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Poll
Question: Can i talk about anything in confession or is there things that ppl should avoid talking about???  (Voting closed: August 23, 2011, 12:26:30 AM)
Yes (explain below) - 15 (71.4%)
No (dont bother explaining below) - 3 (14.3%)
keep it short unless you want him to call security - 1 (4.8%)
take your time especially if you have good jokes!!!! - 1 (4.8%)
depends if you bring a single malt or a blend - 1 (4.8%)
Total Voters: 21

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Author Topic: The confessions of a really bad sinner  (Read 4474 times) Average Rating: 5
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FountainPen
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« Reply #90 on: October 08, 2011, 06:59:31 PM »

There are different points of view on confession among the Orthodox, AFAIK.

I was at one point struck by a line from the journals of Fr. Alexander Schmemann, former Dean of St. Vladimir Orthodox seminary in Crestwood, N.Y. and one of the most prominent 20th century Orthodox theologians-evangelists. He wrote that if it were up to him, he would simply ABOLISH individual confessions. In his opinion, they are almost always fake, i.e. the penitent is not really a penitent but, rather, a person who fancies the priest as a psychological therapist-comforter, and him/herself as a patient who needs therapy. SO, the sad result is, these "patients" tell their priests long stories where the principal plot is not sin but the so-called "conditions" of their souls: "I am intemperate, angry, lustful, dishonest, injurious to people, lazy, self-indulging, neglectful in prayer," etc. Usually, the priest can do nothing about this, so the whole procedure becomes a total waste of time and the priest might well become distracted from his real duty. Fr. Alexander further writes that one should go to confession ONLY in the case he or she committed A CLEAR, REAL SIN.

Wouldn't being lustful, dishonest, self-indulgent etc., be sinful as well as being the condition of their soul? Confessing you are a lustful person by definition means you would have to have been a bit lusty that week. I am presuming that confession happens weekly and if lust is a problem, then you wouldn't go a week without having at least one lustful thought.
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Andrew Crook
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« Reply #91 on: October 09, 2011, 01:05:48 AM »

There are different points of view on confession among the Orthodox, AFAIK.

I was at one point struck by a line from the journals of Fr. Alexander Schmemann, former Dean of St. Vladimir Orthodox seminary in Crestwood, N.Y. and one of the most prominent 20th century Orthodox theologians-evangelists. He wrote that if it were up to him, he would simply ABOLISH individual confessions. In his opinion, they are almost always fake, i.e. the penitent is not really a penitent but, rather, a person who fancies the priest as a psychological therapist-comforter, and him/herself as a patient who needs therapy. SO, the sad result is, these "patients" tell their priests long stories where the principal plot is not sin but the so-called "conditions" of their souls: "I am intemperate, angry, lustful, dishonest, injurious to people, lazy, self-indulging, neglectful in prayer," etc. Usually, the priest can do nothing about this, so the whole procedure becomes a total waste of time and the priest might well become distracted from his real duty. Fr. Alexander further writes that one should go to confession ONLY in the case he or she committed A CLEAR, REAL SIN.

Perhaps Heorhij here is really saying.. that we should only confess that which we've actually done?  Not just the fact that you have a tendency towards.. a given state of mind (lustful, angry, intemperate, lazy) ...

Granted these are all sins, to be prone towards any one of thse.  But those can easily be confessed in our private prayers to God.  The priest or spiritual father the way I understand it -- is there to counsel us, when we have a problem.  If we are clearly having an issue with a particular sin.. then he can give us advise as to how to overcome it.. or at least stop repeating it as much.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2011, 01:07:25 AM by Andrew Crook » Logged

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« Reply #92 on: October 09, 2011, 06:14:32 AM »

The priest or spiritual father the way I understand it -- is there to counsel us, when we have a problem.  If we are clearly having an issue with a particular sin.. then he can give us advise as to how to overcome it.. or at least stop repeating it as much.

That's the opposite to what he's saying. Using the priest as a counsellor is a waste of his time. He's only there for the confession of "A CLEAR REAL SIN" and then for absolution.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #93 on: October 09, 2011, 06:40:41 AM »

Confessing you are a lustful person by definition means you would have to have been a bit lusty that week. I am presuming that confession happens weekly and if lust is a problem, then you wouldn't go a week without having at least one lustful thought.

Most people are probably confessing once a year, if that often.

That's the opposite to what he's saying. Using the priest as a counsellor is a waste of his time. He's only there for the confession of "A CLEAR REAL SIN" and then for absolution.

With the priest I normally confessed to, confession would generally last more than an hour, with the actual confessing and absolution parts taking maybe 3 minutes total, and the rest of the time being him counseling me.
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« Reply #94 on: October 09, 2011, 07:18:44 AM »

Confessing you are a lustful person by definition means you would have to have been a bit lusty that week. I am presuming that confession happens weekly and if lust is a problem, then you wouldn't go a week without having at least one lustful thought.

Most people are probably confessing once a year, if that often.

Most people are probably attending services once a year, if that often.
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FountainPen
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« Reply #95 on: October 09, 2011, 08:24:03 AM »

Confessing you are a lustful person by definition means you would have to have been a bit lusty that week. I am presuming that confession happens weekly and if lust is a problem, then you wouldn't go a week without having at least one lustful thought.

Most people are probably confessing once a year, if that often.

That's the opposite to what he's saying. Using the priest as a counsellor is a waste of his time. He's only there for the confession of "A CLEAR REAL SIN" and then for absolution.

With the priest I normally confessed to, confession would generally last more than an hour, with the actual confessing and absolution parts taking maybe 3 minutes total, and the rest of the time being him counseling me.

Not that i agree with priestly confessions but if it helps you then i don't see how it can be a waste of time.
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