Author Topic: Confession  (Read 336 times)

Offline Melkor

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Re: Confession
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2021, 01:19:54 PM »
For the validity of the confession, it's not necessary that the priest understands the complexity or seriousness of the sins and context.  That's helpful in the area of pastoral guidance, but if a priest is distracted and doesn't even remember the sins by the time you ask for for absolution, as long as you've honestly confessed and held nothing you consider serious back deliberately, his absolution is valid.

Yes, purity of intention and honesty with yourself is the best bet.
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Offline Miriam_M

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Re: Confession
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2021, 04:22:22 PM »
For the validity of the confession, it's not necessary that the priest understands the complexity or seriousness of the sins and context.  That's helpful in the area of pastoral guidance, but if a priest is distracted and doesn't even remember the sins by the time you ask for for absolution, as long as you've honestly confessed and held nothing you consider serious back deliberately, his absolution is valid.

I did not say anything about the validity of the sacrament being supposedly affected by “complexity.”  The OP asked about whether our naming the degree of the sin was a necessary addition to the matter itself (the enumeration and description of the sins).  Traditional sacramental theology asserts that certain broad categories of sin (violations of certain Commandments) must be confessed in their context because the weight of that context makes a difference in the degree of offense and thus the ability of the priest to judge accurately so that he can absolve (or not, depending on whether the penitent is sufficiently aware of the gravity and thus sufficiently remorseful), and so that he can provide counsel and a suitable penance. 

Example would be the mortal sin of a man violently striking someone not in self defense. The degree of gravity varies:

slugging the man next door out of anger, equal in age and strength to the penitent
Slugging your wife
Slugging a priest
Slugging the titular pope

The last obviously carries the harshest penalty and can only be absolved by that same man.  The other three, however, vary in degree of offense.

If the penitent merely said, “I committed a grave sin of anger by hitting another man violently,”
while deliberately omitting the fact that the man struck was the pope, that’s only excusable if the penitent did not know there was a difference in the gravity. If he did know or sense and did not bring up his question in the confessional out of embarrassment or out of hoping to escape the necessary step toward absolution, then he has committed an additional grave offense.

It is not necessary to provide context for venial  sins usually, unless the penitent is seeking counsel about how to prevent similar occasions of sin in the future. It certainly wouldn’t be necessary for validity. But the point is that IF the penitent is unsure whether mortal or venial, providing at least slight context eliminates that ambiguity.
 

Offline clau clau

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Re: Confession
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2021, 05:32:52 PM »
... is good for the soul.  Boom Boom.

Would you like to shake hands with Pope 1 or Pope 2 -
 me (inspired by Dr Seuss) see: https://seuss.fandom.com/wiki/Thing_One_and_Thing_Two

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Nineteen hundred years or near,
Clau-Clau-Claudius shall speak clear.
 

Offline Gerard

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Re: Confession
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2021, 09:38:11 PM »
For the validity of the confession, it's not necessary that the priest understands the complexity or seriousness of the sins and context.  That's helpful in the area of pastoral guidance, but if a priest is distracted and doesn't even remember the sins by the time you ask for for absolution, as long as you've honestly confessed and held nothing you consider serious back deliberately, his absolution is valid.


I did not say anything about the validity of the sacrament being supposedly affected by “complexity.”  The OP asked about whether our naming the degree of the sin was a necessary addition to the matter itself (the enumeration and description of the sins).  Traditional sacramental theology asserts that certain broad categories of sin (violations of certain Commandments) must be confessed in their context because the weight of that context makes a difference in the degree of offense and thus the ability of the priest to judge accurately so that he can absolve (or not, depending on whether the penitent is sufficiently aware of the gravity and thus sufficiently remorseful), and so that he can provide counsel and a suitable penance. 

Example would be the mortal sin of a man violently striking someone not in self defense. The degree of gravity varies:

slugging the man next door out of anger, equal in age and strength to the penitent
Slugging your wife
Slugging a priest
Slugging the titular pope

The last obviously carries the harshest penalty and can only be absolved by that same man.  The other three, however, vary in degree of offense.

If the penitent merely said, “I committed a grave sin of anger by hitting another man violently,”
while deliberately omitting the fact that the man struck was the pope, that’s only excusable if the penitent did not know there was a difference in the gravity. If he did know or sense and did not bring up his question in the confessional out of embarrassment or out of hoping to escape the necessary step toward absolution, then he has committed an additional grave offense.

It is not necessary to provide context for venial  sins usually, unless the penitent is seeking counsel about how to prevent similar occasions of sin in the future. It certainly wouldn’t be necessary for validity. But the point is that IF the penitent is unsure whether mortal or venial, providing at least slight context eliminates that ambiguity.
(bolded emphasis above is mine) 

Well, let's first point out again that it's not necessary to confess venial sins at all.  And if the person involved in hitting the Pope or a priest did not know that it is more severe and didn't mention that specific element, or if he didn't know that it was a Pope or priest, he's not done anything wrong beyond what he honestly believes the sin to be.   If he has deliberately withheld that added factor, it's not only an additional grave offense as you mentioned, the whole confession is invalid. 

You can't commit a mortal sin without full knowledge and consent of the will and only mortal sins are required for confession. So that should help people sort out for themselves in their examination of conscience whether a sin was mortal or venial.  Too often trads are acting as if God is tripping them up and holding them accountable for anything they can't think of.  I remember a woman at an SSPX chapel saying, "I didn't know it's a mortal sin to take communion in the hand, I had to go back and confess all of those times I did in the Novus Ordo."  I responded along the lines of, well, it's not a mortal sin if you were ignorant of it, and it's not a mortal sin if you were under the guidance of the local bishop.  If it is a sin at all, it's on him or the Pope and not you. 

If you marry someone who has lead a double life and they are already married, are you guilty of the mortal sins of adultery and fornication?  How about if the person has multiple personality disorder, are they guilty of those sins? No.  The only sins you may be guilty of are wrath when you found out, or sticking with the "marriage" and committing those sins after you became aware of the problems.  If you say, "Father, I found out my marriage was invalid and I exploded my temper on the woman I thought I'd married."  You don't confess that you were guilty of fornication and adultery if she is married to someone else.  You can mention it, but it's not necessary nor accurate to confess what you thought were genuine marital relations as sins. 


But back to your main point, I was simply pointing out when the conversation started to veer into the categories of serious sin and someone remarked that the priest would know how to sort out mortal and venials,  that it won't affect validity even if the priest doesn't or can't do this.  He can forget the sins as soon as he hears them and he's not obliged to sort through them and count them out. He can even misunderstand and mistake the nature and character of the sins.  He's also not obliged to give pastoral guidance. 


I didn't respond to a point of validity in answer to the OP.  I was adding additional information for the whole thread.  It was simply a "fun fact" about confession that might prove helpful for people that read the thread and find confession daunting when it shouldn't be.