From a reader:
Recently, a friend who goes to the same parish as me told me that he goes to Fr. So-and-so instead of the pastor, since the pastor uses “I forgive you of your sins, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
I have searched your blog for this particular wording, and I couldn’t find the answer. Can the priest use “forgive” in place of “absolve”?
I have always assumed this was okay, but now I want to hear “absolved.” Because of my friend, when I last made my confession, I gently asked the priest if he could use the “regular” words. He seemed a bit taken aback (upset, even), and I added “could you use the word ‘absolve’” and he said he DID use those words. I went to pray my penance, but felt compelled to go back in line to wait for the other priest to make my confession again. Please tell me “I forgive you your sins (or sometimes ‘all your sins’)” is valid and complete!
Yes, your sins were forgiven.
Here is another example of how the faithful are disturbed by the variations priests decide to adopt.
BISHOPS… and lots of you are reading…. think about this.
BISHOPS… people are going back to other priests because YOUR PRIESTS don’t seem to be able to give the words of absolution as they are in the book.
JUST READ THE DAMN WORDS.
One day you bishops, you priests, will face the DREAD KING OF MAJESTY.
Do you want to go to hell because of your neglect?
Are you not ashamed that YOUR PEOPLE think they have to go to a BLOG to have the security that their sins were forgiven?
I beg you, bishops. Have some sort of workshop for priests, just to review the basics of the sacramental form. Even just… send a letter. Do something.