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Catholics, would you please explain the concept of confession? *this is a question not a debate*

Biblical references, valid confessions, and purpose?

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Asked by Anonymous at 9:41 AM on Aug. 15, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Answers (11)
  • When I was a practicing catholic, my mom made me go to confession every time I messed up. The point is to confess your sins, and to ask for forgiveness for them. It was supposed to make you not do them again....never worked for me...Also, if I were to go back to the catholic church, I would first have to go to confession before I could receive communion.

    Answer by SaraP1989 at 9:46 AM on Aug. 15, 2009

  • Confession is a sacrament of the Catholic Church. “Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained” (John 20:22-23) Jesus breathed on and said this to his Apostles after his Resurrection. When we sin, we deprive ourselves of God’s grace. And by doing so, we make it even easier to sin some more. The only way out of this downward cycle is to acknowledge our sins, to repent of them, and to ask God’s forgiveness.

    Three things are required of a penitent in order to receive the sacrament worthily:

    1. He must be contrite—or, in other words, sorry for his sins.
    2. He must confess those sins fully, in kind and in number.
    3. He must be willing to do penance and make amends for his sins.

    We can and should often confess our sins directly to God, but confession is a way for us to restore grace and help us once again resist sin.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:02 AM on Aug. 15, 2009

  • It was supposed to make you not do them again....

    *could you give a reference for this? Something that says this is the Catholic teaching? I have never heard that confession would take away your temptation or make you perfect enough to never fall.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:14 AM on Aug. 15, 2009

  • thank you anon :02. I am starting to think most people do not understand what confession is about and that is why there are so many conflicting views and opinions. I might look on ebay for a book about Catholic confession.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:22 AM on Aug. 15, 2009

  • A great book for general knowledge of basic Catholic beliefs is Catholicism for Dummies. Easy to understand, easy to read.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:28 AM on Aug. 15, 2009

  • If you were catholic, then you would know that because you confess your sins and ask for forgivenss, your forgiven for them therefore you shouldn't do them again.

    Answer by SaraP1989 at 11:08 AM on Aug. 15, 2009

  • Yet still no reference Sara? I think you just don't fully understand the sacrament.


    Answer by Anonymous at 11:44 AM on Aug. 15, 2009

  • shouldn't do them again...

    shouldn't do them again does not equal won't do them again, or given powers to never do them again. Confession doesn't take away temptation.


    Answer by Anonymous at 3:51 PM on Aug. 15, 2009

  • I just wanted to add biblical references. There are several references in the bible about the need to orally confess sins (like Acts 19:18; Matt. 3:6; Mark 1:5) but the main verse is probaby James 5:16 where James clearly teaches us that we must “confess our sins to one another,” not just privately to God. James 5:16 must be read in the context of James 5:14-15, which is referring to the healing power (both physical and spiritual) of the priests of the Church. (The English word 'priest' is derived from the Greek word for "elder"). So, when James says “therefore” in verse 16, he must be referring to the men he was writing about in verses 14 and 15 – these men are the ordained priests of the Church, to whom we must confess our sins.

    Answer by eringobrough at 10:53 AM on Aug. 17, 2009

  • There are also several verses that indicate how Jesus gave the authority to forgive sins to men. Mainly John 20:21-23. Before He grants them the authority to forgive sins, Jesus says to the apostles, "as the Father sent me, so I send you." As Christ was sent by the Father to forgive sins, so Christ sends the apostles and their successors forgive sins. Then the Lord "breathes" on the apostles, and then gives them the power to forgive and retain sins. The only other moment in Scripture where God breathes on man is in Gen. 2:7, when the Lord "breathes" divine life into man. When this happens, a significant transformation takes place. Jesus says, "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained." In order for the apostles to exercise this gift of forgiving sins, the penitents must orally confess their sins to them -the apostles are not mind readers.

    Answer by eringobrough at 10:56 AM on Aug. 17, 2009

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