Author Topic: Confession to Deacon?  (Read 3188 times)

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Offline kansas city

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Confession to Deacon?
« on: July 27, 2010, 04:05:21 PM »
Does anyone know if there is  precedent for confession to deacons then absolution by priest?  Perhaps situationally with the blessing of a bishop?

As well, would penance be given by the deacon or priest?

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Confession to Deacon?
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2010, 04:18:05 PM »
I've never heard of this. The exceptions of confessing to people other than priests, and then receiving absolution from a priest are very rare, I think, and involve the person other than a priest hearing the confession having extraordinary spiritual gifts. One must always question why the normal order of things is being changed.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Confession to Deacon?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2010, 04:26:33 PM »
Let's start with the priests, and then move forward from there.  There are two schools of thought regarding priests and confession, being:

- The ability to hear confession is a gift bestowed with ordination to the priesthood, and
- The ability to hear confession is a gift bestowed only by the bishop to those he chooses.

If your hierarch believes the former, then he will not allow anyone other than a priest or hierarch to hear confessions, spiritual level notwithstanding.  If your hierarch believes the latter, then it is possible for him to give the blessing to a deacon to hear confessions, with those people then going to a priest or hierarch for absolution.

That said, I have heard many occasions where pious monks of either gender have been given the permission to hear confessions, but I have never heard of said permission being given to a deacon.  I credit this to the relative lack of deacons, though.
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Offline kansas city

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Re: Confession to Deacon?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2010, 04:34:48 PM »
Thank you.  Thought you all might have some perspective.  I look forward to others responses.

Offline LBK

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Re: Confession to Deacon?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2010, 10:23:20 PM »
The practice of "bringing out" during Great Lent monks (usually from Mt Athos) who have been given a blessing to hear confessions is not unheard-of in Greek parishes, where confession before each communion is not the norm, where most of the parish would commune at some stage during Great Lent or Holy Week, and if the parish was large. These monks would be available throughout the Lenten period, who, after hearing the parishioner's confession, would then send the person to the parish priest for absolution, if the confessor-monk were not a priest himself.

Monasteries of whatever provenance often have a monk or monks who are not ordained, but whose spiritual gifts and insights are recognised as being worthy of being blessed to hear confessions and to give spiritual advice. These "elders" are not necessarily old monks, some are comparatively young men. There are, of course, also spiritual mothers among female monastics, usually, but not always, abbesses.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Confession to Deacon?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2010, 10:33:55 PM »
Perhaps they serve more as a preparation for the actual sacrament of confession since priest-confessors are limited in number and getting into matters of spiritual counsel would be difficult. Thus, rather than just stating their sins and receiving absolution, the people are able to get more spiritual counsel for their own personal situations?
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Offline LBK

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Re: Confession to Deacon?
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2010, 10:58:37 PM »
Perhaps they serve more as a preparation for the actual sacrament of confession since priest-confessors are limited in number and getting into matters of spiritual counsel would be difficult. Thus, rather than just stating their sins and receiving absolution, the people are able to get more spiritual counsel for their own personal situations?

Exactly. One parish priest would find it difficult, to say the least, to adequately handle the large numbers I'm talking about.
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