Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [confession]

Sacrament of Penance and confession of sins in general.

27
votes
2answers
13k views

How do Catholics justify confessing to a priest?

Roman Catholic churches have a practice where congregational members confess their sins and the like to a priest in a confessional. As I was saying to a friend a couple days ago, the practice doesn't ...
16
votes
3answers
12k views

Do Catholic priests have to report child abuse confessed in secret?

Is there any canon, regulation, norm or diocesan norm which requires priests to report confessions of child abuse? Are priests obliged to follow laws to this effect? I'm not asking in regard to ...
15
votes
6answers
13k views

Are non-Catholics allowed to go to confession?

As an Episcopalian, we technically have the rite of Confession and Reconciliation as one of the things we are supposed to do, but I've never seen it done in actual practice. In contrast, I know that ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

Do Priests, Cardinals, and Popes have a confessional to which they themselves can/should/must go?

The confessional is a standard practice of the Roman Catholic Church where church members may (or must) go to confess their sins to a priest. As I understand it, the priest then decides whether or ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Do Catholics subscribe to the “once saved, always saved” doctrine that many evangelical Christians believe in?

Many evangelical Christians say that once a person has accepted Jesus as their Savior and repented of their sins they have formed a bond between their soul and the Lord that is unbreakable. Do ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

Is a confession valid if I only voice the sins I'm comfortable sharing and confess the rest in my heart to God?

So my wife is Catholic and my daughter has been baptized in the Catholic faith and my new born son is soon to be baptized as well. I was baptized myself but I've fallen away from my Baptist roots for ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Why don't most Protestants consider confession to be a sacrament?

Most Protestants recognise only two sacraments, saying something like this (from the Anglican 39 Articles): There are two sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel, that is to say, ...
11
votes
3answers
14k views

Does the priest have the power to forgive sins?

John 20:22-23 (KJV) 22  And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23  Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Are Catholic priests allowed by church law to provide professional counseling and referrals to penitents who come to them to confess?

Let us say we have a priest, who is a licensed psychiatrist as well. A devout Catholic confesses their sins to said priest. The Catholic person chats with the priest, and priest asks follow-up ...
10
votes
4answers
748 views

What makes a confession sacramental?

In the Catholic tradition, confession to a priest is treated with special protection as a sacred rite. The priest is charged with maintaining the confidential nature of the confession, something they ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

According to the Catholic Church, does abortion need to be confessed, and is it a mortal or venial sin?

I am not Catholic yet, but am attending RCIA and my first confession is next week. I had an abortion years ago. According to the official teaching of the Catholic Church: Do I have to confess this? ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Can a person be forgiven outside of confession? (Catholic)

As a follow up to this question I'd like to ask if a person, whether Catholic or non-Catholic, can obtain God's forgiveness outside of the sacrament of confession. I would imagine Protestants would ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

To whom does Pope Francis confess?

So, Popes sin too. (At least, I assume they do.) Presumably, they confess their sin and do penance. Who hears his confession? Is it an office that rotates, or one individual? And, does the Pope ...
8
votes
1answer
285 views

Is Lutheran confession necessary for salvation? [duplicate]

From what I understand... Although there are major differences, Lutheran confession and Catholic confession are similar. Catholicism teaches that one must confess mortal sin in order to be restored ...
7
votes
4answers
9k views

Protestant rejection of the Catholic implementation of confession

(Pardon the length - my original post was more concise, but wasn't clearly conveying my question.) Background: I am currently studying the Spiritual Disciplines at a Protestant seminary. For those ...
7
votes
1answer
239 views

What different acts do Catholic priests require of people who go to confession?

I understand that when people go to confessional in the Catholic Church, the priest will often prescribe certain things for them to do for penance in order for their sins to be forgiven. I have heard ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Under what circumstances is a priest supposed to deny forgiveness to a person?

As I understand it, in Roman Catholic practice, people regularly confess their sins to a priest, who then instructs them what they must do in order to be forgiven. However, it is apparently possible ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How do practicing Catholics keep track of all the sins they commit before going to Confession?

How do practicing Catholics keep track of all the sins they commit before going to Confession? Do they have to confess all of them or as many as they can remember? Is contrition the sign of having ...
6
votes
1answer
939 views

When do catechumens go to confession?

I thought I'd answer a question asked here about non-Catholics receiving the sacrament of reconciliation by using the RCIA book, but in skimming all the steps, there doesn't seem to be much said about ...
6
votes
1answer
131 views

Does a Catholic have recourse if a priest gives a ridiculously harsh or impossible penance?

Say that a person went to confession and confessed a sin, and the priest gives a ridiculously harsh penance (e.g. row across the Atlantic Ocean), or even an impossible penance (fly to the moon). If ...
6
votes
3answers
762 views

What is the purpose of attending the mass and going to Confession?

(My curiosity is going to cost me my reputation again. Anyway, here it goes...) In Catholicism, how important is attending the mass, going to Confession and other liturgical rituals? Do these ...
6
votes
2answers
98 views

How does one go to Confession before receiving the Eucharist if I am not Catholic?

So, I want to become a Catholic and so from what I have gathered, just go through the Eucharist. However I am pretty sure I have committed a few mortal sins and so cannot go through the Eucharist. ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What happens to one's sins if the priest omits the words of the Absolution?

Say a penitent, in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, confesses his sins with heartfelt sorrow. Now suppose that priest omits deliberately to use the words of the formula (please see below especially ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the basis for penance (satisfaction) in sacramental confession?

From the Catholic Encyclopedia, The Sacrament of Penance (Confession): As stated above, the absolution given by the priest to a penitent who confesses his sins with the proper dispositions remits ...
5
votes
6answers
12k views

Is confessing to a priest the only way to be forgiven? [closed]

We first confess in our first communion and the priests say that we should always confess our sins, but is it the only way to be forgiven by God ? Can't we pray and ask for forgiveness? I've heard of ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Why are many Protestant Churches not practicing Confession?

Recently, I come to know that Lutheran Church practice Confession, though there is some difference in theology on it compared to the Roman Catholic Church. As a man brought up in a place where ...
5
votes
2answers
237 views

Can a priest act on a confession of molestation?

What, if any, ability does a priest or bishop have to stop a brother priest who has confessed to molestation of minors, according to Cannon Law? Very often I hear, and am personally aware of local ...
5
votes
2answers
741 views

What is the process of removing an automatic excommunication?

If a baptised Catholic committed sins which would have excommunicated him from the Church, what would be the method for getting back? Receiving communion would not be allowed without reconciliation. ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Does the Catholic church believe that God really forgives by confession alone?

My question is does the Catholic Church hold that God forgives every crime by confession alone? If so I could commit crimes from Monday to Saturday and then go and confess to a priest on Sunday - ...
5
votes
1answer
6k views

How did Luther view 'confessing intentional sins' to a priest for forgiveness?

The Catholic church at the time of Luther  had refined what they called the sacrament of penance.  It consisted in contrition (genuine remorse for one’s sins), confession (to the priest), and ...
5
votes
2answers
233 views

Is the resolution not to sin again a must for absolution?

A Catholic is supposed to resolve not to sin again and also to express his/her resolution at the time of confession in order to seek absolution from sins already committed by him/her. I wish to know ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between apostolic pardon and absolution?

I was preparing for Catechism Class tonight on the the last things, the notes in my teachers manual say that unconscious people receive "apostolic pardon" if they get the anointing of the sick while ...
5
votes
1answer
190 views

Does a Roman Catholic priest have to intellectually understand a confession in order to grant absolution?

The concept of confessing a sin, seams to imply that the person has to subjectively believe they have sinned—otherwise how could they confess? According to Roman Catholic doctrine, does the ...
4
votes
2answers
405 views

If a Catholic priest absolves my sins without taking a confession, does it still count?

This is a question about Catholicism, specifically Confession. I intended to go to confession with my priest, but he was running late since Confession was just before Mass, and he told me to come ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the Biblical basis for “God's already forgiven you” teaching?

I have recently heard many preachers and teachers, in particular Joel Osteen and Joseph Prince, say things like, "God has already forgiven you. All you have to do is accept God's free gift of ...
4
votes
5answers
124 views

Better safe than sorry? Should you confess if you're not sure if you've committed a sin?

I’m guessing if you aren’t sure if you have committed a sin it is better to confess anyways than to be stuck in hell forever? Is there anything wrong with wrongly confessing or is it OK?
4
votes
1answer
69 views

Can an Orthodox Christian of one diocese receive sacraments at a coterminous one, e.g. a Greek Orthodox at an OCA parish?

I'm presently a confirmed Catholic but am considering conversion to the Orthodoxy. Something I understand of it is that there is no single diocese in America, but multiple overlapping ones for ...
4
votes
1answer
13k views

When did the practice of Confession in the Catholic Church begin?

Confession, specifically the practice of confessing one's sins to a priest, is a quite common practice in the Catholic Church. When and how did this sacrament first originate and become codified as ...
4
votes
0answers
150 views

How has Roman Catholic Confession changed throughout the centuries?

Currently, the common practice of confession in the U.S. is... A person completes an examination of conscious, tells the priest how long it has been since their last confession, then they make their ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

When is the first documented case of making a confession to a priest?

When is the first documented case of a Christian making a confession of his sin to the priest/bishop/elder with a purpose of having it remitted?
3
votes
1answer
493 views

Can Catholic priests disclose the fact that someone has seen him for confession?

I recently spoke to one of my (catholic) highschool teachers who was then not a priest but is now a priest. We were talking, and he mentioned he knew one of my professors during my graduate studies. ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

Does the seal of confession extend to bystanders?

A Catholic priest cannot reveal what someone has told him in confession. If he does reveal it, he will be defrocked and punished. If a different Catholic than the priest unintentionally overheard the ...
3
votes
1answer
139 views

Can an uncatecized but baptized Catholic receive absolution from a priest?

I'm a baptized Catholic but I have not been confirmed. I've gone to mass on and off for a couple of years but I have not compled RCIA or any instruction. I fall under the category of baptized ...
3
votes
1answer
627 views

Do I need to confess the sins I committed before becoming Catholic?

I am currently going through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults in order to join the Catholic Church. Do I need to confess the sins I committed before becoming Catholic?
3
votes
1answer
439 views

Is Holy Absolution necessary in the Lutheran Church?

I know that Lutherans, as the Roman Catholics, practice private absolution. However is that how sins are forgiven in the Lutheran Church? Or is it just a reassurance, so to say, of the forgiveness of ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

During Lutheran Confession, can the confessor refuse to absolve the sins of the penitent?

During Lutheran Confession, can the confessor refuse to absolve the sins of the penitent, if he or she thinks that the penitent is not being sincere? What if the penitent is sincere but cannot resist ...
3
votes
1answer
215 views

The history of the Confession sacrament

Recently I had a small discussion with some of my catholic friends: some of them refuse the idea that the Confession act, as it is known in present day - as the acknowledgment of one's sins given in ...
3
votes
3answers
231 views

On the validity of the anticipated absolution in absence of the related confession

According to Catholic Church, what are the cases in which the absolution can be anticipated and the confession left for a time in which it will be possible to make it? Also, in cases of anticipated ...
3
votes
2answers
118 views

If a priest makes a major mistake during confession, can they later talk to the person to correct themselves?

Say that a person comes to confession and the priest gives bad advice or otherwise makes a major mistake during confession. To give a very clear example, say that a confession went like this: ...
2
votes
4answers
449 views

Do I have to disclose my private life to a stranger?

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:16, ESV) If I did ...