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Part 3 of 10: Sacrament of Penance, Why do I have to confess my sins to a priest? [Catholic Caucus]
CatholicSpirit.com ^ | 26 March 2009 | Father Michael Van Sloun

Posted on 04/16/2010 9:24:01 AM PDT by Salvation

Why do I have to confess my sins to a priest? Print E-mail
By Father Michael Van Sloun - For The Catholic Spirit   
Thursday, 26 March 2009

The following is the third in a 10-part series on reconciliation


van_slounbw.jpgPenance

Father Michael Van Sloun
Of all the objections to the sacrament of reconciliation, the one most often voiced, particularly by Protestants, and sometimes by Catholics is:  “I don’t need to go to confession to a priest! The priest is just another human being! All that I need to do is to confess my sins directly to God, and that is enough!”

This objection is flawed on a number of counts:

• Jesus com­mis­sion­ed forgiveness through his apostles. Jesus ask­ed believers to ap­proach God for forgive­ness through the apostles who were com­missioned to act as his agents.

Jesus told Peter, “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19).

After the resurrection, Jesus breathed on his disciples and said, “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them and whose sins you retain are retained” (John 20:22-23). Priests alone carry out this apostolic role (Canon 965; CCC 1461 and 1462).

This is consistent with our Jewish heritage. When it came to atonement for sins in the Jewish tradition, God instructed Moses to have the people bring a holocaust to the temple, usually an unblemished bullock or lamb.

The sinner was to lay his hands on the head of the animal, symbolically transferring his sins to the animal, and then to slaughter it, to have the animal die in place of the sinner.

The sinner then handed the animal to the priest who offered it on the altar (Leviticus 1:1-5). The priest served as a go-between for the sinner to mediate God’s pardon and peace.

• Catholic sacraments are mediated. The sacraments celebrate the most profound moments of our lives: birth (baptism), the transition to adulthood (confirmation), lifetime commitment (marriage and holy orders), and the end of life (anointing).

Two other sacraments strengthen us for the journey through life: Eucharist, our spiritual sustenance; and penance, the forgiveness of sins.

We need to be fed at least weekly, and because we sin so often, we need to be forgiven regularly. The sacraments are not self-administered. Rather, the priest is the mediator, the linkage or conduit between God and the people, a rich channel of God’s grace.

reconciliation_symbols_.jpg• A personal encounter with Christ. The priest is not just “another human being,” but one who acts in persona Christi, in the person of Christ. With faith, we believe that when the penitent speaks to the priest, the penitent speaks to Christ, and when the priest speaks, the priest speaks on behalf of Christ. When the priest says, “I absolve you,” it is Christ who absolves (Mark 2:10).

• A community representative. Our sins offend not only God, but the community as well. It is not only impractical to admit our sins to others, but often also ill-advised, because of scandal or grave consequences. When we admit our sins to a priest, we reconcile with the community, and the priest, on behalf of those we have offended, says, “You are forgiven.”

• The personal touch. When we confess our sins to a priest, we are able to receive individualized counsel — advice that fits our unique circumstances — and we can be given a penance that is “medicinal,” specifically tailored to help us in the spiritual healing process (Canon 981).

Father Michael Van Sloun is pastor of St. Stephen in Anoka.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: catholic; penance; reconciliation; sacraments
There seems to be a lot of information and misinformation about Penance on the FR boards these days.

Catholic Caucus thread.

1 posted on 04/16/2010 9:24:02 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: All
The words of absolution -- GOD forgives the sins -- read the words.

 
enter the Table of Contents of the Catechism of the Catholic Church here
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:
God, the Father of mercies,
through the death and the resurrection of his Son
has reconciled the world to himself
and sent the Holy Spirit among us
for the forgiveness of sins;
through the ministry of the Church
may God give you pardon and peace,
and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.


2 posted on 04/16/2010 9:25:20 AM PDT by Salvation ( "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: nickcarraway; Lady In Blue; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; Catholicguy; RobbyS; markomalley; ...
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.

3 posted on 04/16/2010 9:27:10 AM PDT by Salvation ( "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Part 3 of 10: Sacrament of Penance, Why do I have to confess my sins to a priest? [Catholic Caucus]
Part 2 of 10: Sacrament of Penance, Church’s symbols help explain penance [Catholic Caucus]
Part 1 of 10: Sacrament of Penance, Jesus placed great value on forgiveness [Catholic Caucus]

4 posted on 04/16/2010 9:30:12 AM PDT by Salvation ( "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: Lexington Green; Duffboy; Religion Moderator

Please read the Religion Moderator’s guidelines on Caucus threads.


9 posted on 04/16/2010 9:44:38 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If you know how not to pray, take Joseph as your master, and you will not go astray." - St. Teresa)
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To: Duffboy

Where the heck did you get this notion from? This is a purely voluntary act where the penitent must be truly repentant for his sins and even priests are required to make a confession as did Kings and Queens. Control?


10 posted on 04/16/2010 9:50:11 AM PDT by Steelfish (ui)
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: srweaver; taxcontrol; Duffboy; Lexington Green; SnakeDoctor

This Religion Forum thread is labeled “Catholic Caucus” meaning, if you are not Catholic do NOT post on this thread.


15 posted on 04/16/2010 10:19:19 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: Salvation

Posted: “The personal touch. When we confess our sins to a priest, we are able to receive individualized counsel — advice that fits our unique circumstances — and we can be given a penance that is “medicinal,” specifically tailored to help us in the spiritual healing process (Canon 981).”

Rresponse: No problems with the “personal touch” as it corrsponds with Scripture. The only problem is with limiting that “touch” and “healing” to “special” believers (Catholic priests), when all Christians have the power to forgive, heal, and edify one another.

Actually (factually), John says we (Christians) are all priests in Revelation 1:6: And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Amen!


17 posted on 04/16/2010 10:31:47 AM PDT by srweaver (Never Forget the Judicial Homicide of Terri Schiavo)
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To: Religion Moderator

Admin:

I just got your admonition, as I did not see it until after making my posts. Sorry. I did not realize I was not welcome as a non-Catholic to post to this thread. Why was it placed in the general forum?


18 posted on 04/16/2010 10:34:24 AM PDT by srweaver (Never Forget the Judicial Homicide of Terri Schiavo)
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To: srweaver; Religion Moderator

Can’t we have our Caucus threads without the constant interruption of people who clearly know better?


19 posted on 04/16/2010 10:38:31 AM PDT by Judith Anne
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To: srweaver
This thread is posted in the Religion Forum. Since the software change awhile back, the "everything" option, which is the default browse option, automatically includes the Religion Forum.

If you do not wish to see RF posts, do NOT use the "everything" option on the browse. Instead, browse by "News/Activism." When you log back in, the browse will reset to "everything" - so be sure to set it back to "News/Activism."

20 posted on 04/16/2010 10:51:19 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Judith Anne; Religion Moderator

Sorry for interrupting your caucus. As for “clearly knowing better” that is not the case. You may choose to disbelieve me, but I thought I was responding to a post in the “general” forum (there have been many “Catholic” posts there lately) and am not even sure how I ended up “in” the Catholic caucus.

Actually, I didn’t even realize there were “segregated” areas of Free Republic closed to “non-caucus” posters. “You learn something new every day.”

So just as I wouldn’t break into a Catholic Church to disrupt their service, I will not knowingly “break into” your caucus anymore to interrupt your discussions.

Please forgive me...I truly thought I was posting to a public forum.


21 posted on 04/16/2010 10:51:58 AM PDT by srweaver (Never Forget the Judicial Homicide of Terri Schiavo)
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To: Judith Anne
Most of the disruptors on caucus threads are not regular Religion Forum posters and are not familiar with the guidelines posted on my profile page.

Sometimes a "regular" will post to a caucus thread accidentally, e.g. not noticing the label in the header.

22 posted on 04/16/2010 10:55:11 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator

Thank you for the explanation. I will try to be more careful. I don’t mind seeing Religion forum posts at all. So how do I avoid posting to “caucus” forums? Is it by noting a [..... Caucus] after the post?

And how do I “join” a caucus if so inclined.

Thanks again for your help.


23 posted on 04/16/2010 10:57:10 AM PDT by srweaver (Never Forget the Judicial Homicide of Terri Schiavo)
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To: Religion Moderator

If these threads are closed to non-catholics, and recovery catholics, then the tag should say so. Perhaps I can recommend [Catholic ONLY] or [Catholic Closed Caucus] as opposed to the [Catholic Caucus] to indicate that status.


24 posted on 04/16/2010 11:00:27 AM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: taxcontrol
Click here for the guidelines pertaining to the Religion Forum.
25 posted on 04/16/2010 11:06:26 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: srweaver
The caucus is designated in the title, e.g. "Catholic Caucus." The designation can be any group of believers, e.g. "Catholic/Orthodox" "Baptist" "Non-Denominational" "LDS".

If you self-identify as currently a member of a caucus, e.g. "Christian Caucus" - then you are free to post there.

Posters who have changed faiths, e.g. ex-LDS, may not post to the caucus for their previously held beliefs.

The caucus threads offer safe harbor so that like-minded Freepers can discuss issues without disruption. Click on my profile page for more information on thread labels and guidelines pertaining to the Religion Forum.

26 posted on 04/16/2010 11:06:51 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator

“Click on my profile page for more information on thread labels and guidelines pertaining to the Religion Forum.”

I have done so. Very well stated. Thanks!


27 posted on 04/16/2010 11:10:17 AM PDT by srweaver (Never Forget the Judicial Homicide of Terri Schiavo)
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To: Religion Moderator

Understood. Lately, however, it seems that nobody understand the “caucus” label, and they have to have a big discussion about it.

I just wonder if all these posters are as ignorant as they claim to be. No way to tell, but good grief! I don’t see this happening on other caucus threads.


28 posted on 04/16/2010 11:18:57 AM PDT by Judith Anne
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To: Religion Moderator

Please consider that the word “caucus” can mean:

“any group or meeting organized to further a special interest or cause.”

As such, the use of that term is not as restrictive as you would have it followed in the forums. This can lead to situations where people do not know that the thread is limited in it’s discussion. A small change to the title would help to reduce the confusion.

As a further improvement to the overall system, it would be a nice feature to have subscription only threads. Meaning that if you have not been allowed entrance to a thread community, then you don’t even SEE the thread in the forum lists. Such a feature would be able to more directly enforce the limitations.


29 posted on 04/16/2010 11:36:19 AM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: taxcontrol; Religion Moderator

Please consider that you and your type have taken up most of this thread. If you have issues, go privately to the RM, and quit ruining a CATHOLIC DISCUSSION with your arguments.d

Honestly, I’m starting to think this is on purpose. How ignorant can real FREEPERS be?


30 posted on 04/16/2010 11:40:57 AM PDT by Judith Anne
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To: Salvation

Can you close this thread, and re-start it? It’s totally trashed.


31 posted on 04/16/2010 11:41:55 AM PDT by Judith Anne
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To: Judith Anne

Well Judith, I am just responding to the Moderator in the same and like manner as was used to contact me. Just like I am now responding in the same and like manner as YOU used to contact me.

Apologies if this does not conform to your expectations.


32 posted on 04/16/2010 11:47:17 AM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: Salvation
Confession is such a beautiful Sacrament, one that is not partaken anywhere near as frequently as it should be. That being said, maybe you could start this thread over again. All the deletions scar up the beauty of the article which deals in forgiveness from Our Lord.
33 posted on 04/16/2010 11:55:26 AM PDT by mlizzy ("Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person" --Mother Teresa.)
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To: taxcontrol

Get off the thread.


34 posted on 04/16/2010 12:09:55 PM PDT by Judith Anne
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To: Salvation

Thank you! Salvation Great Post! Wow all that biblical verses but being a Papist should I Like it? You know how we Papist twist scripture?


35 posted on 04/16/2010 12:20:40 PM PDT by johngrace
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To: Salvation

I read everything but rarely respond.
This time I must.
Thank you for this thread, I treasure these.
By the way, did I tell you I work for a Priest?


36 posted on 04/16/2010 3:37:39 PM PDT by siamesecats (God closes one door, and opens another, to protect us.)
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To: srweaver

**Why was it placed in the general forum?**

It isn’t. It is in the Religion Forum.


37 posted on 04/16/2010 5:12:05 PM PDT by Salvation ( "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: taxcontrol; Religion Moderator

I was going to give you the link to Caucus threads, but I see in the next post that the Religion Moderator already did.

Thanks, RM!


38 posted on 04/16/2010 5:14:07 PM PDT by Salvation ( "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: siamesecats

Appreciate your post.

Like I said there has been a lot of information and misinformation about forgiveness, Confession, etc.

The thread was posted (with the two previous linked threads) in the spirit of education.

Hopefully some education and thinking will take place.


39 posted on 04/16/2010 5:16:58 PM PDT by Salvation ( "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Judith Anne

**Can you close this thread, and re-start it? It’s totally trashed.**

I think I’ll leave it the way it is. We always talk about how Catholics are treated on FR. This thread speaks for those who judge Catholics.

Pray for Pope Benedict XVI! It’s his birthday today!


40 posted on 04/16/2010 5:41:08 PM PDT by Salvation ( "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Thanks.

The Religion Moderator explained it well in post 20, as he/she also clarified what a caucus (for Free Republic purposes) is.

If I go to the “forum,” it includes “religion” posts — so I have to exclude myself if it is a “caucus” discussion with which I don’t self identify.


41 posted on 04/16/2010 6:28:34 PM PDT by srweaver (Never Forget the Judicial Homicide of Terri Schiavo)
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To: Salvation

I have yet to see another religion’s caucus threads trashed this way. And I note it rarely if ever happens on your daily threads. On those threads, everyone seems to know what the caucus designation means.

I hope all the Catholic posters take a good look at this thread, and see what rudeness supposedly good FReepers are capable of doing.

Perhaps a note in the first post, from you, of what the caucus designation means, would help remind them. A little one-liner reminder of the rules, you know.


42 posted on 04/16/2010 9:19:41 PM PDT by Judith Anne
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To: Judith Anne

I made one with big red letters and used it on the Happy Birthday to the Pope thread.

I figure these people made their beds (Or didn’t make them -— LOL!); sometimes others (as well as us) needs to see the mess they made.


43 posted on 04/16/2010 10:55:02 PM PDT by Salvation ( "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Comment #44 Removed by Moderator

To: Nam Vet

You’re welcome to ask questions on open threads any time.

Or send me a FReepmail.


45 posted on 04/16/2010 11:38:42 PM PDT by Salvation ( "With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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