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Are Catholics ever forgiven for sins?

So...I've been learning about the Catholic religion some...but I'm not sure how confession works. So bear with me :)

When a Catholic confesses do they do it to the priest, or to the priest AND God?

Now, granted, what I believe the bible to mean, and what Catholics believe the bible to mean are not always the same thing..so I could be 'wrong' here in their eyes, but...to be forgiven for sins, one must confess to God...so IF a person is ONLY confessing to a priest...then are they really forgiven? (Still learning, please remember this...)

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ProudSingleMum

Asked by ProudSingleMum at 1:19 AM on Dec. 2, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 5 (60 Credits)
Answers (58)
  • The priest is the intercessor. Confessing to the priest is confessing before God, but the priest is there to give guidance on how to do penance to earn forgiveness. It's not about confessing to the priest so much as being told how to make it right. Only confessing to God is not good enough. You also have to demonstrate that you mean it and want to repent and sin no more.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:27 AM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • Okay....I'm not sure I understand. So, you confess to a priest and God over hears it and therefore that is confessing for your sins, even though you aren't actually talking TO God, you are talking to a priest?
    ProudSingleMum

    Answer by ProudSingleMum at 1:29 AM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • the priest is ACTING as an intercessor, because the only real intercessor between you and God is Jesus. Now when you "confess" to the priest , your are only telling him your business because God already knows what you did, if you want true forgiveness tell God you admit you did wrong and to forgive you(you dont even have to say the actual sin to God)
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:35 AM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • wth confessing to God is not good enough, wow are u ok?!?!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:36 AM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • wth confessing to God is not good enough, wow are u ok?!?!

    It's called paying lip service. For a good example, see Patrick Kennedy. Forgiveness isn't a get out of jail free card, you have to show you actually mean it. Otherwise it's no different than that little prayer you give over the toilet after a night of drinking. Dear God, please make it stop and I'll never drink again. (until next weekend). To be forgiven you must demonstrate you actually repented, not just said, gee whiz sorry God.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 2:28 AM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • In Catholicism, priests are like, the translator for God. It isn't like, Catholics read the bible and say "we want this part, and this part and this part" Ok maybe it feels like that sometimes. But the Pope on down dissects what the bible says in order to explain it to the congregation. In the same way, when you confess to the priest, you are saying "look, I totally screwed up and burned the toast, too..." and the priest translates it by telling you, "God wants you to say 5 Hail Mary's and spin in a circle a couple of times..."
    Well it's late and I'm drunk but this is essentially the idea, from what I remember...
    sweetphoenix529

    Answer by sweetphoenix529 at 4:12 AM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • It's not the priest absolving sins it's God through the priest. It's also about humility. Anyone can say a prayer and for forgiveness. (We can also we do it every Sunday with the act of contrition) It's about putting your soul out there. Saying what you did or didn't do. I'll be honest Tonight we are having first reconciliation and and all church. The two things I have to deal with is anger and despair. Confessing these things and talking to the priest helps greatly. Not only does God forgive me through the priest, The priest also helps me to see why I feel this way and what I can do to get better. They are soul physicians. If your really sick you don't just read a medical book and try to fix yourself you go to a doctor. Same thing with confession you go to a soul doctor who can help you heal yourself.

    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:47 AM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • In the past confession was meant for very serious sins. It wasn't until about the 1940's through the 1960's that Catholics went to confession regularly. Most do not go today. Confession is a wonderful experience because you are thinking about and praying about doing better. You don't need to go to confession for this.

    RyansMom001

    Answer by RyansMom001 at 6:35 AM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • Yes.  Confession is a beautiful and cleansing experience.  It's very humbling to say your sins out loud to a priest and in early Christian days, it was more public.  They did penances in public too.  


    You have to remember that religion is a spiritual discipline, and confession ( and obedience ) is a necessary part of it.  All religions require acts of submission or obedience to gain humility and purity, one of the highest virtues the soul can attain. 

    shellbyrne

    Answer by shellbyrne at 8:59 AM on Dec. 2, 2009

  • Good morning, your question seems genuine and honest unlike many of the other questions on the Catholic relgion I have seen.

    When we confess, we confess to God. Confessing to God is good enough, however, God also ask us to get right with the community. When we sin, we hurt the community. We show our faults and the entire community looks bad.

    Just look at the priest scandal that was uncovered years back; about priest from decades back. That incident is brought up so often one might think the only molesters are Catholic priest. There are less priest who molest on a percentage scale than in the general public and more good works are done daily by Catholics, but our sins is what is remember.

    We confess to the community. Much like a husband or wife would ask the other to forgive them fore something. The priest represents the community.
    Kattykitten

    Answer by Kattykitten at 9:01 AM on Dec. 2, 2009

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