16 votes
Accepted

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

In essence, care should be taken lest the Sacrament of Confession be confused with psychological counseling. A priest with a degree in psychology should be sure not to confuse the spiritual purpose of ...
user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

Are priests who committed a sin together able to validly administer the Sacrament of Reconciliation to each other?

The case you describe is explicitly forbidden and declared invalid in canon law. (The sixth commandment is against adultery.) can. 977 CIC The absolution of an accomplice in a sin against the sixth ...
user avatar
  • 1,718
14 votes
Accepted

Can a Catholic Priest report a murderer's confession?

No, he cannot. That would be a violation of the seal of confession, which is that a priest cannot reveal anything that would betray the penitent. Can. 983 §1. The sacramental seal is inviolable; ...
user avatar
  • 32.7k
13 votes

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

A baptized Catholic would understand "accepting Jesus" as meaning professing the (Catholic) Faith; he would interpret "repenting of one's sins" as receiving absolution from a priest in the sacrament ...
user avatar
  • 32.7k
13 votes
Accepted

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

Yes, if one has perfect contrition, which Fr. John Hardon, S.J., defines in his Catholic Dictionary as: PERFECT CONTRITION Sorrow for sin arising from perfect love. In perfect contrition the sinner ...
user avatar
  • 32.7k
11 votes

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

Actually Catholics would have to assent to the statement that "once saved, [one is] always saved" (I'll refer to this belief as "OSAS" for short). The difference is in when Catholics believe one is ...
user avatar
  • 18.3k
9 votes

Are non-Catholics allowed to go to confession?

I am a priest who deals mostly with children. At schools, camps, and youth events we have penance services or just plain opportunities for confession. Quite a few non-catholics often come to ...
user avatar
8 votes

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

Church law does not explicitly prohibit revealing that a given person has been to confession or not. Here are the relevant canons from the Code of Canon Law: Can. 983 §1. The sacramental seal is ...
user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

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

Does a Catholic have some recourse if a priest gives a ridiculously harsh or impossible penance? Well, the short answer is yes. What recourses one has as a Catholic in the confessional when one ...
user avatar
  • 53.2k
8 votes

Can a church pastor prohibit sacraments to people for any reason, other than mortal sin?

Absolution cannot be denied for truly penitent sinners: 1980 Code can. 980If the confessor has no doubt about the disposition of the penitent, and the penitent seeks absolution, absolution is to be ...
user avatar
  • 32.7k
8 votes

Can a church pastor prohibit sacraments to people for any reason, other than mortal sin?

Can a church pastor prohibit sacraments to people for any reason, other than mortal sin? The short answer is no. This is bared out in Geremia’s answer. Can. 980 If the confessor has no doubt about ...
user avatar
  • 53.2k
8 votes

If you do something that the Roman Catholic teaches is a grave matter, but you don't agree it is a grave matter, do you have to confess it?

If you do something that the Roman Catholic teaches is a grave matter, but you don't agree it is a grave matter, do you have to confess it? The short answer is yes: One must confess such sins. Just ...
user avatar
  • 53.2k
7 votes

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

I'm going to disagree slightly with Andrew Leach on this one. As far as excommunication: since you obviously weren't a member of the Church at the time, excommunication is obviously impossible. The ...
user avatar
  • 18.3k
7 votes
Accepted

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

Prior to Christ, a priest was needed to help make sacrifice to receive forgiveness: Thus shall he do with the bull. As he did with the bull of the sin offering, so shall he do with this. And the ...
user avatar
7 votes

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

CCC states that unbelievers can achieve eternal salvation- I would assume forgiveness is necessary for this, though I don't understand how this is reconciled with the biblical account. CCC 847 ...
user avatar
7 votes

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

Without a doubt, no. Intention, Form and Matter The Church teaches that a sacrament of the Church consists in three necessary things: The intention to effect the sacrament according to the mind of ...
user avatar
  • 7,327
7 votes
Accepted

Does the seal of confession extend to bystanders?

Does the seal of confession extend to bystanders? The short answer is yes. No one may reveal what is said in confession. Another interesting side to this question is the obligation of the laity ...
user avatar
  • 53.2k
7 votes

Does the seal of confession apply even when the sin is intended and there is no desire to repent?

I can't find an explicit statement that the seal of confession applies (or not) to the "confession" of a sin to be committed in the future, but all the evidence suggests that it does not. Canon 983 ...
user avatar
  • 975
7 votes

Can a church pastor prohibit sacraments to people for any reason, other than mortal sin?

As in most such cases: It depends on the context and is complicated. The relevant norms of the CIC are: Can. 213 The Christian faithful have the right to receive assistance from the sacred pastors ...
user avatar
  • 1,718
7 votes

What penances do priests do for sins they absolve?

What penances do priests do for sins they absolve? That will depend on the individual priest, who will more than not, take that information to the grave. We can only guess! Let me answer with a ...
user avatar
  • 53.2k
6 votes

Are non-Catholics allowed to go to confession?

Yes, a non Catholic can confess to a Catholic priest. (The canon law point has already been addressed). What the non Catholic is not generally eligible for is the full sacrament of Penance and ...
user avatar
6 votes

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

No; the Catholic Church does not believe that confession by itself is sufficient to ensure forgiveness of sins. The Catholic Church believes that God alone forgives sins, but has delegated that ...
user avatar
  • 18.3k
6 votes

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

As far as why individual Catholics participate in the various liturgies and sacraments, there can be all sorts of reasons, from the highly religious to the merely social or cultural. The Church does ...
user avatar
  • 18.3k
6 votes

What is the process of removing an automatic excommunication?

There are indeed some sins which cause excommunication simply by being committed. Such excommunications are called latae sententiae excommunications (in Latin, more or less, "[excommunications] ...
user avatar
  • 18.3k
6 votes
Accepted

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

The earliest confessions seem to have taken place in a communal setting, before both whoever was in authority and the wider group simultaneously. The first documented examples are probably the people ...
user avatar
6 votes

Can a priest act on a confession of molestation?

Canon law is very explicit on this... The priest can't betray the person confessing (983.1) The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore it is absolutely forbidden for a confessor to betray in ...
user avatar
  • 1,481
6 votes

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

The sacrament was invalidly administered to you because it lacked proper matter (your auricular confession of your sins). Chapter 6 of the 14th session of the Council of Trent has good advice ...
user avatar
  • 32.7k
6 votes

What should a priest who commits a mortal sin just before Holy Mass do, if confession is not available?

What should a priest who commits a mortal sin just before Holy Mass do, if confession is not available? The priest in question must make a perfect act of contrition as best he can and must go to ...
user avatar
  • 53.2k
5 votes
Accepted

Variances in the sacrament of confession

Roman Catholic Understanding According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep ...
user avatar
  • 5,382
5 votes

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

Catholic sacraments are for Catholics. Catholic sacraments are for Catholics and Catholics are to receive the sacraments from Catholic ministers. Can. 844 §1. Catholic ministers administer the ...
user avatar
  • 53.2k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible