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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Confession Makes a Comeback - WSJ.com

Confession Makes a Comeback - WSJ.com: "This February at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI instructed priests to make confession a top priority. U.S. bishops have begun promoting it in diocesan newspapers, mass mailings and even billboard ads. And in a dramatic turnaround, some Protestant churches are following suit. This summer, the second-largest North American branch of the Lutheran Church passed a resolution supporting the rite, which it had all but ignored for more than 100 years."

4 comments:

Faithful Catholic said...

Well, I sailed right past this post on confession when I was last here. Thanks for the link to the WSJ story. I have to say though that the article left me somewhat leary. There's a huge difference between the Sacrament of Confession and the popular fad of "telling all" in any and every public forum available to everyone. I'd have liked to read more about the actual sacrament but, I guess the WSJ is not the most likely place for that to be printed.

Things surely have changed since I was a kid. It's been more than thirty years since I've had to wait in anything that could be called a "line" to get to confession. Makes me wonder why. Everyone I've ever talked to about confession always reports feeling better in so many different ways after confession. I know I always feel better, renewed, lighter after completing my penance.

The Sacrament of Confession is one of my very favorite reasons I'm a Catholic.

motherofmany said...

I don't think the disagreement is over confessing sins. We are to make ourselves accountable to those who would help us stay on the narrow path (James 5:16). The issue is over the idea of a priest having power to absolve sins. Only Christ has the power to forgive sins against the Father (Matthew 9:6, Mark 2:7, Acts 13:38, Ephesians 1:7). Man has only the power to forgive sins against himself.

Elena said...

From the Catechism: (The numbers go with the footnotes at the bottom of the page which reference the scriptures. So please don't say "they just give me info from their catechism and not the bible." The Catechism references the scripture and I leave it to the reader to look it up if interested.

1441 Only God forgives sins.[39] Since he is the Son of God, Jesus says of himself, "The Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" and exercises this divine power: "Your sins are forgiven."[40] Further, by virtue of his divine authority he gives this power to men to exercise in his name.[41]


1461 Since Christ entrusted to his apostles the ministry of reconciliation,[65] bishops who are their successors, and priests, the bishops' collaborators, continue to exercise this ministry. Indeed bishops and priests, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, have the power to forgive all sins "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

1462 Forgiveness of sins brings reconciliation with God, but also with the Church. Since ancient times the bishop, visible head of a particular Church, has thus rightfully been considered to be the one who principally has the power and ministry of reconciliation: he is the moderator of the penitential discipline.[66] Priests, his collaborators, exercise it to the extent that they have received the commission either from their bishop (or religious superior) or the Pope, according to the law of the Church.[67]

1463 Certain particularly grave sins incur excommunication, the most severe ecclesiastical penalty, which impedes the reception of the sacraments and the exercise of certain ecclesiastical acts, and for which absolution consequently cannot be granted, according to canon law, except by the Pope, the bishop of the place or priests authorized by them. In danger of death any priest, even if deprived of faculties for hearing confessions, can absolve from every sin and excommunication.[69]

1464 Priests must encourage the faithful to come to the sacrament of Penance and must make themselves available to celebrate this sacrament each time Christians reasonably ask for it.[70]

1465 When he celebrates the sacrament of Penance, the priest is fulfilling the ministry of the Good Shepherd who seeks the lost sheep, of the Good Samaritan who binds up wounds, of the Father who awaits the prodigal son and welcomes him on his return, and of the just and impartial judge whose judgment is both just and merciful. The priest is the sign and the instrument of God's merciful love for the sinner.

1466 The confessor is not the master of God's forgiveness, but its servant. The minister of this sacrament should unite himself to the intention and charity of Christ.[71] He should have a proven knowledge of Christian behavior, experience of human affairs, respect and sensitivity toward the one who has fallen; he must love the truth, be faithful to the Magisterium of the Church, and lead the penitent with patience toward healing and full maturity. He must pray and do penance for his penitent, entrusting him to the Lord's mercy.

1467 Given the delicacy and greatness of this ministry and the respect due to persons, the Church declares that every priest who hears confessions is bound under very severe penalties to keep absolute secrecy regarding the sins that his penitents have confessed to him. He can make no use of knowledge that confession gives him about penitents' lives.[72] This secret, which admits of no exceptions, is called the "sacramental seal," because what the penitent has made known to the priest remains "sealed" by the sacrament.

Elena said...

Again we aren't looking for anyone to agree here. A simple acknowledgment that our faith is scriptural albeit an interpretation you disagree with is sufficient.