POLL: When was the last time you went to confession?

Jesus Christ, God and Savior, gave us the Sacrament of Penance, of Reconciliation.

This is the ordinary means by which He desires us to seek forgiveness for our actual, post-baptismal sins.

There is no sin that any limited little mortal can commit which is so bad that God cannot forgive it.

Christ gave His own power to forgive sins to the Church He established, the Catholic Church.

Priests exercise this ministry in the Church, with the Church’s permission, acting by virtue of their ordination, as "another Christ".

When you confess your sins to a priest and he gives you absolution, your sins are taken away… not merely covered over or set aside.  They are no more.  You may remember them in sorrow, but they no longer harm your relationship with God.

Mortal sins break your saving friendship with God.  Mortal sin places you at risk of eternal separation from God and the happiness of heaven… forever.

Confession and absolution repairs that rupture and returns you to a state of friendship with God.

Awareness of mortal sin should drive you to a confessional.

In our weakness we will sometimes put off going to confession.  Perhaps fear or embarrassment keeps us away.   Time slips by.  Days become weeks become months become years. 

Then you die and go to your judgment.

So … maybe the priest is not friendly or the confession schedule is a little narrow…. so what?  A better confessor is some distance away… so?  It is a little hard… not convenient… too much to do….  And?

What is a moment of embarrassment, what is an interruption of your oh-so-important routine compared to the eternity of heaven or of hell?

You do not know the moment when your reckoning will come, friends.

Have you fallen into the trap, willingly or innocently, of going to "general absolution" without making a confession of your sins in the proper way?

The Sacrament of Penance heals your soul, strengthens you against sin, and – simply on the basic level of peace of mind – works wonders.

I will never forget one somewhat slow afternoon in a confessional… just a bit bored…  I heard someone get in and slid open the window.  "Bless me Father, I have sinned.  It has been sixty years since my last confession…."

When we were finished he wept and said "I’m free."

POLL CLOSED

Our question:

When was the last time you went to confession?

  • Within the last week (34%, 1,194 Votes)
  • Within the last month (31%, 1,115 Votes)
  • Within the last six months (20%, 719 Votes)
  • Within the last year (4%, 152 Votes)
  • More than a year ago (4%, 146 Votes)
  • More than ten years ago (2%, 71 Votes)
  • More than five years ago (2%, 70 Votes)
  • More than twenty-five years ago (2%, 58 Votes)
  • Not since my first confession (1%, 24 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,549

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150 Responses to POLL: When was the last time you went to confession?

  1. Amy says:

    I currently strive for once a month, but wish I was able to go more often. With small children and a husband whose schedule is a bit crazy, this is not easy, and sometimes not possible. I really miss the days of having a regular confessor and would love to have a spiritual director. Perhaps during this season of Lent I can talk to my pastor about this.

  2. Patrick says:

    Dear Father,

    A question about this sacrament: when one goes to confession, I know that God forgives us sins. But, does God also forget them?

    Am I right to think that once the sins are forgiven, they will no longer be held against us at our particular judgment? Would that also go for the general judgment of all mankind?

    Thank you and God bless
    Patrick

  3. Paul Knight says:

    I try to confess twice a month. I’m certainly not comfortable with leaving any more than three weeks between confessions. At first it’s hard, but it becomes easier.

  4. Michael says:

    I and my family would like to go mopre often. We live in a parish with about 3,000 families and three priests. We have confessions for only a half hour on saturday and only one priest comes over. Where are the other two? What are they doing that is so important?

  5. TomG says:

    Paul is exactly right. Allowing any more than two weeks or so between confessions makes me start to feel uneasy.

  6. Dirty Copper says:

    Thanks Father, another timely post. While I have been putting it off for way too long I will be going to confession this weekend for the first time in a great while. Thanks for the “booster shot”. It went a long way to bolster my determination to have a meaningful Lent.

  7. Sean says:

    Daily mass and weekly confession provides incredible spiritual benefit.

  8. dcs says:

    But, does God also forget them?

    God does not change so He does not “forget” anything.

  9. sacerdosinaeternum says:

    Hearing confessions is one of the greatest joys of being a priest. This Holy Season of Lent and the grace it gives increases that joy. Recently, the Devil’s head was dealt a harsh blow as a parishioner returned to confession after 39 years. Vivat Iesus!

  10. Baron Korf says:

    I went Sunday before Mass. I try to go once a month whether I need it or not. I usually need it, and I usually have to go more than that. My parish has 17 hours a week of manned confessionals, and people use them.

  11. “I even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins:

    (Isaiah 43:25, The Bible, NAS).

  12. Ruben says:

    In a Homily years back our pastor told of how once during the feast of Divine Mercy, someone commented upon seeing the image of Divine Mercy that had been placed in front of the ambo. The person said to Father something like “Why Father Paul, that is such a beautiful image. Why haven’t you had it hanging somewhere in the church before now? Father Paul answered “It has been hanging in the confessional for the past 10 years…Where have you been?

    I think of that story every Lent.

  13. DavidJ says:

    God bless priests who spend more than an hour a week in the confessional. God bless priests who don’t…and may those blessings get them in there for longer than an hour!

  14. Father Totton says:

    2nd Graders made their first confession last night (a lot of parents returned to the Grace of the Sacrament as well).

    On a similar note, I encourage my brothers in the priesthood to make a habit of OFFERING confession times on a daily Basis. It is not that difficult to remain in the confessional for 30 minutes before daily Mass. If nobody comes, have you “wasted” time? Not at all. Just make yourself available and make it know that you are available. If nobody comes, then use the time you are “in the box” for spiritual reading or pray the office as you are able. Just do it!

  15. JohnE says:

    I said “in the past week”, but you timed your question well. It was 3 months before that. I had been going once a month for a couple years until I joined a Saturday morning bible study that broke me from my routine. The class will end in a few weeks and my parish is now offering the sacrament every Friday evening of Lent during and after Stations of the Cross, so hopefully I can get back into a more regular habit again. I need to get in the habit of doing a daily examination of conscience but it has been difficult to do, which makes monthly or more frequent confession even more difficult as I forget my sins almost as quickly as I commit them.

  16. Bob says:

    Dear Father; I have been trying to go to confession for five years now but, everytime I go to confess the priest tells me that he can not give me absolution because I go to an illiced church. We are told that the Mass that we go to is valid as it is sspx but our priest cannot perform a valid confession, so I go to another church for confession and, when I tell the priest where I go to church I’m denied absolution. What do I do now? [Since we do not know the rest of your confession, there is no way to answer this. Perhaps you should ask that question of your local bishop why the priest is denying absolution. ]

  17. irishgirl says:

    It’s hard for me to go to confession. Where I go now for Mass, the priest comes from out of town and has confessions only for a half-hour (maybe less if he comes late!).

    Most of the priests around here are of a liberal bent, and even though I know some of them from being in previous parishes, I am uneasy about going to them. Does that make any sense?

    I haven’t had a spiritual director since 1994. It seems that whenever I find one, he either gets transferred or has more responsiblities placed on him.

    All the priests here are diocesan. There are no religious Order priests. They all got pulled out due to the lack of vocations.

    I always feel ‘hurried’ when I’ve gone to confession. I’m very conscious whenever there’s a long line that I’m ‘wasting the priest’s time’ if I stay too long.

  18. NorthoftheBorder says:

    I was just thinking about this and it is provedential you reminded me to go today…

  19. Ruben says:

    There is a story about St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (of the Sacred Heart) confiding to her confessor that Jesus was appearing to her. Her confessor, Claude de la Colombier, told her to ask Jesus what the last mortal sin was that he had confessed. He was “testing the spirits” as it were. St Margaret asked Jesus as she was instructed, to which Jesus answered that he had forgotten her confessor’s sin because when he forgave it, he forgot it.

    Is God’s “forgetting” the same as our forgetting? I can’t say for sure, but I can wager that it is infinitely superior.

  20. Linda says:

    I go to Confession when I’ve missed Mass and that’s about it. I am really confused by the idea of going once a week, or even on a regular basis – you break one of the ten commandments on a schedule?

    I know I’m wrong – my brother in law is a convert and Confession is his favorite part of being Catholic. But I don’t get it. Of course I’m not perfect, but I’m not terrible and I try, with varying degrees of success and failure. Should I be confessing these things? I would really appreciate any insight you can offer.

  21. It’s been a little over a year for me, unfortunately. I plan on changing that this Lent (along with having started attending daily Mass at 6am), and getting on a more regular schedule with Confession.

    Kudos to those who answered honestly in a way that’s sure to bring rebuke from some…

  22. LovingTheLord says:

    I go on average every two weeks now, and I love it – I feel so close to Jesus every time I go. This was not always the case, I never went for a long time up until about 6-7 years ago, and when I went in, very nervous, I remembered from my youth “Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It has been 28 years since my last confession”. The priest cried! I thought we would have to send out for pizza, but I know God welcomed me back with both arms.

    I hope no one should ever have to go through the pain of being away from God, unreconciled, and not enjoying the tremendous grace from Reconciliaiton. I know in my heart that God gives us the grace not to sin again when we go, an equally important benefit of the sacrament!

  23. dcs says:

    God “forgetting” implies change and there is no change in God. Also, the notion that He “forgets” the sins we confess implies that our actions change God. How can the actions of finite creatures change an infinite being?

  24. dcs says:

    I go to Confession when I’ve missed Mass and that’s about it. I am really confused by the idea of going once a week, or even on a regular basis – you break one of the ten commandments on a schedule?

    While one is not required to confess venial sins, it is a good idea and venial sins are valid matter for Confession. So are sins that have already been confessed and forgiven. So if one goes to confession weekly and has not committed a mortal sin in that span of time, he can confess venial sins and/or sins that have already been forgiven. He must confess something in order to be absolved.

  25. I went to Confession this morning, just about an hour ago! :) I love this Sacrament so much. Its power to heal and to transform is so enormous. It truly shows God’s goodness and greatness of heart! I am always talking about Confession, to people I know and people online. I’ll talk about it at any opportunity! I like being a “Confession evangelist”.

    I know how hard it can be to start going when you’ve been away for a while, but I always tell myself and others: The only person in the universe who has anything to gain by our not going to Confession is the devil.

    Like some other commentors, I find that every two weeks is a perfect frequency for me. Any longer than that and I start yearning painfully for the grace of the Sacrament, and sometimes start slipping into sin more easily.

    If I’m having a really hard time, I will go every week, but not for an extended period of time. This is because I sometimes struggle with hyper-scrupulosity, and going too frequently can actually cause problems.

  26. Sean says:

    as dcs wrote, confessing venial sins is a very good idea. Whenever I miss a week or two I can tell that I have less grace to combat my sinful tendencies. Confessing often also give you a sensitivity towards sins that you may have been overlooking, that is, once you start eliminating major stuff in your life you can see more clearly your other imperfections.

  27. Rachel says:

    I try to go to confession at least once a month. We are very blessed to be in a parish that has confessions before every Mass. It is sad that our pastor in previous years has been pressured to stop daily confessions. I have heard of a lady who lives in another state drive three hours to go to confession at my parish. None of the others in this diocese has it daily. They are always about thirty minutes on a Saturday afternoon at an inconvenient time. Why is it that so many priests don’t want to make themselves available for confession? If they have better times for it and multiple times then I think you will see more going to confession. Also, it is very important to preach on the importance of going to confession frequently. It is not preached about enough.

  28. We don’t have a prescribed frequency and it’s up to the priest, but ours is fairly representative, and expects us to go to confession once a month at least (if we are to commune, that is). I don’t commune weekly, but I see my priest for a long chat every week, and then go to confession after Great Vespers every Saturday night. Now that Great Lent is upon us, I will most likely go to confession twice a week. Confession, to me, is experiencing God’s infinite mercy and limitless love.

  29. RBrown says:

    Our Pastors need to be reinvigorated to generous offering of confession. That message needs to arrive from the top and fully disseminated on the way down and taught to the (arch)diocesean flocks. Our souls depend upon it.
    Comment by depeccatoradvitam

    I totally agree. There are five parishes here, and none has confession before or after daily mass. And the Saturday time is always the least convenient. When I new pastor (a good man) took over, I mentioned the scarcity of confession to him, but he did nothing.

    About 20 years ago I met an OCarm priest at Fatima who had a chapel in a shopping mall. He said they heard confessions all day long.

  30. Dear Bob,

    I am not a priest and offer the following as a matter of practical advice.

    First, I am shocked and frankly horrified to learn that you have been denied absolution just because you go to an SSPX chapel – I could see it happening once or twice (and even then it were, by itself, entirely inappropriate. Canon Law requires the faithful to attend a Catholic rite on Sunday or on the evening before Sunday, on Holy Days of Obligation or on the evening before; the SSPX celebrates Mass in a Catholic rite; people who go to SSPX chapels and attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days thereby fulfil the requirements of the CHurch’s law), but for five years straight?

    Three things to think about: (1) where are you going for the sacrament (2) why does your attendance at an SSPX chapel keep coming up in confession? (3) Why do you continue to frequent the SSPX chapel – I mean – is it absolutely necessary for your soul’s salvation – is there no other place where you might go within a reasonable distance, no place where the liturgy is celebrated with even marginally tolerable reverence?

    Best,
    Chris

  31. a catechist says:

    Of the regular Confession folks here, how many of you would be willing to talk to kids about the power of the sacrament? Last year, I ended up talking to 3 or 4 different classes of students in catechism about the sacrament, because few adults are willing/able to talk about Confession with enthusiasm & zeal. If you want to do a good work during Lent, maybe you could offer to talk to a bunch of young people about God’s mercy in the sacrament, its power beyond “it makes me feel better inside.” If we want young people to go, we have to be willing to say it’s not just remedial to return to some self-satisfied status quo, but life-changing! Who will they hear that from, if not the folks who experience its power?

    And I try, like St. Faustina, to pray for all my confessors every day.

  32. Melody says:

    I went last week, but that’s only because I’ve been going to St. Michael’s abbey, where they offer confession everyday in the evening during adoration and after mass on Sundays. Before this, when confession was only available on Saturdays, I went every 1-2 months.
    It’s been a gift to confess everything and work towards real purity. It’s also helpful because I go to the same priest frequently enough to receive spiritual direction, which has helped me greatly spiritually, and also led to me finding help for my chronic depression.
    So much thanks to priests who give their time to make confession easily available!

  33. Mike says:

    Not so long ago I started going to mass at a little chapel. I noticed that mass often started late, with the priest emerging from the “baby room”, the room at the back where mothers with noisy babies sit, just before mass began and walking to the sacristy for vesting.

    This had me puzzled for awhile until I finally realized that the chapel’s confessional was also in that room, that the chapel’s priest always hears confessions before every mass, and that he keeps hearing confessions until there’s no one left waiting, regardless of the mass start time.

    Occasionally a notice appears in the bulletin asking that people try to come early if they’re planning on going to confession so that mass is not delayed, but I don’t think anyone begrudges the late mass starts. To the contrary, it’s comforting to know that confession is always available whenever a sin, big or little, is weighing on your mind.

  34. Fr Fenton says:

    Father,
    Thank you for this post. As a Priest, I can say that absolving sins is one of the most tangible ways of acting in persona Christi Capitis. It is a great joy to be able to tell someone that his sins are forgiven.
    Our Bishop has asked us to recommend monthly Confession to the faithful. Those who engage in that practice see growth in their lives. For those who have not been to Confession in a while, “Now is the acceptable time!” There will be Penance services in parishes near you some time over the next six weeks. Penance services are a great opportunity for us to go to Confession because there are a wide variety of Confessors available. Please don’t let the Season of Lent go by without the Sacrament of Penance. Especially if it has been a while, you will notice a difference in your life. Most of all, I can almost guarantee you a feeling coming out that it wasn’t as bad as you feared.
    If you haven’t been in a while because of an irregular marriage situation — talk to your pastor. He may be able to do more to help you than you think.

  35. Gregg the Obscure says:

    It was much easier to get to confession more frequently when I worked downtown as some nearby churches offered confession daily. The logistic hassle, though, isn’t a good reason to delay in seeking the sacrament. There are now two somewhat out-of-the way options most weekday mornings. I’m hoping to go tomorrow. To each priest who reads this blog, please be generous in making yourself available for confessions — especially when people are likely to be out and about.

  36. Jenny Z says:

    Went this morning. Traditional confessional booth. I try to go every week, but it usually ends up being every 2-3 weeks.

  37. BaltimoreCatholic says:

    Our Archdiocese (Baltimore) is having Reconciliation Wed nights from 7 – 8:30 PM every Wednesday night in every church in the archdiocese for lent! They have been heavily promoting it too, from the pulpit even. See it here and see the TV ad they have been showing!
    http://www.archbalt.org/light/index.cfm

  38. Dennis Martin says:

    This is for Linda at 9:57 am. Books like _Pardon and Peace_ by Fr. Alfred Wilson, CP, written in the late 1940s, I believe, can help you here. His basic point is that, IF one really is sorry for venial sins, one can, over time, learn not to commit them. He does a good job of pointing out how most of us sin in small ways–being grumpy for no good reason, surrounding ourselves with yes-men if we are in positions of authority (stems from pride–defensiveness often stems from pride), not keeping our “little” promises and commitments, saying negative things behind someone’s back, even saying good things behind someone’s back if it was said in confidence and one does not have the person’s permission to talk about it to others and so forth. If we learn to spot these things and then, by God’s grace, have contrition for them, we can overcome them, ESPECIALLY because the sacrament itself then gives additional grace to face future temptations. That’s what growth in holiness involves and the sacrament of confession is integrally related to it.

    He emphasizes that real contrition is the key–it’s far better, he says, to confess only one or two venial sins for which one truly is sorry than to list a whole number of venial sins but only halfheartedly be sorry for them because that means one really isn’t serious about “amending one’s life”. [Mortal sins, of course, are a different matter. Every single one must be confessed, but his book is not about mortal sins. Since one is not obligated to confess each and every venial and since the Eucharist forgives them, the point in frequent confession of venial sins even when one has no mortal sins on one’s conscience, is not to “take care of” the laundry list of venial sins but to grow in holiness. And for that, the key is contrition.]

    Roman Catholic Books republished Wilson’s book. There are many others like it–it happens to be the one I know and use in teaching undergrads at a Catholic university. They are amazed that the Church has had such a practical approach to “amending one’s life”–most of them were never exposed to this way of thinking about weekly or bi-weekly confession.

    Now, if I would only practice better what I preach :)

  39. mr. crouchback says:

    I literally just got back!

  40. crazylikeknoxes says:

    Error: Please enter the anti-spam word.

    Copy your comment in case this site forces a page reload whenever you press the Back button:

    I confess at least once a month; in good months it is almost weekly.

    I share some of Linda and irishgirl\’s discomfort with the sacrament. I wish there was more practical/pastoral guidance available. E.g. how do we discern what is venial from what is mortal, that our \”saving friendship with God\” has been broken.

    I\’ve learned much about Mass and how I should participate in it simply by attending different masses and watching. I would love to be a fly on the wall of a confessional for about a month. A forbidden fruit, alas. But what it would do for the way I confess!

    I like the practice Mike described, of having Confession before Mass. Is this appropriate for Sundays?

    Finally, someone described Confession with children. Very positive. I think they need to us practicing our faith at every opportunity. And, as a practical matter, I usually have to threaten the young ones with such dire torments if they don\’t behave while I\’m the confessional, I always have something to confess.

  41. hamburglar says:

    I need to go, but I keep putting it off because I think I will fall into the same sin and for some reason I can’t stop committing a certain sin. I haven’t received Holy Communion in a couple of months.

    Should I go to Confession if I am not sure I am truly sorry?

  42. once a week, at most i’ll go two weeks.

  43. JML says:

    Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It has been 25 years since my last confession..

    Not by deliberate avoidance — I married a divorced Protestant with a child (now a mother herself) with the full knowledge what was going to happen to me — I was/am outside the sacraments.

    Anyway, my beloved wife will not get an annullment. And it will be an easy one as her ex was not baptized. But she will not consent, so I am stuck in limbo so to speak. So how in the heck can I get legally back in Holy Mother Church’s good graces? [There is a way, if you are willing to take it.]

  44. Maureen says:

    Even if you think you will probably keep committing the sin, you should confess it. As often s it takes to root it out — and for some of us, that takes a long time. Confession will give you the strength to be more sorry for your sins, to see more clearly what they are doing to you and why they offend God.

    Not being at all sorry for your sin is different from “I know this is wrong, but Im not sure I won’t do it again”.

    More like, “I sinned. Whatever. Sinning’s cool.” or “Na-na, I sinned, Mr Jesus! What are you going to do about it!”

  45. John P says:

    I go to confession a minimum of once a month. If I know I’ve broken one of the Ten Commandments, or done something else serious, I will go the very first opportunity I get. My parish only holds confessions on Saturdays for a 40 minute period, so it does make it hard, especially when I play violin at the 5PM Mass, and the confessions end at 4:40, and I’m expected to be there at 4:15 to help set up, but, nonetheless, I go every month. I’m too embarrassed to schedule an appointment with my pastor, because I know he has a busy schedule and I don’t want to take time out of his day for me. Is there any basis to this belief, or am I just being ridiculous?

    Thanks,

    John P.

  46. Geoffrey says:

    I voted! I went within the last two weeks (Saturday before Ash Wednesday). Ever since last Lent, I have gotten into the regular habit of going to Confession every 2-3 weeks, which is really wonderful. Thank God for the sacraments! Laudetur Iesus Christus!

  47. Horacio says:

    No excuses for Confession…just haven’t done so.. Would like to hear a little more details at Church, but it seems its always the same coverage…

  48. Cath says:

    My kids went once a month until our priest left and there is only about ten minutes before Mass that Confessions are now heard, which makes it really difficult. I teach CCD to the Confirmation class and shortly before they recieve Confirmation, I have them go to Confession. I also try to reinforce how important a Sacrament Confession is. It is difficult to get kids to understand what a grace it is when your priest does not say much of anything about it, or sin, for that matter.

  49. Tommy Q. says:

    I go at least once a month. I am blessed with a pastor who allows us to observe First Fridays with confession, Mass, and adoration. I also try to go at least one other time during the month when possible.

    For the people struggling with habitual sin, I understand where you’re coming from. It’s easy to get frustrated and consider your own lack of sincerity the reason you haven’t overcome this sin yet. But that’s not true. Sometimes we have dug ourselves a pit so deep that it takes a long time to climb out, but you’ll get out a lot faster if you cast your burden on the Lord in confession. In this situation I would recommend (from my personal experiences) that you go more often, not less. Go once a week, or more than once if needed. Go to different parishes so that you don’t have to feel embarassed about going to the same priest for the same sin over and over. I will pray for you. God Bless.

  50. Very impressive that many readers of this blog go to Confession regularly. This is indeed, a holy blog!

  51. InkStained says:

    I went Friday afternoon, and I desperately needed it. The usual problems — long line, feeling rushed, not sure I’m offering the best confession I can — sometimes lift a bit after I give myself to the sacrament.

    Confession, I’m afraid, is going to be more and more difficult in the future as our priest shortage truly begins to be felt. As Father Rutler sometimes says, Now is not the time for amateur Catholics. (A paraphrase.)

  52. John Penta says:

    I haven’t been to Confession since I was…Oh, wow, probably 10 years old.

    I’m not shy about the fact that I’m blind, not now, but when you’re a kid, it’s a different matter. Add in what we’d later figure out is depression.

    In truth, I think my parish priest did the most to…turn me off from Confession, that said.

    I remember quite vividly. It was during CCD – I went in, I stumbled through my confession. And this priest (who had baptized me and gave me my first communion; I didn’t use a cane at the time, but he knew I was blind and otherwise disabled)…promptly nagged me about getting to Mass more often.

    Now, I was 10. Couldn’t exactly drive, which meant getting to Mass absent parents would be interestingly hard on our local streets! (Could not and cannot ride a bike, either, to answer that question – I’d tried. It was not safe with my level of balance.)

    I wasn’t happy with that. I could have used some help on my level…not an attempted recruitment to nag my parents. I didn’t have the words to express it, not at that age, but I already felt like a burden.

    And so, while it might not be the most polite thing in the world…I held my temper as best a ten-year-old can, tried to make eye contact (hard when you only see with one eye), and responded with a defense that basically came down to ‘Pick on someone your own size, Father.’

    I then left, snapped a few pencils back in the classroom to relieve the anger, and have yet to return to Confession.

    As it stands now, I’m unsure Confession would be a safe sacrament for me to partake, given my depression. (Any priest-psychologists willing to speak to that? Are there times you’d think along those lines? Or am I being irrational?)

    I understand the spiritual benefits it would bring to me – but I’ll admit to some fear that even semi-regular Confession would be unsafe, mentally. (I’d rather not add scrupulosity to my existing issues, and avoiding confession *does* have that benefit!)

    To be honest: I’m not happy with that. But I make my own, grudging peace with God. To an extent, I wonder if disability isn’t a sort of, I guess, ‘divine prepayment’ for the sins I either will commit or have committed.

    I’m not really sure anymore. It sure hasn’t been helpful.

  53. Shzilio says:

    I just returned from confession and mass. Thanks be to God, for priests who offer confession 15 or 20 minutes before mass. I pray we are blessed with more and more holy priests who open up the sacrament.
    Had it not been for the sacrament of reconciliation, I might not be Catholic or even particularly responsive to God or the Church. I try to always remember to thank God for this sacrament and for good and holy priests who avail themselves as a sort of scapegoat. We whisper them to the priest and he carries them away for us into a sort of desert, that they may not affect others. Fulton Sheen talks about this in his book “The Priest is Not His Own”.
    It really is amazing when you consider it. We take this burden we have, this milstone and we hand it over to the priest who rids us of it. Da Vinci was correct, “Thou givest us everything, Oh Lord at the price of an effort.”

  54. Bro. Aloysius Mary says:

    I have found the discussion of confession very interesting but if everything confessed is totally forgiven (and I truly believe that it is) what is the purpose of purgatory (and I truly believe there is one)?

  55. Bro. Aloysius Mary says:

    I apologize for leaving my comment on confession rather dangling. May I suggest a reading of Fr. John Nageleisen’s wonderful book, Charity For The Suffering Souls, written in the late 1800’s.

  56. Bro. Aloysius Mary says:

    Er…hello, again. Sorry for popping in so much. Just wanted to say that Fr. Nageleisen’s book is available through Catholic Treasures, Monrovia, CA.

  57. wsxyz says:

    Baltimore Catechism:

    218. Q. Why does the priest give us a penance after Confession?
    A. The priest gives us a penance after Confession, that we may satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to our sins.

    219. Q. Does not the Sacrament of Penance remit all punishment duo to sin?
    A. The Sacrament of Penance remits the eternal punishment due to sin, but it does not always remit the temporal punishment which God requires as satisfaction for our sins.

    220. Q. Why does God require a temporal punishment as a satisfaction for sin?
    A. God requires a temporal punishment as a satisfaction for sin, to teach us the great evil of sin and to prevent us from falling again.

    221. Q. Which are the chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin?
    A. The chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin are: Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving, all spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and the patient suffering of the ills of life.

    414. Q. What is Purgatory?
    A. Purgatory is a state in which those suffer for a time who die guilty of venial sins, or without having satisfied for the punishment due to their sins.

  58. Erin says:

    Absolution and the completion of penance after Confession provides the forgiveness of sins, and by being absolved of grave (mortal) sin and doing penance therefor, we are brought back into communion with God and saved from Hell. However the temporal punishment of sins remains – that is, the effect of sin, which separates us from God by our attachment to earthly things. Purgatory is a period of purification which cleanses us of the effect of our sins and prepares us to enter Heaven. Remission of temporal punishment may also be achieved by our actions on Earth, in particular through indulgences. See CCC 1471-1473.

    Father Z, it seems that a lot of commenters could use a refresher course on Sacrament of Reconciliation and the forgiveness of sins – perhaps a post during Lent addressing this topic is called for?

  59. Bro. Aloysius Mary says:

    The subject of punishment for sins forgiven is what I was circumspectly referring to. Much has been written about it by the Doctors and Fathers of the Church. Extremely instructive reading and I would recommend it to all. The subject is hardly exhausted by the Baltimore Catechism.

  60. Chris says:

    For those looking for a thorough examination of conscience (including the differences between mortal and venial sin) you might check out Father Altier\’s; Catholic Parents Online has it on their site. http://www.catholicparents.org/examination_of_conscience.html
    I have found it to be very helpful in many ways.

  61. dcs says:

    Absolution and the completion of penance after Confession provides the forgiveness of sins, and by being absolved of grave (mortal) sin and doing penance therefor, we are brought back into communion with God and saved from Hell.

    One’s sins are forgiven whether one completes one’s penance or not:

    As stated above, the absolution given by the priest to a penitent who confesses his sins with the proper dispositions remits both the guilt and the eternal punishment (of mortal sin). There remains, however, some indebtedness to Divine justice which must be cancelled here or hereafter (see PURGATORY). In order to have it cancelled here, the penitent receives from his confessor what is usually called his “penance”, usually in the form of certain prayers which he is to say, or of certain actions which he is to perform, such as visits to a church, the Stations of the Cross, etc. Alms deeds, fasting, and prayer are the chief means of satisfaction, but other penitential works may also be enjoined. The quality and extent of the penance is determined by the confessor according to the nature of the sins revealed, the special circumstances of the penitent, his liability to relapse, and the need of eradicating evil habits. Sometimes the penance is such that it may be performed at once; in other cases it may require a more or less considerable period, as, e.g., where it is prescribed for each day during a week or a month. But even then the penitent may receive another sacrament (e.g., Holy Communion) immediately after confession, since absolution restores him to the state of grace [emphasis mine -DCS]. He is nevertheless under obligation to continue the performance of his penance until it is completed.

    http://newadvent.org/cathen/11618c.htm (scroll down)

  62. Bill says:

    For those who question how anyone can go to confession every week, consider that the Bible says, \”a just man sins seven times a day.\” [Proverbs 24:16]

    I\’ve seen Bishop Sheen quoted as saying that hearing the confessions of nuns was like being stoned to death with popcorn. Nuns in his day went to confession every week, I believe. If, in their lives, they found opportunity to be impatient, to fail to act with charity, to judge others, whatever, no matter how small the instance, how much more do we?

    The point being, we are not perfect, and even our little faults and seemingly inconsequential times when we chose to do wrong or failed to do good, are important and worthy of being confessed and absolved. In confession, even the little sins that we have forgotten and overlooked are taken away by absolution. When we die and stand before God, even if we have confessed all our mortal sins and been forgiven for them before death, every little stain of sin and self-love will have to be burned out of our souls in Purgatory, and all temporal punishment due to sin, even forgiven sin, will also have to be endured in the fires there. It seems to me that it\’s a lot easier to go to confession and have the sins taken away, and to as soon as possible afterward receive Communion and perform an act with a plenary indulgence attached (meeting all the requirements for a plenary indulgence), than it would be to pay later in Purgatory.

    Or so it seems to me.

  63. Warren says:

    Very few priests give out a penance any more difficult than the nearly absolute “three our fathers and three hail marys”.

    Once, after confessing something which was seriously sinful, a priest gave me a more difficult penance. He wanted me to say a decade of the rosary every day until the next time I went to confession. I received more grace from the observation of that penance, than any other.

    That being said, it also brought me back to confession, this time without such a grave weight upon my soul, but still with things needing forgiveness, in only one week’s time.

    Thank you Lord, for priests like Father G.

    Warren

  64. Bill says:

    John Penta, it might be simpler than you think, and maybe easier (no guarantees on “easy”). Make an appointment with a priest (preferably one you know and trust, but any priest). Tell him your story. Ask for help. Christ’s mercy is excessive, and there’s no way it won’t be given to you unless you just refuse it.

  65. Jason says:

    If the comment posters to this article would actually read their Bibles AND ask the Holy Sprit to help them understand the Word than they would know that Jesus is the only mediator between them and God for the forgiveness of sins. Revealing your sins to a fallible man in the position of being “another Crist” is not going to get your sins forgiven. Only a day to day personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a repenting (turning away) of your sins will get you sins forgiven – past, present and future.

    Acts 10:43
    All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

  66. A Random Friar says:

    I hate to say it, because I know some folks think it’s due to the priest’s laziness (and some of us may well be), but if you can’t make it to the regular time, please make an appointment! Drop-ins welcome, but know we may be tied up with something else if you don’t call ahead.

    “But Father, if you had regular hours after every Daily Mass, people would come!” Yes, probably. But then I don’t get to do sick calls (thousands of parishioners and two hospitals here), or give spiritual talks to some of the dozen-plus groups here. That also means that Adoration and Benediction get canceled, or I have to deal with angry folks who don’t want anyone else but Father leading Adoration or reposing the Sacrament. And I’m lucky. I live in a religious community with other priests!

    I take Confession very seriously, and most of my confreres do as well. I sign up to hear Confessions at every retreat/Marriage Encounter that I can, even on my “day off.” I always go over the allotted Saturday time slot, lest I have to prepare for the Vigil Mass. But sadly, bi/trilocation is not imparted with Holy Orders. Work with me. :)

  67. Magdalene says:

    I once had 19 years between confessions–from the time I was young until I was 40! Did not think I needed it! thanks be to God I did not die in those years.

    When I returned to the Sacrament, and thus fully to the Church, I went monthly. Then it was every 3 weeks. Then it was every other so as to always be within the octave of confession so as to merit the spiritual work of mercy in a plenary indulgence as I also go to daily Mass, etc. Then the second week got long and so I have gone weekly for some time now. It is not always easy. We had a “retired” priest in my last parish who was my regular confessor for 4 years. Our parish priests did not like confession and did not use the proper formula and I stopped going to them completely.

    Now in my new parish we have confession times about 16 times a week which is to say after every daily Mass (3 a day) and at Tuesday night adoration. What an incredible blessing!

    There is something very terribly wrong with a priest who does not like the sacrament of confession. Does he himself go?

  68. Henry Edwards says:

    I am really confused by the idea of going once a week, or even on a regular basis – you break one of the ten commandments on a schedule?

    One of the spiritual classics is Abbot Benedict Bauer’s Frequent Confession: It’s Place in the Spiritual Life (search Amazon for a recent paperback edition) about frequent and regular confession of venial sins–what used to be called “confession of devotion”–for the purpose of spiritual growth.

    One who thinks he’s not broken one of the ten commandments — on schedule or not — might profit from the chapter on Sins of Omission, or maybe the following chapter on Self-Righteousness, or perhaps on rising above these chapters, the one on Perfect Love.

  69. Immaculatae says:

    We are very blessed at our Parish in that we have wonderful Priests who speak often of sin and confession, and make the sacrament available not only the hour on Saturday prior to the Vigil Mass, but also after that Mass. This means either 2-4 Priests overall on Saturdays.

    I do wish that there was a daily possibility to confess with the screen because I do not like to go walking into the Sacristy or disturb Father prior to Mass or after Mass. If one makes an appt. it is then always face to face and I don’t like that but will do it if I need to.

  70. Former Baptist says:

    Jason: The comment box is truly not an appropriate place to respond fully to you, so let me just encourage you to contemplate this bible verse that you may have overlooked, and remind you that Christ’s apostles were undoubtedly fallible men:

    John 20:21-23
    21 He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. 23 Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.

  71. JohnE says:

    Henry, I’m glad you mentioned the Frequent Confession book. I have heard from some, including a few priests, about what is or isn’t appropriate to confess. And I’ve never heard anyone present all the things that can be brought to confession like this book does. Perhaps because some things could be considered to border on scrupulosity? I’m not sure. This seemed like a good book for me when I decided to make more of an effort of at least monthly confession and I enjoyed the book a lot. However, after one priest pooh-pooh’d my sins and told me I was a very controlling person, without telling me why he thought that, I have been a little leary to use the book again. Perhaps I’ll give the book to a priest sometime and ask his opinion. It doesn’t seem like all of them are on the same page with what is appropriate for confession.

  72. Ella says:

    I’m in RCIA in Father Longenecker’s parish, and my First Confession is coming up…next week, I believe! I’m a little nervous, but I’m also oddly excited. The excitement is definitely not exposing all my faults and failings to another person, but rather it’s one more step I shall be closer to finally being able to receive Him in coming into communion with the Catholic Church and being able to partake in the Eucharist.

  73. Erin says:

    dcs, sorry, I meant to edit the part about doing penance and move it to later in the same sentence, but I forgot to delete the first time I said it. My comment should read:

    Absolution after Confession provides the forgiveness of sins, and by being absolved of grave (mortal) sin and doing penance therefor, we are brought back into communion with God and saved from Hell. However the temporal punishment of sins remains – that is, the effect of sin, which separates us from God by our attachment to earthly things. Purgatory is a period of purification which cleanses us of the effect of our sins and prepares us to enter Heaven. Remission of temporal punishment may also be achieved by our actions on Earth, in particular through indulgences. See CCC 1471-1473.

    Father Z, it seems that a lot of commenters could use a refresher course on Sacrament of Reconciliation and the forgiveness of sins – perhaps a post during Lent addressing this topic is called for?

  74. Henry Edwards says:

    Thanks, JohnE. Of course, one of the reasons confession is often infrequent is that so many of today’s priests were ordained without receiving the priestly formation that would have given them a more informed view of the sacrament of penance.

    At any rate, I first heard about Abbot Bauer’s Frequent Confession after one of our priests brought it back from a diocesan priests retreat for which it was the text. The opening paragraph in Chapter 1:

    “A person may receive the sacrament of Penance frequently for the reason that over and over he falls into mortal sins and wants to obtain forgiveness for them from God. We are not speaking here of frequent Confession in that sense. What we have in mind is the frequent and regular Confession of a person who in general does not commit mortal sin but rather lives a life of union with God and is bound to him by love. ….. He is anxious to purify his soul … and to keep it pure and to keep his will steadfastly directed toward God. For this reason he goes frequently to Confession, possibly every week. He seeks inner purification and strength of will, new strength to strive after perfect union with God and with Christ.”

    Frequent confession may actually be the reason such a person doesn’t really “need” to go to confession frequently.

  75. Linda says:

    I have read all of the comments and will continue to do so. I’ve bookmarked that examination of conscience pamphlet and I will give it a lot of thought. I do gloss over my venial sins, or at least I didn’t think that’s what Confession was for. Thank you all so much.

  76. Dear Ella,

    I will be praying for you and for Fr. Longenecker. God bless you both!

    C.

  77. I am a lucky person who often gets absolved in latin. I just find the words after the absolution very very beautiful:

    “Passio Domini nostri Jesu Christi, merita Beatæ Mariæ Virginis et omnium sanctorum, quidquid boni feceris vel mail sustinueris sint tibi in remissionem peccatorum, augmentum gratiæ et praemium vitæ æternæ. Vade in pace.”

    (May the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of all the saints obtain for you that whatever good you do or whatever evil you bear might merit for you the remission of your sins, the increase of grace and the reward of everlasting life. Go in peace)

  78. MW says:

    Perhaps you should add the possibility:
    I have never been to confession.
    In some parishes here around (Germany), it is common, that there is no confession for the children, going to their First Holy Communion.
    (The children have to write their sins on little pieces of paper and to lay them down on the altar. The papers lay there during Holy Mass and are burned later).
    (I don`t know a parish, with confession before confirmation, even when I had my confirmation in the late 80th, there was no confession and this has not changed).
    So it is not so rare, that you are an adult and cradle Catholic, who had never been to confession and not because you are a “revolutionary”.

  79. MW says:

    To reflect the real life, you should add:
    I have never been to confession.
    In many parishes it is common, that children have no confession, before they go to their First Holy Communion.
    I don`t know any parish with confession before Confirmation.
    So you can be an adult cradle Catholic, who had never been to confession. In this case, you are not a revolutionary, you are just an average Catholic, living in Germany.

  80. Gregg the Obscure says:

    “Very few priests give out a penance any more difficult than the nearly absolute ‘three our fathers and three hail marys’.”

    I’m glad I find the few.

  81. wsxyz says:

    MW – What you have said troubles me. I don’t doubt you are telling the unfortunate truth, but certainly you can find an opportunity for confession if you try. It is important enough to make the effort.

    I don’t know where you live but a quick search for “Beichtgelegenheit Kirche” or “Beichtgelegenheit Dom” brings up thousands of results. Please try.

    You can get a booklet about confession for free (also no shipping costs) here:
    http://www.introibo.net/publikationen.htm

  82. A Random Friar says:

    For those who feel shame for their sins when they Confess: I, and most priests I know try to go to Confession regularly or at least often. The experience of being “on the other side” is usually pretty fresh when we put on the purple stole to hear your Confession. That tends to dampen any Pharisaic pride or superiority complex on our part pretty well, and adds a nice helping of compassion.

  83. Shzilio says:

    Random Friar or anyone else for that matter,

    Regarding your comment about hearing confessions. I am curious regarding the spiritual weight that hearing confessions places upon a priest.

    I am curious about the theological treatises that discuss the effects of hearing confession upon a priest. When Christ healed the sick (I think this is a Sheen observation) He seemed to lose something or become drained.

    I am curious about how hearing all of the horrible things we do affects the priest. I realize there is the joy of the prodigal son that priests must feel when someone says, “It’s been months, years, decades since my last confession.” but what about the hurt?

    Is it sometimes like watching the news on a “good” news day?

  84. Jason says:

    Former Baptist

    The verse you cite is when Christ DIRECTLY commanded the apostles. This doesn’t carry over to priests 100’s or 1,000’s of years later. They are to guide perhaps but dispensing salvation or forgiveness takes the glory frm God.

    I leave you with this verse:

    1 Timothy 2:5
    For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

    Is Jesus too busy to talk to him directly? I think NOT.

  85. Maggie J. says:

    I am a catechumen and I wish I could go to confession. It was not part of my previous experience as an SDA years ago. But now that I have accepted Christ in my life and the Catholic faith, I realize, understand and accept it’s importance for my spiritual life. I worry all the time about not yet being able to go to confession. I fear what would happen if I were to die suddenly. So those who can go to confession should make every possible effort. If I could confess to my priest, nothing would stop me. I look forward to that day.

    God bless you.

  86. Melody says:

    I feel some confusion and frustration with those who claim that frequent confession can cause scrupulosity. The best thing for my scrupulosity was to have a priest tell me “That’s not a sin” or remind me that I have been forgiven.

  87. joe says:

    I once, when I was young and foolish and arrogant in my faith, went +/- 17 years without availing myself of the Sacrament of Confession. These days I go about once a month. I make it a point of taking my oldest along with me, and to “strongly encouraging” same among my CCD students.

    What I find appalling is the seemingly low emphasis placed on this by so many priests and bishops. In happy contrast, we have Abp. Terrence T. Prendergast, SJ of Ottawa, ON who has made this a pivotal aspect of his Lenten reflections.

    Another Jesuit, Fr. Hugh Thwaites, SJ has an excellent talk on Confession, titled “The Neglected Sacrament” which is well worth seeking out on MP3.

    AMDG,

  88. Jayna says:

    Very few priests give out a penance any more difficult than the nearly absolute “three our fathers and three hail marys”.

    Unless you’re one of my priests, in which case you give penances like “pray for the Archbishop.” Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t pray for the Archbishop, but I’m used to the Hail Mary, Our Father, Glory Be, and perhaps asking for an intercession from one saint or another.

    I last went to confession just before Christmas. Actually, I think it was the Saturday before Christmas. I was going once a month for a while, but circumstances conspired against me and I was left without my priest for a four month stretch, so I felt…not less inclined, but less comfortable confessing with one of the other parish priests. For me, it’s easier when they have the back story.

  89. Enough is enough is enough says:

    God the Father of mercies,
    through the death and resurrection of his Son,
    brought peace and reconcilliation to the world.
    Through the ministry of the Church,
    may the Lord grant you pardon and peace,
    and I absolve you from your sins,
    + in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
    Amen.

  90. Willebrord says:

    As a matter of fact, it was last Saturday.

  91. dcs says:

    Is Jesus too busy to talk to him directly? I think NOT.

    Yes, isn’t it wonderful that He has established the Sacrament of Penance so we can talk to Him directly?

  92. Ernest Troie says:

    The article would have been more complete with the chapter and verse in the bible where Christ designated the sacrement and the fact that it was on the first to the apostles that He designated this command. It was not a suggestion.

  93. Charivari Rob says:

    Interesting results, Father Z. Might you consider reprising the poll immediately after Pentecost? It might be interesting to compare ‘before’ and ‘after’, w.r.t. Lent and Easter duty.

  94. Former Baptist says:

    The verse you cite is when Christ DIRECTLY commanded the apostles. This doesn’t carry over to priests 100’s or 1,000’s of years later.

    Jason, what authority do you have to make this claim? Jesus spoke to His apostles but his words do not limit his statement to those 11 men. The apostles themselves recognized their own authority to choose new apostles who were then numbered with them. (Acts 1:26)

    Furthermore, if your theory were true, then Christ would have been doing something unnecessary when He gave His apostles the power to forgive sins. If faith in Christ automatically removes all sins, then to what purpose were the apostles given the power to forgive? Were they supposed to go around forgiving those who had no faith in Christ and thus were deprived of pardon?

    No, we may not accept that Jesus Christ acted to no purpose or passed out useless spiritual gifts like cheap trinkets at a child’s birthday party. He gave His apostles the power to forgive sins because He intended them to use that power in a meaningful way — to enable penitents to restore friendship with God and return to His grace.

    Since Christ’s gift to his apostles must have been meaningful and not useless; it must also be necessary. But the apostles would not live forever on the earth while men continue to sin, so Christ’s gift can not have been intended for only those 11 men, but instead also for their successors who they, as noted above, were empowered to select.

    As St. Augustine said: “Let no one say to himself, I do penance to God in private, I do it before God. Is it then in vain that Christ hath said, ‘Whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven?’ Is it in vain that the keys have been given to the Church? Do we made void the Gospel, void the words of Christ?”[Sermo ccxcii.]

    They are to guide perhaps but dispensing salvation or forgiveness takes the glory from God.

    Not at all, since they act on behalf of God and at His command. When we confess to a priest, we are really confessing to Christ, who is the true minister of the sacrament. The Priest is Christ’s visible representative on earth and his actions on earth, being ratified by Christ in Heaven, are truly effective for the forgiveness of sins and the reception of God’s grace.

    To Peter, and then to the other apostles Christ said: “whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19, Matthew 18:18) But you claim that Jesus Christ thereby detracts from His own glory and thus slanders Himself. That is impossible.

    Here is a link for you if you wish to read a bit more on the subject: http://www.cathcorn.org/foof/26.html

  95. A Random Friar says:

    Jason: I wish to remain clear. Are you stating that Christ gave some mere fallible men the power to forgive sins, which only God can do? Did the apostles take away Christ’s glory when they forgave sins (even after His Ascension?) I’m not sure I understand.

  96. A Random Friar says:

    Shzilio: YMMV with individual priests. But for me, it stays in the box. Not totally, of course, since I’m human (there’s a reason most of us don’t hear confessions from family and friends… we don’t WANT to know or even THINK about it). Without breaking any seal, I think I can safely say that most confessions fade into the experiential vastness, especially if you’ve heard so many.

    Think of it this way, too: an ER doctor or surgeon will have many tragic cases, sometimes in just one night. What does he do? Does he give up after a sad case, or regroup and focus on the next patient? I’m fortunate in that my “patients” all pretty much live through the experience, forgiven. They live again in Christ!

    Life outside the confessional is much harder, my friend. There, you run into many people who have no wish to be forgiven, who are dying spiritually and morally.

  97. supertradmom says:

    I would go more often, if my parish had confessions more than one hour per week, when I cannot always get there.

  98. Andrew says:

    I must say, this poll probably will not give very accurate results, coming as it does within a week of Ash Wednesday, before which I expect there was a flood of confessions.

  99. DanielB says:

    Are you allowed to give that anecdotal example of the man who had not gone to confession in sixty years and wept? Is such information not bound to secrecy by the sanctity of the sacrament? [If it were not allowed, in the way I did it, I would not have done it. I am astonished that you wondered about that.]

  100. DominusRegitMe says:

    This topic reminds me to count my blessings. I go to Bp. Aquila’s Cathedral Parish in Fargo where we have Confessions twice a (week)day and also on Saturday evenings before the Vigil Mass. Lines on Saturdays snake to the altar from the back of the Sanctuary (almost) w/o fail. Moreover, I would say more often than not, this same phenomenon even happens on weekdays before the noon Mass. We’ve got Perpetual Adoration, the Tridentine Latin Mass every Sunday, a beautiful Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual every Tuesday, “by the book” NO Masses (flooded with altar boys), and orthodox hefty sermons. “Save the Liturgy, save the World,” right Fr. Z?

  101. A Random Friar says:

    Does anyone wonder how most priests go to confess their own sins when most of them have the same Confession times, give or take an hour?

  102. MW says:

    wsxyz
    Thank you for your remarks. I know the homepage, you mentioned and I go to confession (after a long time beeing away), it was a long way and I had to learn a lot of things by myself. Often, by reading the catechism, I was astonished, because I read things, I never had heard before. It is in the responsibility of the church, to teach their members the richt way. What is about the “effect” of a sacrament, you haven`t received in a “stand of grace”? The children, going to their First Holy Communion, or the confirmands are unaware about these issues, but the catechists should know.

  103. Jason says:

    Random Friar, Former Baptist,

    When a person has somethng to confess one need not go to “confession” or find a priest to confess his sin. If he has offended someone then he can take that up with the person directly (Matthew 18:15-17) just as one would to be in right standing before the Lord and congregation when approaching the Lord’s table during communion.

    “Loosed” means that the Lord gave that discernment of sin to a duly constituted body of believers, acting in accord with God’s Word. The church’s authority is not to determine forgiven or unforgiven but to declare the judgement of heaven based on the principles of the Word.

    Christ is accesible directly by those who have been “born again” to salvation. God forgives a contrite heart. When it comes to penance what Biblical basis do you have for this? For Purgatory? Biblical….basis…

    [Folks, you may entirely ignore what this fellow wrote. I am sure he is sincere, but he is sincerely wrong. I am closing this rabbit hole.]

  104. Anthony OPL says:

    Re: “Are you allowed to give that anecdotal example of the man who had not gone to confession in sixty years and wept? Is such information not bound to secrecy by the sanctity of the sacrament?”

    No. This detail in no way violates the sacred seal. Father has told you nothing about the content of the confession nor about the penitent except that he was a man and that he hadn’t confessed in a very long time. Furthermore, he didn’t even tell you where or when. There is no way that this information could possibly be used to uncover the contents of the actual confession.

    There is an exceedingly slim chance that you might encounter someone who tells you “I hadn’t been to confession in 60 years, and on that day I cried and said ‘I’m free’.” – but even then all you would know is that this man maybe – maybe – confessed to a particular priest. You still wouldn’t have learned anything that broke the seal.

  105. A Random Friar says:

    Jason: I’m not sure how that answers the previous question I posed about the apostles specifically. At one point in time, at least, did Jesus give mere fallible men the power to forgive sins?

  106. Enough is enough says:

    God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son, brought peace and reconcilliation to the world.
    Through the ministry of the church, may the Lord bring you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the father + and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
    Go in peace for your sins have been forgiven.

  107. MargoB says:

    Er, “Enough,” what is your point?

  108. Dear Father, I hope you run this article or similar blurb more frequently. We all need the frequent encouragement, so rarely heard. And your story made my eyes water.

    I like the poll – I wasn’t sure how to vote as “monthly” so I just went with ‘this month’ although it was about this time last First Saturday.

    I wonder too about those who read this blog as non-Catholics who might’ve wanted to say ‘not ever!” or “I can’t but I wish!”.

  109. James says:

    Question: If a man dies wihout ever going to confession, but has asked the Lord for forgiveness, is he forgiven? How long will he spend in purgatory and what can a relative do to shorten the time spent there?

    Psalm 32:5
    5 I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin…

  110. Bill says:

    James, only God knows the answers to your questions, as only He knows the state of an individual’s soul. Any attempt to answer them would come off sounding like an attempt to limit God’s infinite Justice and Mercy. In addition, “time” has no meaning to the soul after death or to God (at least that’s my understanding). Hypothetical questions like these aren’t relevant to a discussion of the sacrament of Penance anyway.

  111. Evelyn says:

    Not only did I get to go to Confession a week ago, last weekend’s homily was on the seven deadly sins! I have only been to scheduled confession once. I have an ongoing situation that I want my priest to be in on, as an authority in the matter. So I mix direction, accountability, and confession all together. I’m not confessing mortal sins, but making sure I have someone who knows what is going on keeps a lot of potential stumbling blocks from even becoming issues. I confess the little things and receive penance designed to help me persist in my situation. It’s all good :)

    The last time a protestant asked me how I could handle being required to confess to a priest instead of “just” Jesus, I told him what an incredible relief it is to have the tangibility of a real live person right there assuring me of God’s forgiveness. Why would I want to carry my burdens alone, when Jesus wants to share them?

  112. James says:

    Bill, the answers can and have been found – in the Bible.

    Charles Spugeon said:
    Do you believe that men like yourself have priestly power? Do you think that they can regenerate infants by sprinkling them, and turn bread and wine into the very body and blood of Jesus Christ? Do you think that a bishop can bestow the Holy Ghost, and that a parish clergyman can forgive sins ?

    Jesus Christ is the true Priest who can forgive all your sins; go to him at once, without the intervention of these pretenders. Make confession to him! Seek absolution from him! The Holy Ghost alone can cause you to be born again, and the grace of God alone can bring you to glory. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and not in these deceivers.

  113. Bro. Aloysius Mary says:

    It might interest James to know that these “decievers” go all the way back to the Old Testament where it was an established practice of the synagogue for believers to confess to a temple priest. Are you rejecting the entire history of God’s people.

  114. Bro. Aloysius Mary says:

    I’m sorry. That’s “deceivers”.

  115. Luigi says:

    Just tonight. What a gift.

    And praise God, I invited(or more accurately, the Lord invited) someone very dear to me to come along with me and to go as well, someone who hasn’t been to Confession in 23 years. The good Lord welcomed another one back home tonight. He is so good!

  116. James says:

    Bro. Aloysius Mary,

    Obviously there is a great difference in temple “traditions” after the Messiah had done his finished work on the cross.

    Think torn curtain in the temple. Symbolically giving all access to God. YOU have direct access to the Lord, no need to confess your sins to a priest. In fact the Lord says in 1 Timothy 2:5 – For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. It’s as simple as that.

    Christ didn’t take on one religous institution obsessed with adding man-created laws and traditions to set-up another in Rome.

    If anyone resorts to the investigation of Scripture, then a rule must be observed. You must be willing to obey the Scriptures. Jesus said, “If any man will do His [the Father’s] will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself” (John 7:17). This cannot be an unreasonable rule, for Jesus Christ identifies Himself as the very Word that “was made flesh” (John 1:14), that we must obey. “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in Truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1Thessalonians 2:13).

    God Bless You.

  117. Bob says:

    Dear Chriss;
    Thank you for your kind words, I can’t tell you how much they mean to me. Oh how I would love to make a perfect confession this Easter Time( God Willing ).First of all I go to the same priest every time I go to confession, and not to mention that I still go to the same SSPX chapel faithfully would be deceitful.When I am not in town I do go to what ever Catholic Church that is close by where I am staying. However I feel a great love for the chapel that I attend, and when I am at home unless there is a problem I go there, and this is not OK with the priest that I confess too.
    He does give me his blessing, but has told me that he cannot give me absolution as long as I attend a church that is not in union with Rome

  118. RBrown says:

    Jesus Christ is the true Priest who can forgive all your sins; go to him at once, without the intervention of these pretenders. Make confession to him! Seek absolution from him! The Holy Ghost alone can cause you to be born again, and the grace of God alone can bring you to glory. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and not in these deceivers.
    Comment by James

    You seem to be another one of those people who knows the Bible but doesn’t have the slightest idea of what it means.

    Yes, Christ is the Priest. Congrats, you got one right.

    Ministerial priests–those you refer to as pretenders–participate in the priesthood of Christ.

    In the administration of every Sacrament Christ is the Principal Priest. The ministerial priests (cf. pretenders) are His instrument. There are various Scriptural texts that show this, among which are found in Acts, Paul’s Letter to Timothy, and the Letter of James.

  119. RBrown says:

    Think torn curtain in the temple. Symbolically giving all access to God. YOU have direct access to the Lord, no need to confess your sins to a priest. In fact the Lord says in 1 Timothy 2:5 – For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. It’s as simple as that.

    Yes, Christ is the mediator, but see above: Ministerial priests participate in His mediation. And because you are so dedicated to Scripture, I recommend the texts I cited.

    Christ didn’t take on one religous institution obsessed with adding man-created laws and traditions to set-up another in Rome.

    Saying that Christ took on one religious institution manifests your lack of Scripture–and your fatuous tendency to reduce everything to Protestantism, which is little else than watered down Christianity.

    The OT is about the Jews, who are God’s chosen people. Christ didn’t take on a religious institution. He showed that He was the fulfillment of that institution.

    If nyone resorts to the investigation of Scripture, then a rule must be observed. You must be willing to obey the Scriptures. Jesus said, “If any man will do His [the Father’s] will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself” (John 7:17). This cannot be an unreasonable rule, for Jesus Christ identifies Himself as the very Word that “was made flesh” (John 1:14), that we must obey. “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in Truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1Thessalonians 2:13).
    God Bless You.
    Comment by James

    Like most Protestants you begin OK, but then you run into trouble when you insist on your own limited understanding.

    Now I ask you a question: How do you interpret the institution of the Eucharist in Mt and Mk?

  120. Francis O'Hanna says:

    How contrite need one be to go to confession? I’m thinking of going again after about 6 months of abstinence, just to “make sure” that my loss of faith isn’t a spiritual blindness from sin. But frankly, I’m not very sorry for my loss of faith. I don’t believe the details anymore- a growth of skepticism has made the articles of faith seem quite incredible. I used to go to confession several times a month , until it just seemed meaningless (confessors in my area are all of the “no such thing as sin, just make sure you love yourself properly” type anyway, and as the skeptical process began I was just told it was normal to doubt. So would it just be an exercise in futility to confess my sins, putting on the persona of a penitent for a time even if my heart and mind aren’t really in it, just to give the old faith one more try before leaving?

  121. Gail F says:

    Francis: As long as you aren’t COMPLETELY uncontrite, go. Find a different priest if you have to. And while you’re there confess that you don’t feel much in the way of contrition, that you don’t currently feel much in the way of faith and that you find it doesn’t bother you much. Sometime you have to ASK for the gift of faith. Sometimes faith, like love, is something you know is there rather than something you feel. But that doesn’t mean you should just sit and watch it wither away. Personally I love confession but I hate going because my pastor doesn’t seem to think anyone really sins and I find it really awkward. But I also know that that’s my problem, not a problem with confession or absolution or God. We live in a relativist culture that makes it very hard for anyone to believe in anything. It’s normal for us to think “maybe this is all made up” once in a while, or even frequently, or even most of the time. But if you look at the history of the world, and at the world in totality now, it isn’t normal at all.

  122. Joy says:

    I have been going to Confession about once a month for some time. I have finally found a priest (FSSP) who actually gives me a penance & doesn’t tell me to “return to your pew & think about the good people & things in your life”!!! It just didn’t “feel” right to do that, so I would usually pray the rosary or offer some other prayers or actions as penance.
    For some time I searched books & the web to find what an appropriate penance is, but found nothing. Anyone know of a source I can present to the priests around here?

  123. Roland de Chanson says:

    After the second Confiteor, the priest says:

    S. Misereatur vestri omnipotens Deus, et dimissis peccatis vestris, perducat vos ad vitam aeternam.
    M. Amen.
    S. Indulgentiam, [+} absolutionem et remissionem peccatorum vestrorum tribuat vobis omnipotens et misericors Dominus.
    M. Amen.

    Either this is a valid confession, with remission and absolution, or it is a vacuous formulary. As it appears in the Missale Romanum prior to 1960, it presumably cannot be the latter.

  124. Charlotte says:

    People like Jason/James (probably the same person) always make me wonder – what is their ulterior motive in trolling into blogs that are completely opposed to their personal world view? I have always come to the conclusion that they are attracted to the very thing that they outwardly claim to find so repelling. In other words, Jason/James is likely someone who is curious and attracted to the Catholic faith, but just can’t seem to let go of what he has been taught to believe in order to grasp the Truth of the Church.

  125. Bill says:

    Charlotte, the Jasons and James’s of the world do actually serve a purpose for me, although not the one they may have intended. They give me a chance to review and practice. Whenever one of them pops up, it motivates me to review the Catechism and the footnotes about whatever topic it is that one of them is being troll-ish about. This helps me to be more ready the next time one of their brethren show up on my doorstep/in my face about my faith. Meaning I can cite them chapter and verse and ask them the kind of logical, reasonable questions that they really hate, the ones about their own beliefs — that exposes just how badly misled they have been. Like St. Paul says, “When they ask you a question, have a good answer ready for them.” Just makes my faith stronger.

  126. joe says:

    I think it’s crucial to assume the James & Jasons of the world are sincere, and to charitably construe their words; i.e. not calling them trolls, etc.

    That said, their writings — as Bill noted — force us to review what we believe and why we believe it. Especially apt if they persevere in engaging us. The goal is to win such people to our position, not to “win” an argument.

    AMDG,

  127. RBrown says:

    When a person has somethng to confess one need not go to “confession” or find a priest to confess his sin. If he has offended someone then he can take that up with the person directly (Matthew 18:15-17) just as one would to be in right standing before the Lord and congregation when approaching the Lord’s table during communion.

    Christ gave the Church the power to forgive sins–Mt 16:19.

    If you knew Scripture, you would know that.

    “Loosed” means that the Lord gave that discernment of sin to a duly constituted body of believers, acting in accord with God’s Word. The church’s authority is not to determine forgiven or unforgiven but to declare the judgement of heaven based on the principles of the Word.

    Your argument is fallacious, simply because the same Church that gave us the Scriptures also says that it has the power to forgive sins.

    BTW, what gives you the authority to interpret Scripture?

    Christ is accesible directly by those who have been “born again” to salvation. God forgives a contrite heart.

    But if Original Sin destroys the powers of reason, as you Protestants maintain, then you don’t have the ability to know whether you have a contrite heart.

    When it comes to penance what Biblical basis do you have for this?

    See above.

    For Purgatory? Biblical….basis…
    Comment by Jason

    If you don’t believe in Purgatory, then you are guilty of presumption of God’s grace, which is a sin against the Holy Spirit, spec., the Gift of Fear of the Lord. It is an attitude that contradicts the First Beatitude Blessed are the poor in spirit.

  128. Charlotte says:

    I’m just saying someone like James/Jason is a troll because they only show up when there’s something to get contentious about.

  129. RBrown says:

    Charlotte,

    People like Jason and James are likely in their mid teens. They have been brainwashed into thinking that no one ever turned a page of Scripture over until their sect came into being. They don’t know about people like St Augustine and St Thomas, who might have memorized all of Scriptures.

    Whenever anyone ever refutes them, they can never respond. They come on to sites like this because they think they can undermine the Catholic faith. Actually, they’re just leading with their chins.

  130. jess says:

    I checked not since my first confession, which has been about 18 years? But I recently went, about 3 weeks ago for the first time since then, and it was a big step in reforming my Catholic faith. I can’t imagine a gap so big ever happening again, especially now that I have a full understanding of the purpose of confession. It was really hard, in fact I have been trying to get myself there for a year, but the time never seemed right. Thankfully, in the last year the combination of having my first baby and realizng how I want her to grow up, joining a conservative parish without any austic guitars and with really good priests who actually give homilies worth listening to, and having a supportive husband finally motivated me to step in the confessional.

  131. Girgadis says:

    How do you convince someone to go to confession when that person is convinced they haven’t done anything wrong? If I let more than two weeks go by between confessions, I feel awful yet there are those in my family, spouse included, who seem to think once a year is adequate. By the way some of the best penances I’ve received were being told to go back and apologize to someone I’d wronged or to do something nice for them that I might find difficult. My favorite priest, since retired, always gave the Divine Mercy Chaplet as a penance to be said for the poor souls in Purgatory.

  132. David Andew says:

    I am a convert and was, quite unfortunately, very poorly formed with respect to this sacrament. I’m fortunate that in the last several years I’ve been better formed and have embraced a, shall we say, more orthodox view of the sacrament, although still struggle with facing it. I just made a confession yesterday, the first since early December, and was commended by my confessor for making a good confession.

    I suspect (with good reason, I expect) that the more one enters into the sacrament, the more one desires to enter into it, and to not only make a good confession but also faithfully adhere to the penance one is given and to do so with great joy.

    I grow in faith and love for the Faith of the Church more and more each day, and I thank you, Fr. Z for your constant inspiration and instruction!

  133. James says:

    RBrown,

    I am actualy 47.

    You spar also with Charles Spurgeon. The latter half of the post you attack is straight from him. I would think you to be out of your league, no matter how many saints you conjure up for support.

    Ah, yeah. Purgatory. I don’t see where you have defended that one, biblically. The bound or loosed argument is pertaining to the difference of the definition of the “church”. Protestants believe the the catholic church is the universal church of believers – regardless of what “denomination” in which they reside. Obviously the RCC believes they hold the “keys” and that “Catholic” pertains to a fallacious heraldry of Peter as the first pope.

    I do well with my “knowledge” of the Bible and scripture. How’s yours?

  134. Jeremy says:

    I think that the touchstone of orthodoxy in both the faithful and the clergy is the attitude towards this beautiful sacrament. Although I go often, I would never say it is easy and doesn’t always end in a warm, rosy glow at the end. We have to persevere and remain faithful and trust in God’s mercy. There is an attitude in the modern Church is that Confession is outdated and unnecessary and very often you will be the only person going – unlike the old days where a two hour wait for latecomers on a Saturday and certainly near big feasts was the norm!

    Alas, the attitude of some priests does not help: confession times not respected (no-one there), or no confession times at all – on call only. That sends a signal that says, “it doesn’t matter. I don’t want to be bothered.” It is also much more difficult for an individual to “face” the priest to ask in person: for young persons I would say, impossible. The Church gave us anonymity for a good reason and to lessen the burden and encourage us.

    On the good side, there are many priests whose loving and sensible attitude makes the task much more easy. I used to go to a good, old fashioned, Irish priest. He would say just enough to encourage; he would listen and one truly felt that this sacrament and the penitent mattered to him. He was always there on time and always “delivered.” The sacrament of Penance is about Mercy, yes, but also Hope. And the hope of Redemption is what we strive for. But is does take effort. It doesn’t come on a plate.

  135. Alan H says:

    I often call to mind a gem of wisdom from Pope Benedict a couple of years ago. Drawing a parallel between confession (spiritual cleansing) and washing (physical cleansing) he said that we wash not just when dirty, but regularly, and in order to keep clean…

  136. Dear Bob,

    Please consider the following:

    1. You have a right to bring the matter to your bishop, and thence, if need be, to Rome. From what you have told me, though, it does not seem necessary that it should come to such a point. Just go to another priest.

    2. It is dangerous to be away from the sacrament of penance for so long.

    3. I understand your attachment to the SSPX chapel, but the fact remains that the SSPX are not in a regular position vis a vis the order and discipline of the Church, and therefore there is not fullness of sacramental life in them. We all fervently pray for the speedy regularization of their position, of course. In the meantime, is there not some other place you could go? I do not necessarily mean to say, “exclusively.” Mightn’t you fulfil your Sunday and preceptual obligation at your parish, and visit the SSPX chapel for devotion?

  137. Adam DeVille says:

    I heard a good homily the other day in which the priest, exhorting people to come to Confession esp. during Lent, tried to defuse the worry some people may have about “What will he think?” The priest replied “Don’t worry. We’ve heard it all before. The devil is actually a boring, limited little fellow with very few tricks in his book which he just keeps recycling from person to person.”

  138. Lee says:

    At one time, going to confession two or three times a year seemed perfectly adequate, but then I became the father of children. Since by that time I was a revert, I wanted to make sure that if my own children ever did fall away from the Church, they would know exactly how to come back and be comfortable in doing so. So we began to bring them to Confession every week from the time of their First Confession.

    The fruits of this were manifold, and still multiplying.

    For one thing, I began going to Confession weekly myself, of course, and it became clearer and clearer to me what a slob I had allowed myself to become.

    And secondly, the children continued to go to Confession weekly on their own steam and now at age 29 and 31 continue to do so. As the twig is bent…

    Once in a dinner table conversation about what are the means to spiritual growth, my son exclaimed fervently, “Confession, confession, confession!”

    So our weekly trip together to the local parish 25 yrs ago was pretty much a success.

  139. Lee says:

    Frank Hanna-

    You write, “So would it just be an exercise in futility to confess my sins, putting on the persona of a penitent for a time even if my heart and mind aren’t really in it, just to give the old faith one more try before leaving?”

    Absolutely not!

    With the flame of your faith flickering so low, you need to find some oxygen- the grace of God. For you -and I have been there- every step toward the confessional is an act of faith. Make those acts of faith. Walk to your car. Drive to Church. Walk to the Confessional. Kneel down before Jesus Christ and confess your sins.

    When I told him of my difficulties, once many years ago a holy Cistercian priest asked me how I was praying. “Well,” I said, “It goes something like this: ‘God, I want to believe in you, but I guess I really don’t'” He was horrified, and said, “Don’t pray like that! Pray, ‘Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.'”

    And that, adopted as a mantra for a time, turned everything around. Faith is a gift of God, not something we can conjure up. Since He can give it, let us ask Him for it. “Increase our faith,” said the apostles.

    This is not self-hypnosis, but the reaffirmation of a relationship. Think what it means when a spouse or a parent says to us- especially in difficult moments- “I believe in you!” But we are made in the imae and likeness of God. Faith is the connecting thread across which can come all the more faith and grace and guidance and wisdom that you need. Cherish this connection with God. Don’t let it lapse through dis-use nor discard it out of spiritual exhaustion.

    You feel yourself to be very weak in faith, and a temptation comes to simply throw away what little you have. But this is very consistent with the Catholic faith in itself. There is a Tempter. There is sin.

    If your local priests are scandalizing you, make the effort to find a good confessor- even if you have to put yourself out a bit, even if you have to travel to the ends of the earth.

  140. Jane M says:

    I think Purgatory comes from the verses about settling your account before you come before the judge lest he cast you into prison until all your accounts are paid. Unfortunately, I don’t remember exactly where this is in the gospels — but someone can find it quickly. ; ) Jane M

  141. Kathleen Willard says:

    Christ is the Good Shepard. We are sheep. Sheep are always getting dirty and
    nasty. Confession is like sheep dip.

  142. Ed says:

    One of the few decent things to come from my Jesuit led “graduate class” on the Sacraments is this gem:

    “The confession of sin is the profession of faith.”

  143. Kathleen Willard says:

    Oops — spelled wrong. Should be Shepherd

  144. David Andew says:

    To those that were asking about what a priest feels when hearing confessions, Fr. Corapi talks about this in one of his “conferences” on the sacrament of penance. He also talks in great detail about the “form and matter” of the sacrament and what it takes to make a good one. Our local Catholic radio station (Relevant Radio) has been carrying Fr. Corapi’s various conferences, sermons and the like for a while. I wish I knew if they were available for purchase, because I find his style to be direct, passionate, very orthodox and yet easy to grasp.

  145. Magdalene says:

    Going to confession slaps down the pride in my life! The devil HATES this act of humility! He will place all sorts of ‘reasons’ why frequent confession is not needed.

    The Sacraments are an incredible grace and frequent confession is necessary if one wishes to come to a place of union with God in this life. The protestants abandoned almost all sacraments and made up their own ‘Christs’ and their own way of doing things and if you disagree with whatever one of the thousands of ‘denominations’ there are, you can start your own! What is ‘truth’ this year? What is MY interpretation of the Bible this year? Sure makes things more comfortable!

  146. RBrown says:

    I am actualy 47.

    Great! That means I can enliven this with an injection of a 7% solution of theology.

    You spar also with Charles Spurgeon. The latter half of the post you attack is straight from him. I would think you to be out of your league, no matter how many saints you conjure up for support.

    It’s not a matter of whether I’m out of my league–you have no idea what my background is. What’s at stake is whether you can respond to my comments.

    So far, you have shown that you cannot.

    Ah, yeah. Purgatory. I don’t see where you have defended that one, biblically.

    That’s because you don’t know Scripture. I offered Scriptural texts to defend the position. And you had no response.

    The bound or loosed argument is pertaining to the difference of the definition of the “church”. Protestants believe the the catholic church is the universal church of believers – regardless of what “denomination” in which they reside.

    I agree that the Catholic Church is the universal Church of believers. The problem with Protestants is that what they believe is only a part of what Scripture says.

    Obviously the RCC believes they hold the “keys” and that “Catholic”

    It’s not a RCC position–it is simply found in Scripture. Here’s why:

    The Protestant position is that the giving of the keys does not refer to papal authority. The basis for that position (which has no historical foundation) is that there is no real authority to interpret Scripture: One interpretation (yours) is as good as another (mine). And so you have acknowledged–even insisted–that my right to interpret Scripture is as valid as yours.

    The problem is that my interpretation of this text says that yours is wrong.

    And so you are contradicting yourself with your own fallacious interpretation.

    pertains to a fallacious heraldry of Peter as the first pope.

    There is heraldry because of the status of Peter (and his successors) as the herald of Christ.

    And of course, Peter was the leader of the Apostles. You, who maintain your fidelity to Scripture, endorse not an Apostle but an obscure 19th century figure like Spurgeon.

    I do well with my “knowledge” of the Bible and scripture. How’s yours?
    Comment by James

    Your haven’t shown it here. I have given you Scriptural references–you either didn’t respond, offered an argument that contradicts itself, or invoked the mediocre Spurgeon.

  147. peregrinus says:

    I try to go to “the box” weekly. Fortunately for me, the Grotto has confessions both Saturdays and Sundays with as many as 5 boxes being used. The Sunday confession is convenient for me since I go to their 9:30 Extraordinary Form Mass.

    If I cannot make it to the Grotto (it is a 20 mile drive for me), or my normal confessor is doing a retreat, there is one parish close to me that has confessions after their Saturday Mass.

  148. Jane says:

    I went to Confession two days ago.

  149. Amanda says:

    I went nearly two weeks ago and hope to go on sat