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Author Topic: The Sacrament of Confession.  (Read 548 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: August 07, 2014, 02:29:14 PM »

I would like to know, both, the Catholic and the Orthodox opinion on this, and that is why I post it here on this forum.

I read lately that the Sacrament of Confession went through some changes with time.

That in the beginning of the Church, it was usually public or open confession, but later on, it became little bit private...etc, until how it is today with private confession.

How accurate is that ? and if so, does that change of the power and the accuracy of the Sacrament ?

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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2014, 05:50:07 PM »

I would like to know, both, the Catholic and the Orthodox opinion on this, and that is why I post it here on this forum.

I read lately that the Sacrament of Confession went through some changes with time.

That in the beginning of the Church, it was usually public or open confession, but later on, it became little bit private...etc, until how it is today with private confession.

How accurate is that ? and if so, does that change of the power and the accuracy of the Sacrament ?



I listened to a GO Arch priest explain it this way, that earlier in the Church it was a bit more of a tight knit community but now the congregations are a lot larger. To me, a public confession sounds like a horrific walk of shame but I think it was suppose to be a place to learn on others for support (like an AA meeting where you "publicly confess"). So now you confess to a spiritual advisory or confessor who you lean on instead.
 
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2014, 06:33:35 PM »

I would like to know, both, the Catholic and the Orthodox opinion on this, and that is why I post it here on this forum.

I read lately that the Sacrament of Confession went through some changes with time.

That in the beginning of the Church, it was usually public or open confession, but later on, it became little bit private...etc, until how it is today with private confession.

How accurate is that ? and if so, does that change of the power and the accuracy of the Sacrament ?



I listened to a GO Arch priest explain it this way, that earlier in the Church it was a bit more of a tight knit community but now the congregations are a lot larger. To me, a public confession sounds like a horrific walk of shame but I think it was suppose to be a place to learn on others for support (like an AA meeting where you "publicly confess"). So now you confess to a spiritual advisory or confessor who you lean on instead.
 
Why hold back if everybody's in the same boat?

But then again, I don't even like private confession.
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2014, 07:16:14 PM »

I would like to know, both, the Catholic and the Orthodox opinion on this, and that is why I post it here on this forum.

I read lately that the Sacrament of Confession went through some changes with time.

That in the beginning of the Church, it was usually public or open confession, but later on, it became little bit private...etc, until how it is today with private confession.

How accurate is that ? and if so, does that change of the power and the accuracy of the Sacrament ?



I listened to a GO Arch priest explain it this way, that earlier in the Church it was a bit more of a tight knit community but now the congregations are a lot larger. To me, a public confession sounds like a horrific walk of shame but I think it was suppose to be a place to learn on others for support (like an AA meeting where you "publicly confess"). So now you confess to a spiritual advisory or confessor who you lean on instead.
 
Why hold back if everybody's in the same boat?

But then again, I don't even like private confession.

Well, I think the question is whether or not the public confession helps the confessor. It seems to me standing up in front of a bunch of people you don't know and who don't know you and saying all of the twisted things you've done seems like a rather medieval form of public humiliation. The point is to help the sinner heal not punish him.

For instance, I have an anxiety disorder and although I don't currently practice confession, I know that I'd have a tendency to confess sins that I probably haven't actually done. Friends and confessors would know that, but the general attendance wouldn't and would probably avoid speaking to me.
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2014, 04:08:21 AM »

Unless someone here inhabits a religious community as tightknit as the ones in the Apostles' day, a lot of these arguments miss the point. I grew up in a community where everyone knew each other as thoroughly as family, and we did practice public confession. However, everyone was far from comprising the bowels toward brothers St. Paul speaks of, or otherwise approaching the spiritual atmosphere in congregations the Apostles founded, and so I think the practice usually misfired, becoming nothing more than punishment by general humiliation.
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2014, 04:10:54 AM »

In so many ways the priest iconizes the Church that I'm unsure why the sacrament of confession is always being singled out by Protestants (almost none of whom practice confession as a sacrament, in any form, as tho it were never commanded -- but that's a different point).
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2014, 09:16:58 AM »

I'm thinking about the temptation to 'glory in sin'.  I'm sure there are people who  might take pleasure in the attention they would receive. 

Plus we do not want to scandalize others, or tempt them to gossip.

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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2014, 12:09:19 PM »

In so many ways the priest iconizes the Church that I'm unsure why the sacrament of confession is always being singled out by Protestants (almost none of whom practice confession as a sacrament, in any form, as tho it were never commanded -- but that's a different point).

I think their complaints usually center around the RCC's practice, where if you don't confess to a priest you can't be forgiven.

Also, penance (which I dislike the word anyway) is often misconstrued as penalty, which I think disparages the cross. A better term is reconciliation, which implies that we are healing the damage caused by our sin and consciously shifting ourselves back towards God, which by mortal sin we have turned ourselves away.

I do think you should give Protestants a break, they did afterall split from the RCC which was about 500 years on the wrong track anyway.
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2014, 12:39:40 PM »

So, I shouldn't worry about it. I shouldn't see it as something can be used against the Sacrament itself, You know what I mean, the type of argument that it was changed and it never meant to be a sacrament but later on with time the Church changed it and made it a sacrament...etc. ?
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2014, 01:00:46 PM »

So, I shouldn't worry about it. I shouldn't see it as something can be used against the Sacrament itself, You know what I mean, the type of argument that it was changed and it never meant to be a sacrament but later on with time the Church changed it and made it a sacrament...etc. ?

IMO the sacrament is validated by the Grace of God, it's not so much how it is performed so much as the purpose it fulfills. Reconciliation in my view is like your second baptism, it's how we are restored to the state we were in right after we were baptized.
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2014, 01:12:06 PM »

So, I shouldn't worry about it. I shouldn't see it as something can be used against the Sacrament itself, You know what I mean, the type of argument that it was changed and it never meant to be a sacrament but later on with time the Church changed it and made it a sacrament...etc. ?

I wouldn't worry. The fact that it was once preformed openly for all to hear gives more credence to the idea that the early church was liturgical.
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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2014, 11:04:34 PM »

Open confession sounds interesting too... I wonder if it would prevent some sins.  Tongue
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« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2014, 01:01:59 AM »

Open confession sounds interesting too... I wonder if it would prevent some sins.  Tongue

I've heard every kind of sin confessed that way, so I'm guessing no.
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« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2014, 01:05:55 AM »

Open confession sounds interesting too... I wonder if it would prevent some sins.  Tongue

I've heard every kind of sin confessed that way, so I'm guessing no.

In public confessions are you sworn to secrecy?
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« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2014, 02:43:31 AM »

Open confession sounds interesting too... I wonder if it would prevent some sins.  Tongue

I've heard every kind of sin confessed that way, so I'm guessing no.

In public confessions are you sworn to secrecy?

"You" (the confessor?) are sworn to un-secrecy; that's why it's called public.
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« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2014, 12:36:57 PM »

Open confession sounds interesting too... I wonder if it would prevent some sins.  Tongue

I've heard every kind of sin confessed that way, so I'm guessing no.

In public confessions are you sworn to secrecy?


"You" (the confessor?) are sworn to un-secrecy; that's why it's called public.
No but I mean are you allowed to speak about the confession outside the confessional? For instance Catholic priest are bound to keep the confession, no matter how hienous, unto their grave.
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« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2014, 12:50:53 PM »

There's no confessional; it's a public confession.

Everything will be made plain at Judgment. Priests and pastors cannot cover us there.
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« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2014, 03:00:13 PM »

There's no confessional; it's a public confession.

Everything will be made plain at Judgment. Priests and pastors cannot cover us there.

OK, since you refuse to give a straight answer, let's try a hypothetical, could you go to the police with something you heard from confession, or could you warn someone outside of the Church about so and so, for instance an employer about someone who stole.
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« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2014, 03:40:34 PM »

I still don't know whom you mean by "you." As I remind my wife, pronouns require antecedents to have meaning.

Perhaps I should paint you a picture of public confession as its practiced in the religious circles of my extraction. Time is made during a worship service, prior to the homily, usually, for an erring brother to stand and read an outline of his sin and ask forgiveness from the congregation. I say "read" because, as far as I know, his words are always first vetted by the bishop. He's not in any special room; his audience is not limited in any way. You yourself could be visiting that Sunday. Considering children are present, the wording in the case of certain sins tends to be euphemistic.

As for immunity from prosecution, or whatever you have in mind -- if the sin was a crime, part of the confession process is that the brother turn himself in to the police (this isn't true in the most traditional Amish communities, where cooperation with the police is avoided whenever possible, including when an outsider enters the community to rob or commit violence -- a little different subject).
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« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2014, 05:50:32 PM »

I still don't know whom you mean by "you." As I remind my wife, pronouns require antecedents to have meaning.

Perhaps I should paint you a picture of public confession as its practiced in the religious circles of my extraction. Time is made during a worship service, prior to the homily, usually, for an erring brother to stand and read an outline of his sin and ask forgiveness from the congregation. I say "read" because, as far as I know, his words are always first vetted by the bishop. He's not in any special room; his audience is not limited in any way. You yourself could be visiting that Sunday. Considering children are present, the wording in the case of certain sins tends to be euphemistic.

As for immunity from prosecution, or whatever you have in mind -- if the sin was a crime, part of the confession process is that the brother turn himself in to the police (this isn't true in the most traditional Amish communities, where cooperation with the police is avoided whenever possible, including when an outsider enters the community to rob or commit violence -- a little different subject).

Are the congregants (assuming normal congregants, not special visitors as in your example) bound to any secrecy?  For example, are they prohibited from talking to the person about his confession, or from talking to others about it?  Is there any expectation that people should hear it and let it go so that they don't treat the confessing person any differently for having heard his sins? 
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« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2014, 12:20:39 AM »

They must forgive (or face scrutiny themselves). There's no agreement not to talk about it after, that I ever heard, but brotherly love and shame would normally prevent it.
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