Confession Question

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#1
My sister, seeking to get back to G-d, joined a R. Catholic church in Nebraska. She started working for the church as well, in their offices. She soon learned that the priest over the church held group confession. She questioned this and he said that his confession sessions were more like group therapy, because he could not forgive sins: only Jesus, he said, could do that. He also said there is only one Mediator between G-d and people, and that one Mediator is, he said, Jesus.

His church grew until they needed a new one to hold enough services for all the people. She kept working for them. The church was completed and when she went to see the new building, there was no statuary. She asked why. He answered, but I don't remember what he said.

The first Sunday, the church was crowded. That Monday, she went to work. He wasn't there. No one knew where he was. He was not seen there again, and no one ever knew where he went. She worked there a while then quit, going, as well, to a different church, where she continues to this day.
 
#2
My sister, seeking to get back to G-d, joined a R. Catholic church in Nebraska. She started working for the church as well, in their offices. She soon learned that the priest over the church held group confession. She questioned this and he said that his confession sessions were more like group therapy, because he could not forgive sins: only Jesus, he said, could do that. He also said there is only one Mediator between G-d and people, and that one Mediator is, he said, Jesus.

His church grew until they needed a new one to hold enough services for all the people. She kept working for them. The church was completed and when she went to see the new building, there was no statuary. She asked why. He answered, but I don't remember what he said.

The first Sunday, the church was crowded. That Monday, she went to work. He wasn't there. No one knew where he was. He was not seen there again, and no one ever knew where he went. She worked there a while then quit, going, as well, to a different church, where she continues to this day.
If I am correct, the priest does not 'forgive' the sins confessed, but rather stands as a witness to the confession of a person to God.

While I've never been to confession, I would say that it serves as a powerful indicator of repentance, as it is embarrassing to confess the same sin over and over again.

In eastern traditions the sacrament of penance is analogous to a doctor's visit. As opposed to the more legalistic approach of the RCC.
 
#3
My sister, seeking to get back to G-d, joined a R. Catholic church in Nebraska. She started working for the church as well, in their offices. She soon learned that the priest over the church held group confession. She questioned this and he said that his confession sessions were more like group therapy, because he could not forgive sins: only Jesus, he said, could do that. He also said there is only one Mediator between G-d and people, and that one Mediator is, he said, Jesus.

His church grew until they needed a new one to hold enough services for all the people. She kept working for them. The church was completed and when she went to see the new building, there was no statuary. She asked why. He answered, but I don't remember what he said.

The first Sunday, the church was crowded. That Monday, she went to work. He wasn't there. No one knew where he was. He was not seen there again, and no one ever knew where he went. She worked there a while then quit, going, as well, to a different church, where she continues to this day.
MMurphy is right in that a priest, the person, doesn't forgive sins. Rather, the priest is a vehicle of God, and God can only forgive sins. Christ is the only mediator between God and Man for salvation. Though when it comes to God speaking to us, He can and does speak to us through the Scriptures, through the Church, and more directly, in cases like this.

There really are no group confessions. There are services that revolve around the sacrament of confession that lead to individual confessions, but a confession literally involves one single person confessing to only one priest, in private.

As for your sister, only going off of what you said, either it was not a Catholic Church, just an individual church posing as one (some people do this and are crooks), it IS a Catholic Church and this priest was crooked, or the priest was simply transferred and he made the huge mistake of neglecting to tell the parishioners.

It would have been a good idea to contact the diocese to find out of this parish is a fraud or not, and if it isn't, whether this priest is practicing heresies or liturgical abuses.
 
#4
I think there were a total of 12 (more or less) books that Luther intended on chopping actually.

Luther cut the dueterocanonical books of course, but then he also wanted to cut Esther, Daniel, Jude, Revelation, but the one he especially did not like was James -- he is recorded as despising the book of James and only left that one in out of pressure from his peers. Though parts of Esther and Daniel are still left out.
Irenaeus chopped more than that in his version of the Canon. And was also against Revelation at first as well.

So this is nothing new for men to tinker with The Word.

Jerome inserted Lucifer into the Vulgate and made a cascading error because of it.
 
#5
Just an observation, but with so many people seeing the Bible as a finite, unchanging and crucial book, it sure seems like a lot of people through history have thought nothing of chopping entire books from it.
If it does not fit their need and desire, man changes everything.

We see whole passages of verses taken out of context and cherry picked to make The King say whatever they want him to say.

The preachers of the prosperity doctrines do this unceasingly.
 
#6
Irenaeus chopped more than that in his version of the Canon. And was also against Revelation at first as well.

So this is nothing new for men to tinker with The Word.

Jerome inserted Lucifer into the Vulgate and made a cascading error because of it.
Luther isn't the first to commit these atrocities, but he is the first to have taken the Bible (after canonization) and expand on it outside of the Church. Others before him had to be addressed and in some cases, even excommunicated.

Though St. Irenaeus and St. Jerome existed before the canonization of the Bible where the discussion of it was still taking place -- especially with St. Jerome since he lived closer to the council of Nicea. Though I believe he died about 50 years before the council.
 
#7
Luther isn't the first to commit these atrocities, but he is the first to have taken the Bible (after canonization) and expand on it outside of the Church. Others before him had to be addressed and in some cases, even excommunicated.

Though St. Irenaeus and St. Jerome existed before the canonization of the Bible where the discussion of it was still taking place -- especially with St. Jerome since he lived closer to the council of Nicea. Though I believe he died about 50 years before the council.
Irenaeus' variant of the New Testament was the one chosen to be canonised in the end.

Mainly because of the power his writ Adversus Haereses. Which was a strange manuscript as it denounced forms of gnosticism, but his own of course. The agendas of man.
 
#8
Irenaeus' variant of the New Testament was the one chosen to be canonised in the end.

Mainly because of the power his writ Adversus Haereses. Which was a strange manuscript as it denounced forms of gnosticism, but his own of course. The agendas of man.
We don't have writings of St. Irenaeus in the Scriptures.
 
#9
We don't have writings of St. Irenaeus in the Scriptures.
No but he chose of the 12 gospels that there would only be 4. Because as a gnostic himself, he said that there will be 4 like the corners of the earth, like the winds and like the angels in the prophecy of Ezekiel. Only 4.

He said only these letters of Paul and no others would be in it.

And he said only the other testimonies of the disciples would be included, no others.

The amount of literature available could have made it four times the size it is now.

Why did he do that? Because he did not want other gnostics at the time having a say in the matter because he ALONE knew the truth. No one else did. That is why he wrote Adversus Haereses. He was the sole authority upon Earth to make that call.
 
#10
No but he chose of the 12 gospels that there would only be 4. Because as a gnostic himself, he said that there will be 4 like the corners of the earth, like the winds and like the angels in the prophecy of Ezekiel. Only 4.

He said only these letters of Paul and no others would be in it.

And he said only the other testimonies of the disciples would be included, no others.

The amount of literature available could have made it four times the size it is now.

Why did he do that? Because he did not want other gnostics at the time having a say in the matter because he ALONE knew the truth. No one else did. That is why he wrote Adversus Haereses. He was the sole authority upon Earth to make that call.
Perhaps you meant to say St. Irenaeus was an opponent of Gnosticism, which he was--possibly more so than many of the other early Church fathers. Gnosticism was a heresy within Christianity, and he wrote extensively of how wrong it is.
 
#11
If I am correct, the priest does not 'forgive' the sins confessed, but rather stands as a witness to the confession of a person to God.

While I've never been to confession, I would say that it serves as a powerful indicator of repentance, as it is embarrassing to confess the same sin over and over again.

In eastern traditions the sacrament of penance is analogous to a doctor's visit. As opposed to the more legalistic approach of the RCC.
Yes, he can only loose on earth that which would be loosed in heaven...as God would approve of (confession in true contrition) the priest or Spirit filled minister may also approve of...1 John 1...God is faithful and justified in forgiving the sins because of Christ...confession is a type of catharsis. The effect of unconfessed unpardoned sin is like erosion in the top soil of the garden of ones heart, like a cancer that eats at the conscience....in ancient Mambila culture in Nigeria confession is the primary medicine that must be made before any treatment is given...confession, profession, and absolution, having a healing effect on the psyche (soul) is known to be effectual in many ways...

So by bringing a person to Christ (by the Holy Spirit in us) and having their sins remissed is a really healthy thing, not only spiritually but mentally, emotionally, and physically....similarly forgiveness and the release of unforgiveness is also healthy and that is why Paul says to forgive others even if they do not ask for it because it frees us form the possible snares of the evil one...
 
#12
Perhaps you meant to say St. Irenaeus was an opponent of Gnosticism, which he was--possibly more so than many of the other early Church fathers. Gnosticism was a heresy within Christianity, and he wrote extensively of how wrong it is.
No I'm saying that Irenaeus was a Gnostic that lived in what is now Lyon in the south of France.
And was a Greek transplant from Asia Minor.

His conversion into the Catholic faith, turned him from being labelled a Gnostic to a Christian. But he still had
gnostic ideas, especially when it came to saying that Revelation should not be for the laity.

His sainthood was conferred by the Church that benefited most from his works.

In scripture we are ALL saints. No one needs to confer anything special on us.
 
#13
No I'm saying that Irenaeus was a Gnostic that lived in what is now Lyon in the south of France.
And was a Greek transplant from Asia Minor.

His conversion into the Catholic faith, turned him from being labelled a Gnostic to a Christian. But he still had
gnostic ideas, especially when it came to saying that Revelation should not be for the laity.

His sainthood was conferred by the Church that benefited most from his works.

In scripture we are ALL saints. No one needs to confer anything special on us.
This idea that he was a Gnostic grossly contradicts what we all know about him through his writings to Lyon. The best I can do is suggest reading what he wrote in 'Against Heresies,' and more specifically reading chapter 19 (or maybe it was 29).

In fact, he was so much against Gnosticism that he was briefly dismissed of his scholastic duties because his colleagues thought he was exaggerating. But Gnosticism has many sects, and he addressed all of them. A gnostic, he was not.

Where did you get the idea that he was a Gnostic out of curiosity?
 
#14
This idea that he was a Gnostic grossly contradicts what we all know about him through his writings to Lyon. The best I can do is suggest reading what he wrote in 'Against Heresies,' and more specifically reading chapter 19 (or maybe it was 29).

In fact, he was so much against Gnosticism that he was briefly dismissed of his scholastic duties because his colleagues thought he was exaggerating. But Gnosticism has many sects, and he addressed all of them. A gnostic, he was not.

Where did you get the idea that he was a Gnostic out of curiosity?
Because he was one before his conversion to Christianity.

Many were. Greek Gnostics from Asia Minor were being converted in droves. The Christian message was compelling.
But as The King said men will not go quickly to New Wine.

By saying that Revelation was only for the clergy and not the laity was a gnostic idea. Gnostic meaning hidden.

That came from his upbringing.

There is nothing wrong with having BEEN a gnostic. Just as there was nothing wrong with having BEEN a sinner.

We all were. So why hide it? What deny it?

Hiding, denying are uses of evasion. Evasion is an art of deception. Deception comes from The Enemy.
 
#15
Because he was one before his conversion to Christianity.

Many were. Greek Gnostics from Asia Minor were being converted in droves. The Christian message was compelling.
But as The King said men will not go quickly to New Wine.

By saying that Revelation was only for the clergy and not the laity was a gnostic idea. Gnostic meaning hidden.

That came from his upbringing.

There is nothing wrong with having BEEN a gnostic. Just as there was nothing wrong with having BEEN a sinner.

We all were. So why hide it? What deny it?

Hiding, denying are uses of evasion. Evasion is an art of deception. Deception comes from The Enemy.
I have to admit I haven't read his extensive biography. I know he was influenced by Polycarp, and I've read his own writings, but I haven't read about him being a Gnostic at one point. Though I thought you were claiming that St. Irenaeus continued to be a Gnostic even into his work as a bishop.

I'd love to read about that if you have a link or book title.
 
#16
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. (‭James‬ ‭5‬:‭16‬ NLT)
As long as I've been attending church, I can't remember this ever happening within the church congregation. I know this is different than the sacrament of confession you're speaking of, it brought this verse to mind and then how I feel this verse is often spoken but rarely followed within the Protestant denominations. Most Protestants will blast Catholics for going to a priest, and at the same time fail to go to there brother and confess.
For the last few years, I've been part of a church that practices public confession regularly. It's a Salvation Army church in a rougher end of town. I wouldn't necessarily be able to make a statement like "the Salvation Army practices public confession;" we simply have an open mic time where people can say anything they want to, and desperate people tend to be honest about their struggles. The effect of this openness is that we confess our sins to each other, even if we don't call it that. It's incredible what such a thing does to build a community of Christians who can support each other, because they've been upfront about their needs. It's not just about a cathartic moment of confession -- it's about casting off facades to be real with one another, so we can have support to be unburdened from strongholds in our lives, instead of pretending they don't exist.

I love the verse you've referenced, and at the same time, I am deeply challenged by it, because I think this is God's desire for His church: for us to be open and honest with one another about our deepest struggles, and to support each other as an entire community to live increasingly Christlike lives.
 
#17
In scripture we are ALL saints. No one needs to confer anything special on us.
I missed this part. I don't hold the position that we are all saints, though I hold the position that we are all called to be saints. But I know we differ on this position.

However, no one is necessarily conferring sainthood on anyone. No one can do that. The Catholic Church certainly doesn't do that anyway (though many people think that's what the Church does). Rather, all the Church does is have official recognition of one's sainthood. But unless to confer is being used to mean only make recognition of, no one is being made a saint except through God alone.
 
#18
MMurphy is right in that a priest, the person, doesn't forgive sins. Rather, the priest is a vehicle of God, and God can only forgive sins. Christ is the only mediator between God and Man for salvation. Though when it comes to God speaking to us, He can and does speak to us through the Scriptures, through the Church, and more directly, in cases like this.

There really are no group confessions. There are services that revolve around the sacrament of confession that lead to individual confessions, but a confession literally involves one single person confessing to only one priest, in private.

As for your sister, only going off of what you said, either it was not a Catholic Church, just an individual church posing as one (some people do this and are crooks), it IS a Catholic Church and this priest was crooked, or the priest was simply transferred and he made the huge mistake of neglecting to tell the parishioners.

It would have been a good idea to contact the diocese to find out of this parish is a fraud or not, and if it isn't, whether this priest is practicing heresies or liturgical abuses.
Thank you. I have always wondered about this. I think the church was in Papillion, the new one built sometime around 1980.
 
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