I’d have no problem with it.

I’d probably have no problem if it were made clear that forgiveness comes from God, but the minister is simply there to pray with the person and to point out the need to change one’s life.


37 posted on 07/03/2008 12:51:18 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain -- Those denying the War was Necessary Do NOT Support the Troops!)
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To: xzins

You probably shouldn’t have any problem with it.


38 posted on 07/03/2008 1:00:41 PM PDT by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: NYer
Reading "priest" into presbuteros is akin to reading "dynamite" into dunamis, the Greek word for power. It is called an anachronism, i.e., reading a later, derived meaning into an earlier form of the word. We would never say that we have received the "dynamite" of the Holy Spirit, since dynamite as we know it did not exist in the first century. Neither should we read "priest" into presbuteros because priests, as we know them, did not exist in the first century and would have been unrecognizable to the first century writers of the Bible.
39 posted on 07/03/2008 1:04:28 PM PDT by Juan Medén
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To: D-fendr

Probably not...in the long run that is not where I find disagreement with the RCC.


40 posted on 07/03/2008 1:05:02 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain -- Those denying the War was Necessary Do NOT Support the Troops!)
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To: Juan Medén
Neither should we read "priest" into presbuteros because priests, as we know them, did not exist in the first century and would have been unrecognizable to the first century writers of the Bible.

And the oak looks nothing like the acorn.

41 posted on 07/03/2008 1:06:06 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Gumdrop
Are you a priest, NYer? That’s hoe I interpret your message.

No but I am a Soldier of Christ!

42 posted on 07/03/2008 1:06:13 PM PDT by NYer ("Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." - St. Jerome)
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To: xzins

That is close to Catholic understanding. However, the priest is a human being with authority to absolve or not absolve. If he decides to absolve, he will pray for and with the penitent for God’s forgiveness, and he has an assurance from Christ that it will be given.

A councel cannot do that. On the other hand, a priest may direct the penitent to enter professional counceling, or act himself in that role if he is professionally equipped.


43 posted on 07/03/2008 1:13:19 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: NYer; magisterium
"In John 20:21, before He grants them the authority to forgive sins, Jesus says to the apostles, "as the Father sent me, so I send you." As Christ was sent by the Father to forgive sins, so Christ sends the apostles and their successors forgive sins. In the next line, John 20:22, the Lord "breathes" on the apostles, and then gives them the power to forgive and retain sins. The only other moment in Scripture where God breathes on man is in Gen. 2:7, when the Lord "breathes" divine life into man. When this happens, a significant transformation takes place. Jesus then says in John 20:23 "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained." In order for the apostles to exercise this gift of forgiving sins, the penitents must orally confess their sins to them because the apostles are not mind readers. The text makes this very clear."

So I guess that what you are saying is that since Christ "breathed authority (or power)" to forgive sins onto a group of human beings, He must have intended that penitants confess their sins to those human beings.

And I guess that you would also say that Christ thereby commanded all of His followers not to confess their sins directly to Christ (or to God the Father), but instead to this group of human beings that have the authority to forgive sins.

If I understand you correctly, you are saying that Christ, in John 20:21-23, is saying, "I command you, my followers, never to confess your sins to Me or to my Father who is in Heaven. You must, instead, confess your sins to this group of ordained human beings who have the authority and power to forgive sins -- and only to them. When you pray, never ever confess your sins to me or to my Father. Such prayers are of no value to you, and I will not hear them. Instead, you must confess to a human being."

I'm a little confused by that particular interpretation of John 20: 21-23.

It seems to me that in sort of contradicts Jesus' response to a question posed to him about how to pray. In his response, Jesus, when showing his disciples how to pray, says, "Forgive us our trespasses (or debts) as we forgive those who trespass against us (or our debtors).

Doesn't Jesus commend praying directly to "Our Father", and in that prayer, seeking forgiveness for sins?

44 posted on 07/03/2008 1:18:10 PM PDT by chs68
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To: chs68
If I understand you correctly...

Uh, no.

45 posted on 07/03/2008 1:19:34 PM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski

No, in fact, an acorn does not look anything like an oak. And if I say the squirrel ate an acorn I don’t mean that he ate an oak tree.


46 posted on 07/03/2008 1:24:30 PM PDT by Juan Medén
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To: xzins
I’d probably have no problem if it were made clear that forgiveness comes from God, but the minister is simply there to pray with the person and to point out the need to change one’s life.

The priest is there to hear the confession and guide the penitent - yet - but also to administer absolution, "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit". There have been several saints who were granted the grace of being able to 'read souls' and even smell sin. Saint Faustina, a Polish nun to whom our Lord appeared, was told to write the following in a diary, on the topic of Confession. (red text is that of our Lord)


Today the Lord said to me, Daughter, when you go to confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flows down upon your soul and ennobles it. Every time you go to confession, immerse yourself in My mercy, with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul. When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity. The torrents of grace inundate humble souls. The proud remain always in poverty and misery, because My grace turns away from them to humble souls. (1602)
 
My daughter, just as you prepare in My presence, so also you make your confession before Me. The person of the priest is, for Me, only a screen. Never analyse what sort of a priest it is that I am making use of; open your soul in confession as you would to Me, and I will fill it with My light. (1725)

Confession of sins in the Sacrament of Penance

The priest is like a screen with Christ as the listener and absolver.


47 posted on 07/03/2008 1:27:19 PM PDT by NYer ("Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." - St. Jerome)
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To: NYer
"The priest is like a screen with Christ as the listener and absolver."

What, again, is the real need for such a screen?

Is it that Jesus is unable to hear a confession from a penitant unless there is some sort of screen between Him and the penitant? Is Jesus too busy to hear a confession?

Or is it that the penitant is unable of knowing -- really knowing -- the he or she is forgiven unless a priest gives him or her such assurance?

48 posted on 07/03/2008 1:41:11 PM PDT by chs68
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To: Petronski
Please.

Do correct my understanding of what was said.

49 posted on 07/03/2008 1:42:01 PM PDT by chs68
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To: NYer
[Sacrament of]Confession

Make a Good Confession

Those in Mortal Sin Can't Go to Communion, Says Pope

Holy Week Recovers Celebration of Penance (at St. Peter's Basilica) - photos!

Reasons for Confession [Sacrament of Reconciliation]

Lesson 19: Confession (Part 1) BY FATHER ALTIER

Lesson 20: Confession (Part 2) BY FATHER ROBERT ALTIER

Serious about God? Then get serious about confession

St. Ephraim the Syrian: On Repentance

What happened to confession – Changing mores reflective of use

Repentance and Confession - Introduction [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

The Spiritual and Psychological Value of Frequent Confession

Pick a sin, any sin (Confession gone awry)

The Early Church Fathers on Confession / Reconciliation - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus

Catholics called from the idiot box to confession

Benedict XVI Extols Sacrament of Penance - Says Priests Need to Make It a Priority

Confession’s Comeback

Priests say more Catholics returning to confession

Pope Hears Confessions of Youth

MESSAGE FOR ALL CATHOLICS (in preparation for Divine Mercy Sunday - April 15)

Salvation: Just click and confess

CONFESSION AND CONFUSION

Get Thee To A Confessional! (beautiful insight for those who dread going to Confession)

Emerging Trends: The Return to the Confessional

Confessing to 'sins' is booming in America (Evangelicals and Protestants take up practice)

What You [Catholics] Need to Know: Penance (Reconciliation, Confession) [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

A Comeback for Confession

MORTAL SIN and HOLY CONFESSION - The Antidote of Death

Thinking Inside the Box: An Attitude for Confession

Confessional Advice

The Epidemic and the Cure [The Sin of the World and the Sacrament of Reconciliation] (Confession)

Why do Catholics have to confess their sins to a priest instead of praying straight to God? [Ecu]

50 posted on 07/03/2008 1:46:19 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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