Skip to comments.Priests should encourage recovery of Sacrament of Reconciliation
Posted on 01/17/2009 4:00:56 PM PST by NYer
.- The Vatican congregation in charge of overseeing the Sacrament of Reconciliation as well as the granting of indulgences has just finished a conference in Rome. The aim of the meeting was help people recover the joy of the personal experience of the mercy of God and to encourage priests to make this a priority.
According to the LOsservatore Romano, the event which took place January 13 and 14 was, in the words of the head of the Apostolic Penitentary, Cardinal Francis Stafford, an occasion to offer to the men and women of today, immersed in a post-modern culture, the opportunity to reflect profoundly on their interior life and ask God for forgiveness for the abuse of power that is in their hands.
Our objective, he said, is to reflect deeply on the pastoral meaning of our Tribunal and why the Church, in her wisdom, created this tribunal of mercy. My hope is that the answer has been clear in these two days of meeting and conversation.
The Vatican newspaper also quoted Manlio Sodi of the Salesian Pontifical University, who led a round-table discussing during the Symposium and said the issue of penitential services and general confessions, which are more common in North America, are rites that fundamentally alter the very foundations of the personal act of Confession.
It is a practice that poses enormous problems. If the rite of Penance were observed and taught instead, the faithful would not be misguided, Sodi explained.
LOsservatore Romano also pointed out that the traditional rite of Confession underscores the aspect of liberation which divine mercy freely offers to the penitent who wishes to be reconciled with God.
Hasn't that been causing trouble in the Catholic Church for over 800 years? I think that is one issue that Martin Luther was pretty upset about (among several).
Those who attack the Church for its use of indulgences rely uponand take advantage ofthe ignorance of both Catholics and non-Catholics.
What is an indulgence? The Church explains, "An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain defined conditions through the Churchs help when, as a minister of redemption, she dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions won by Christ and the saints" (Indulgentarium Doctrina 1). To see the biblical foundations for indulgences, see the Catholic Answers tract A Primer on Indulgences.
Myth 7: A person used to be able to buy indulgences.
One never could "buy" indulgences. The financial scandal surrounding indulgences, the scandal that gave Martin Luther an excuse for his heterodoxy, involved almsindulgences in which the giving of alms to some charitable fund or foundation was used as the occasion to grant the indulgence. There was no outright selling of indulgences. The Catholic Encyclopedia states: "[I]t is easy to see how abuses crept in. Among the good works which might be encouraged by being made the condition of an indulgence, almsgiving would naturally hold a conspicuous place. . . . It is well to observe that in these purposes there is nothing essentially evil. To give money to God or to the poor is a praiseworthy act, and, when it is done from right motives, it will surely not go unrewarded."
“As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs,” Father Johann Tetzel
Consider the source.
I just completed three research papers on early church figures (I hesitate to use the term "fathers"...). A great deal of info was gleaned from the Catholic Encyclopedia. But I also found an amazing paradox. Figures that history shows were adamantly against many practices of the church, are now considered to be "Saints" who "never" REALLY argued those teachings.
One example is Cyprian of Carthage. He railed against the bishop of Rome taking a position of "supremacy". He taught that the local Bishop should be the focus and that the fellowship of said bishops constituted the unity of the church.
Yet, that isn't what "The Catholic Encyclopedia" says about him.
They explain around his teaching that he didn't really mean what he taught. He did recognize apostolic connections - but to the Bishops, not to one supreme leader (Pope).
So - again, consider the source.
Alway - Catholic or not - any doctrine that conflicts with the Bible is a major problem. Forgiveness of sins is granted by God himself because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
And don't even try the "whatever you bind here on earth will be bound in heaven"... won't work. I have been down that road.
Write and research all you want, there is only one true Christian church and it’s the Catholic Church. It’s always been and always will to the end of time.
Then what does it mean if not what it is thought to mean?
No, it "caused trouble" for about 40 years, almost 500 years ago.
Why do you think it "causes trouble" now? (If, by "causes trouble," you mean "is unfortunately rather neglected and forgotten about," I'll grant your point, but otherwise, I don't see it at all.)
**The aim of the meeting was help people recover the joy of the personal experience of the mercy of God and to encourage priests to make this a priority.**
|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:
Please list the “Sacraments” that are specified in the Bible.
Please list the contents of the Bible as listed in the Bible, and let me know by what rule we keep or exclude the Book of Enoch.
Guess you haven’t looked very closely since all the sacraments were instituted by Jesus Christ.
Baptism — vivid of John the Baptist and Jesus. Also Jesus instructs his apostles and disciples in Matthew — Go out to all the nations, sharing the Gospel and baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Reconciliation — how many times does Christ say — “Your sins are forgiven you.” and then he does the physical healing. This was passed on to the apostles too.
Penance — “Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you shall forgiven theey are forgiven them, whose sins you shall withold, they are witheld.”
Marriage — By performing the miracle at the Wedding of Cana, Christ condones marriage.
Holy Orders — “Receive ye, the Holy Spirit.....” also for Confirmation
Annointing of the Sick — how many sick people did Christ heal with his touch — which is what the Sacrament does — must always be done by a priest since sins are also forgiven.
And, of course, the Holy Eucharist, vividly set forth in the synoptic Gospels at the Last Supper.
But then, you probably don’t believe a word of what I have said, because you read the Bible selectively and use YOPIOS — Your Own Personal Interpretation of Scripture.
Doesn’t God the Father set up marriage in the Book of Genesis?
You can say that again.
Only proviso is that many NO priests, or so I'm told, fail to conduct a proper Sacrament because they minimize or reject the sinfulness of actions and thoughts that were and are considered sinful by traditionalists. No cultural relativism in the Confessional for me!
You do realize that Luther was a paranoid, schizophrenic, anti-semitic, alcoholic who couldn't control his libido, don't you? Hardly the type of person you want to hitch your doctrinal wagon to, unless you're content being ignorant.
**Only proviso is that many NO priests, or so I’m told, fail to conduct a proper Sacrament because they minimize or reject the sinfulness of actions and thoughts that were and are considered sinful by traditionalists. **
Not for my priest! He calls you on the dime!
It's intuitively obvious that you've been traveling on the wrong road.
However, we all know that you won't do that because it doesn't fit your agenda.
The answer is .... drum roll please....
As far as forgiveness of sins - only ONE has that right and power - Jesus Christ. No-one on this earth has the power to "save" or to "dole out" forgiveness.
Jesus Christ told many people "your sins are forgiven you". That is HIS right and position to do.
Any "my own personal interpretation" arguement won't fly... My keys to interpretation of scripture are quite simple:
Pre-reading- Prayerfully approach the LORD to open my eyes, heart, and mind to what HE has to say to me through HIS word.
Step 1 - Read God's word - IN CONTEXT. What does it SAY? (Remember the old saying - text, without context, is nothing but a pretext).
Step 2 - If Step one does not reveal what is said, then how does it read in relation to other parts of the scripture that address the same issue or deal with the same topic?
Step 3, if 1 and 2 do not clarify, then go to the original language (Greek and Hebrew for the most part). What were the words we reading translated from? What did those words mean to those at the time of the writing?
It is also a good idea to not approach scripture with pre-conceived notions - that taints our interpretation.
I find that very little requires a great deal more than the above 3 steps. I freely admit that I have used commentaries from various sources, as well as multiple translations for comparison purposes.
The Great Commission, as many of us call it (Matthew 28:18-20) is probably the most clear picture of our duty as believers in Jesus Christ. WE are to share the Good News (The Gospel) with the world. Seeking out the Lost (those who have not placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ ALONE for their salvation - eternal life), and by sharing the message of God's perfect love for us, hopefully helping them transfer their trust to Christ - thus being "saved" from eternity in Hell. But we do not have the power to prevent someone from being saved through faith. We are granted the privilege of helping to spread HIS message.
The Holy Spirit enters the believer at the moment they place their faith and trust in HIM. Some argue for an additional "baptism in the Spirit", which appears, from a New Testament point of view, to be the additional blessings and empowerment, much like the disciples experienced on the day of Pentecost. Again, this is not bestowed by any person.
Christ did not have to "condone" marriage via His miracle at the wedding - Marriage between one man and one woman are spoken of throughout the Bible as being what is ordained by God. 1 Timothy is pretty clear about the importance of Pastors and Deacons being "husband of one wife".
Why must I continually be getting "forgiven of my sins"? How many times did Jesus die on the cross? Once. Christ died once and for all - for ALL sins. Those sins are forgiven - past, present, and future sins - when we accept Christ as our savior. Back to the example of Christ's healing of so many sick - with the accompaniment of "your sins are forgiven you"... Their healing came about because of faith. When your faith is in Christ - your sins are forgiven. The physical healing was an external picture of what happened in their heart and soul.
Reconciliation between sinful man and the Perfect God comes only ONE way - that is through the atoning blood of Christ who was our propitiation (I love that word!). Christ paid our sin debt - 100%. But we are still not reconciled until we have placed our faith and trust in Jesus. A faith and trust that goes beyond a head knowledge. WE cannot reconcile ourselves to God through our good works. "For it is by Grace ye are saved, not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of Works, that none may boast." (Ephesians 2:8) Works are the natural outpouring of a heart turned completely to God. As Paul states - Show me your faith without works and I will show you my faith BY my works. They are the result of a heart like Christ's - one that sees the world out of compassion and love. Not out of a feeling of duty or to gain. Works done with gain in mind are burned up as chaff...
Baptism, the beautiful picture of our death, burial and resurrection in Jesus Christ. It is also an outward sign of the "new man" we are to put on when we follow Christ in Faith. Baptism never saved someone's soul. But it is a sign of obedience to HIS will. This ordinance is carried out, as Biblically directed, when a person has come to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Believer's Baptism. You used John the Baptist as example - What did John tell those Pharisees who asked to be baptized? He turned them down, because they had not repented of their sins. And the method is even clearly presented - immersion. How else could Christ have "come up straight away"? The same question with the Ethiopian Eunuch - who was baptized by Philip. The Eunuch heard the Gospel and desired to be baptized because of his faith.
Lord's Supper (aka - Holy Communion) - An ordinance of the church that has so much meaning - but does not, in and of itself, provide salvation or forgiveness of sins. Quite the contrary - the admonition to not "partake of the cup unworthily" - because NONE of us are "worthy", but we are to examine ourselves - The cup is not for those who do not have their faith in Jesus Christ, nor is it for those living lives of intentional sin. The Lord's Supper is an act of remembrance of what Christ did for us - through his body and blood - the perfect sacrifice for the whole world. It is both a celebration, and a remembrance of what was required for payment of our sin. (Do this in remembrance of Me).
These last two, Baptism and the Lord's Supper - ordinances prescribed by God, through Jesus Christ, both with symbolic and spiritual value. But neither imparts "salvation" or "forgiveness". That is only granted by God, through, by, and because of Christ Jesus.
And by the way, I grew up Episcopalian (I am no longer a member of that denomination - far from it). But that background gives me a bit of insight into Catholic teachings because of the many similarities (and in church history, the Anglican Church was FAR more like Catholic - just minus the Papal authority).
And I will leave you with Hebrews 4:14-17 -
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. 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. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.
There were quite a few involved in the Reformation that, while I do not agree completely with all of their positions, respect them for taking a stand and addressing many of the problems at the time. Just as there are many today who are still leading the charge to reform Christianity - while I don't always agree with them (and some less than others), they do sometimes make valid points. Foot - even a stopped clock is right twice a day!
So you’re saying they gave those millions of gold talents back and didn’t use them to live a lavish lifestyle, fight wars and build huge churches? If so, I apologize, but if not, what is your point? And I have no “agenda” other than posting a jingle from the most famous “indulgence salesman” that relates to the thread’s subject. Please link to these “condemnations” that you claim the church made. Were they in Father Tetzel’s era or more recent?
Good for him!
It is not the "binding" of someone's sin. This is a reference to spiritual battle. To bind spirits (evil/satanic). The heavens in this case is translated from the term for "the air" - the realm of spirits. We, as believers in Christ, are given the power to bind spirits -
Yep... as I said, Christ didn't have to perform the miracle at the wedding to "endorse" or give God's "seal of approval" to marriage.
By whose interpretation?
Where does the Bible state that it is the sole or final authority of Christianity? .... drum roll please ...
Is the Bible the sole "teaching from God?" No. The Bible Itself states that there are "oral" teachings and traditions that are to be carried on to the present-day (2 Thessalonians 2:15; 1 Corinthians 11:2; 2 Timothy 2:2; Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 1:24-25). These teachings are what the Catholic Church considers "Sacred Apostolic Tradition." This type of "Tradition" never changes because it was passed down by the Apostles themselves. It is not the same as the man-made traditions condemned in Scripture.
Jesus Christ told many people "your sins are forgiven you". That is HIS right and position to do.
He still does but now it is through His priests - John 20:22-23 - directly out of Scripture - no interpretation needed.
Any "my own personal interpretation" arguement won't fly...
Of course not because personal interpretation is not condoned in the Bible (2 Peter 1:20). Was individual interpretation of Scripture practiced by the early Christians or the Jews? Again, "NO" (Acts 8:29-35). The assertion that individuals can correctly interpret Scripture is false. Even the "founder" of Sola Scriptura (Martin Luther), near the end of his life, was afraid that "any milkmaid who could read" would found a new Christian denomination based on his or her "interpretation" of the Bible. Luther opened a "Pandora's Box" when he insisted that the Bible could be interpreted by individuals and that It is the sole authority of Christianity. Why do we have over 35,000+ different non-Catholic Christian denominations? The reason is individuals' "different" interpretations of the Bible.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
John 20:22-23 has been hotly debated for centuries. Again, while the meaning on the surface seems clear (my rule #1), it also would seem to contradict a many more scriptures (including words of Christ). This presents a problem for interpretation. How do you harmonize the other teachings of Christ and the Apostles with these two verses? Context. And context tells us that this was a teaching on their responsibility - receive the Holy Spirit and then go forth and preach about forgiveness.
If I, as a practicing Christian, am not sharing the Gospel with those around me, then I have witholding the means of their salvation from that sin. (Faith comes by hearing, Hearing comes by the word of God. How will they hear without a preacher...). While I will not be part of the White Throne Judgment (the judgment of the lost), I will be held accountable for every single time I did not share my faith when God gave the the opportunity. Thus I will retain some guilt for not being obedient to God.
And you have to be careful when giving weight to the concept of "Sacred Apostolic Tradition". The Bible records cases of Apostles having to be corrected by other Apostles because they began practicing things contrary to Christ's teachings. IF we are going to go by Apostolic tradition, then how does that align with the Bible's admonition against bowing down to graven images, yet this is the practice of both the Roman church and even to a greater extend to Eastern Orthodox? Or the teaching in the Bible that "For ALL have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God", yet Catholic tradition holds that Mary was also born of a virgin and was sinless.
I think that the problem was selling indulgences, and it wasn’t the Pope that did it.
, No, just a series of Popes who endorsed the practice.
Enchiridion of Indulgences (1968), under "Norms of Indulgences," Section 1, and Canon 993 of the Roman Catholic Church Code of Canon Law.