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How To Make A Confession

I was taught to make a good confession. To be truly sorry and never to do it again. Failure on either point, meant an invalid confession. How did the serial abusers get away with this? As I understand it, their work as priests was invalid, so everything they did is invalid.

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 ---mike6553 on 2/1/06
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Jesus showed that the son of man had authority to forgive sins in his ministry, and at the end gave the authority to "forgive" or "retain" sins to his 11 remaining apostles. They had what Paul called the "ministry of reconciliation." Confession to a priest is very biblical. James 5 even shows that the presbuteroi (priests) can forgive sins.
---Justin on 3/6/06


Nellah ... # 2 You appear to question whether a serial abuser can make a valid confession. Well, perhaps as much as, say, a serial thief, or the persistently proud.
But the issue of saying sorry and getting forgiven and then going and doing it again arises whether you confess to a priest or direct to God
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/9/06


Nellah ... # 1 I think we have been thinking of different circumstances. I had assumed that the question was "how can a priest, if he is a serial abuser, hear confession from a sinner, and give valid absolution"
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/9/06


Alan ::Your openhearted Message is enlightening regarding confesion.Since you have been brought up in that light of reasoning.you are a true son. The matter of your choice is your own.Like you, I live up to my Convictions my forefathers being Catholics.I stand convinced of my direction & service to my God & redeemer as also his holy Mother,who has been my refuge & strength in many an adversity.I am at peace with my God & my only desire in the short space left me is to share his love with my fellowman.
---Emcee on 2/6/06


First of all when you confess go to God not a man. Only God can accept the confession and repentence of His people. Confession to a priest isn't biblical and therefore invalid. I seriously doubt the abusers confessed their sins to anyone. If they had confessed they wouldn't have gotten away it for so long. If I was a priest and they confessed to me, I'd have to tell the police to protect the victims.
---Nellah on 2/6/06




Emcee ... # 10 . Emcee, having been so open with you, may I ask you to be similarly open with me when we are in "dispute" over doctrine?
Blessings
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/6/06


Emcee ... # 9 I hope Emcee that gives some idea of where I come from, and it will probably cause some on these blogs to write me off as a Christian!!!
As to discussions about the Roman catholic doctrines, I still find some unscriptural and in error. However, that is the extent of my view, & I do not say the RCC is the whore of Babylon, or Anti-Christ, or evil, sending folk to the pits of hell, and such other charges as are somtimes laid against it..
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/6/06


Emcee ... # 9 I hope Emcee that gives some idea of where I come from, and it will probably cause some on these blogs to write me off as a Christian!!!
As to discussions about the Roman catholic doctrines, I still find some unscriptural and in error. However, that is the extent of my view, & I do not say the RCC is the whore of Babylon, or Anti-Christ, or evil, sending folk to the pits of hell, and such other charges as are somtimes laid against it..
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/6/06


Emcee ... # 8 Now my own view about confession is that I do not think it is necesaary to confess to a priest, because we can talk direct to God, but I do not condemn those who do follow that practice, because I think that God will hear anyway, and if the priest is a fraud, God will not let that get in the way.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/6/06


Emcee ... # 7 About Confession, this is practiced in the High Anglo-Catholic congregations, and obviously those who have been brought up in that tradition feel comfortable with it, whereas I would not. Whilst they do not think that a priest HAS to be used when confessing to God, clearly these people find it helpful. I don't think they believe they are confessing to the priest, just using him as a person to hear them confess to God, and perhaps counsel is offered about it?
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/6/06




Emcee ... # 6 This is why I have again sometimes been mistaken for a Roman catholic on these blogs, because I do not claim that the RCC is not Christian (I have got into trouble about that too) I disagree with various doctrines and practice of the RCC, and as you know I will argue vigorously about some of these issues. Vigourously, I say, not viciously.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/6/06


Emcee ... # 5 You can now perhaps now understand my attitude expressed elsewhere that it is wrong to say that you KNOW abolutely about relatively minor detail of belief ... this relaxed attitude has got me into trouble here!
I am pleased to say that in the UK, in the most part, all denominations work together, so that efforts are not wastefully duplicated, whilst individual styles and indeed doctrine are maintained and respected by the others.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/6/06


Emcee ... # 4 On the other hand, it does mean that the church can embrace people with all kinds of indicvidual preferences, and you can choose a church where you feel confortable with the worship and practice, at the same time the whole CofE holds to the basic truth of Christ dying for us.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/6/06


Emcee ... # 3 Now it is often said that the Church of England is a church that fudges issues, because it includes folk with such varying ideas. To a certain extent I suppose that is true, and we have never reached common ground on whether there should be women priests. (the "lows" do not call priests priests)<
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/6/06


Emcee ... # 2 Yhe other end, "low" is very much more informal, and does not approve of sells and bells as they call it, and do not practice confession to a priest. Services are much more informal, and for example infant baptism is discouraged except for the children of practicing church members. To put my position in context, that is the tradition from which I come, from the "low" end of the CofE.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/6/06


Emcee ... the Anglican church (Church of England) is what we call a very "broad" church, and encompasses what is known as "high" or Anglo-Catholic", and "low, or "Evangelical". The former have incense, and have reverence of Mary, and candles, and confessions, and Mass, and that part of the Anglican church feels very close to Roman practice.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/6/06


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Alan::thank you for the info. This is the first time that I have heard about the "high side" of Anglican doctrine,I thought only Catholics are bound by the sacrament of Reconciliation. This is a new twist in the protestant church,as because you all dont believe a man acting as God can forgive sins.
---Emcee on 2/6/06


Emcee .. I know at the "high" end of the Anglican church, Confession is available. I have never practiced this, so do not know whether penance is prescribed by the preist.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/6/06


Madison :: Whose sins you forgive they are forgiven & whose sins you retain they are retained.JN 20,V19-23The penitent is asked to recite a prayer or meditate. you call that penance.People elaborate on things that are simple do you not pray for the forgiveness of your sins. readLuke13:5 this is why Pennance is part of the sacrament of Reconciliation.Like I said we accept all not just parts here & there.
Alan: do you have pennance in the Anglican church?
---Emcee on 2/5/06


Madison ... after much searching I found the reference, but there is nothing there about Mary. In fact Emcee does not really say what doctrine he is talking about!! Incidentally, I agree with you there is no need for penances. So again I think the RCC is mistaken, but I think God will still accept the penitent.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/5/06


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Alan: My question was in the context of Emcee's statement. "The RCCThe Doctrine was proclaimed by God the Father & enforced by his son Jesus."

In order to receive absolution a penitent must do penance, which is given by the priest in the RC church. I challenge anyone to show me scriptures that say that penance is required for absolution.
---Madison on 2/5/06


Madison #2 The Bible says nothing about praying to mary, nor about papal proclamations, but I think those are a side issue on this blog. In fact neither of these have been previously mantioned.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/5/06


Madison ...# 1 the Disciples were given the charge to absolve people. Now the Roman church and the Anglican church believes in apostolic succession whereby by the laying on of hands through bishops, those powers are passed on to present day priests.
So the practice of Confession to the priest does have some Biblical support.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/5/06


Madison ... the Disciples were given the charge to absolve people. Now the Roman church and the Anglican church believes in apostolic succession whereby by the laying on of hands through bishops, those powers are passed on to present day priests.
So the practice of Confession to the priest does have some Biblical support.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/5/06


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Emcee: Where in the Bible are the proclamations made about praying to Mary? You say the Roman Catholic doctrine is proclaimed by God, and I ask you where? Where does it say you have to confess to a priest and do penance? Bible only, not Papal edicts.
---Madison on 2/5/06


Emcee ... # 4 Now in the case of the Roman church, (and in some parts of the Anglican church) it may be by apostolic succession that the priest has had passed down to him the power to hear confession & to pass on absolution. But I cannot conceive that in those (and I hope it is very few) cases where the "priest" is an unbelieving pervert, God has actually given him those powers, and I am sure God would by-pass and deal direct even it the member of the flock did not realise it.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/5/06


Emcee ... # 3 The Bible classes I went to in my teens (and it was definitely anti-catholic!) turned out later to have been run by two child abusers I was not pretty enough to have been propositioned, so did not know till later what had been going on.
The strange thing though is that they were good a "God-speak" and some boys were saved by what they said. So what they said was not invalidated by the fact they did not believe it themselves. God used their mouths, I suppose.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/5/06


Emcee ... # 2 Neither have I said that the RCC is alone in having fake priests, or ministers. There is scarcely a mainstream in the UK that has not had its share of fake ministers, just paedophiles putting on a godly show to get access to children (or other type of gain) And non-mainstream churches have suffered just the same, perhaps even more so because there is not the same screening and interview process carried out.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/5/06


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Emcee ... # 1 Once again you assunme all I say is hostile to the RCC, and in this case you misjudge. We have our arguments on other blogs where I think the Roman church has mistaken dogma. On the issue of priests I am a sceptical neutral ... I do not think they are needed as intermediaries, but they have their value as pastors. But if people use them as intermediaries, I do not condemn that, because I think God hears and answers anyway..
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/5/06


Alan ::That is your choice.I would ask you to study a percentage basis.one or two bad humans does not make the whole human race bad or its followings same applies to religion in particular The RCCThe Doctrine was proclaimed by God the Father & enforced by his son Jesus.
---Emcee on 2/4/06


Emcee ... Do you really think that there are no "priests" whose belief is faked?
If that is true, then what I have said is unnecessary. I was referring to the situation there are
As history shows the have even been Popes who have not been believers.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/4/06


Alan::You will have to wait for a penpall connection as my #7364 is no longer valid CN introduced me to cyberspace.But going back toFake Priests can you remember Judas was a devil yet he was a diciple of JesusJN13V23-28Jesus knew this.We are all weak minded vessels & hence called upon to pick up our cross & follow himhe took the form of man to show us it is possible That is why he said Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.
---Emcee on 2/3/06


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Alan::No fake priest.To be a priest one must have a genuine calling be honest & willing to impart the will of God & his teachings.He is screened prior to his acceptance to the seminary where he is called to study Theology & other subjects,this may take several years depending on the order For Jesuits its 15 years.then only is he placed among the laity to perform after his ordination.But he is still Human & is prone to the same temptations as any one.He should learn to uphold his head & office & calling.
---Emcee on 2/3/06


Mcee, I don't pray to Francis, as from what I know of his teachings, taken from the Italian which I an read, he would be most offended. I am a bit surprised, I don't know the John reference off the top of my head, will have to look it up later, but I always thought that the confession verses where the ones in James, confess our sins one to another.
I would like to contact you directly, epenpal me at mike6553. Alan and Mp also, if you like.
---mike6553 on 2/3/06


Now, Emcee, all denominations have such men, as do all professsions ... education, the medical, and so on. They are fake pastors, teachers, doctors and so on.
If you say that non-believing priests are not fake, you say these other fakes are genuine, and you do a disservice to the genuine majority of priests, doctors and teachers.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/3/06


If Emcee, the Roman Catholic Church believes that the man who does not believe in his calling, who in his heart denies God, and who is in the priesthood for only his own personal immoral gratification or gain, ... if the RCC says that such a man is still a genuine priest, that makes the RCC ... well, gullible is the kindest word I can think of.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/3/06


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Emcee ... are you saying that the "priest" who enters that ministry solely to gain access to children, or perhaps just to get a paid job, who has no belief in God, who makes all His vows with no meaning, who does no believe a word he says ... are you saying that he is not fake?
Or have you once again failed to read my blog, and have not realised that it is those that I am talking about?
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/3/06


Alan::The priest who enters the confessional is not 'Fake' any other thought would be judgemental I Think Jn 20,V19-23, still delegates the power you being a christian & not a catholic are free to make a choice but Gods word does not change.When God speaks good men listen.
---Emcee on 2/2/06


Mike::Sorry to hear you make the painful admission,of abuse,I am sure God will exact the full punishment due to such untrustworthy behaviour on whomsoever is responsible. In all walks of life there are saints & sinners,but we are called to save our own souls By the grace & blessings of almighty God.I have no axe to grind with you.I am sorry you had this misadventure but keep praying to st Francis of Assisi,he was a man known as a patron of Catholic action,He was poorer than the poor.He founded 3 Orders.
---Emcee on 2/2/06


Emcee # B The reason I entered this discussion was to say that although the questioner was posing a question that was aimed at the RCC, the Catholics are not alone in having a paedophile problem. And I also wanted to answer the point of what happens if the priest is corrupt, by saying that God would deal direct and cut out the phoney priest. God would not allow the fact that the pretended intermediary was phoney to affect the salvation granted to the confessee.
Peace!
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/2/06


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Emcee #A ... I have answered you on my previous blog, but I must make the observation that once again you have taken my blog as being hostile to the RCC, when it is not. On the issue of Confession to a priest, I am not in conflict, and accept that it is valid (my only difference is to think it is not necessary to go through a priest)
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/2/06


Emcee ... As the disciples had authority to forgive sins, apostolic succession would say that the priest has this authority too. I do not deny that he has this authority. In any case, as you say it is God who hears the confession and grants the absolution. If the fake "priest" does not believe in God, God must do this direct, even though the person seeking and gaining absolution does not realise it.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/2/06


ALAN:On all 4 blog replies let me say That I as a human Am not in a position to speculate & Judge the actions of another fellow human that is Gods jurisdiction.God in the confesional forgives sins not the priest.reg your#1,not being a catholic you are not bound by its laws.However Jesus while speaking to his diciples did give them them that authority,of absolving sins.take it or leave it.
---Emcee on 2/2/06


Emcee ..# 5 As I said earlier the RCC is not alone in having paedophiles among its priests or ministers.
So perhaps Mike (who by asking this question, posed the challenge to the RCC) could say whether he considers all the work of paedo ministers in reformed, born again or spirit filled churches (call them what you will) to have been invalid. If a fake born-again minister "saves" someone by the words he speaks but does not mean, does that mean the person is not saved?
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/2/06


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Emcee ..# 4 Now what I was trying to say was that in these circumstances, God will still hear the confession, and will still grant the absolution, even though the intermediary, being fake, cannnot be the transmitter of either confession or absolution.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/2/06


Emcee ..# 3 Now whatever sacraments he performs cannot be valid ... after all he does not mean a word of what he says. How if he listens to the confession, can he pass the confession on to God, in whom he probably does not believe, and how can he pass back the absolution, although he says the words?
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/2/06


Emcee ..# 2 The point I am amking here is with regard to the corrupt priest, the one who has only joined to meet the kids, and to whom all the words are meaningless ... just words to satisfy his congregation. Who in fact is not a Christian, nor a Catholic, but is just saying the words. His consecration as priest was fake, because he did not mean what he was saying.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/2/06


Emcee ..# 1 that passage does not say that I have to confess to a priest rather than confess direct to God. Now, confession to a priest is one of the RC practices that I have not criticised, except to say it is unnecessary.
I accept that you have said that the priest does not of himself give the absolution, as only God can give this.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/2/06


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Alan:I do not make the rules in the book of life That was done by God you may disagree to his word that is your choice while saying I acknowledge you but not your teaching.This in regard to Confession, by a priest.You have to be submissive to his will.JN20,V19-23
---Emcee on 2/2/06


Alan :: No misundrestanding yours is a matter of opinion Yours
---Emcee on 2/2/06


Emcee, I am not a lapsed Catholic, that implies I might return to the church. After being serially abused by nuns, priests and teachers in Canada and New York, at the age 15 I left the Catholic church, for good. In other places I`ve spoken of the hypocrycy of the Roman church (in the city), of huge and expensive churches sitting in th middle of poverty, and priests with their hands out saying "give for the glory of God". If I am anything, I feel closer to Francis of Assisi.
---mike6553 on 2/2/06


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Emcee ... you have slightly misunderstood my point which is ... There is no need for a priest, we should confess direct. But if we do belive we have to go via a priest, God will treat us as if we had gone direct. Therefore it does not matter if the "priest" is a fraud, only there to get access to children. In either case, the priest has no authority.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/2/06


Alan::No IF'S, You are absolutely right.absolution is granted by God not the priest,he is an intermediatery,but acting by faith & his ordinance as a disciple of God.JN;19;20-23
---Emcee on 2/1/06


After a close reading of what Rickey says in his answer I find myself in total agreement with his answer.
---mima on 2/1/06


As to whether the confessions made by their flock to these priests, my own view, and I know many will disagree, is that if a person has been told that he has to make his confession through a priest, and honestly believes that, his confession will be regarded by God as if it had been made direct. IF I am correct in that, it means that it does not matter whether the priest is a fraud or genuine, because the absolutionwould not come from the priest, but from God, even if the person did not realise this.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/1/06


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Emcee ...# 1 I think many of the Roman Catholic priest who abused children were not true priests, but had taken up that job without surrendering their lives and behavious to God. So their works as priests was invalid.
JUST AS the works of paedophile Protestant ministers and so-called born-agains" was invalid.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/1/06


Mike ...# 1 Really the question of these child abusers is not restricted to the Catholic Church, and has nothing to do with the RC practice of Confession. We have in other churches men of the cloth serially abusing children, and they have been as guilty as those RC priests in betraying their promises to God, their private confessions made direct to God, and the families and children within their influence.
---alan8869_of_UK on 2/1/06


We, as born-again believers, don't have to confess our faults to any person. We confess our sins to God, our Father.(IJohn 1:9) Sometimes we do sin again in the sameway even after we confess up to our sin.(Proverbs 24:16) Reason for that is because we have a sin-nature or tendency to sin in our flesh. If you read Romans 7 you'll see that. 1Thessalonians 5:23 shows that you are a spirit, have a soul(mind, will, emotions), and are in a body.
---Rickey on 2/1/06


Mike::I take it you are a fallen away catholic.Your questions dialogue & answeres lead me to believe you are still in doubt,as you are still partly concerned with the aspects of redemption.To answer this question, no their actions as a priest at the time were Valid, as they were representative as you Know.Their own actions would be accountable before the throne of God which you & I dont Know.Your understanding is also in doubt.
---Emcee on 2/1/06


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I'm sure that the confessions of the people to whom you refer were invalid. These people were/are not Christians. They are/were wolves in sheeps clothing and used their position to gain power over powerless individuals. Unless the priests truly repent, are saved and become new creatures in Christ, they are hell-bound. Their leader, rosary, gown, clerical collar, crucifix etc. will not save them. Only Christ can do that and only if they ask.
---emg on 2/1/06


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