First of all, and as on a good school copy (my phobia), let’s start by defining the terms of the subject. Finally, the term. I’m also not going to explain to you what a question, answer and top is, guys. Confession is one of the seven sacraments recognized by the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches, alongside baptism, confirmation, communion, ordination, marriage and the anointing of the sick. It allows the Christian to receive God’s forgiveness by acknowledging his sins. There. It’s very vague and you ask yourself a lot of questions about it? We are here to answer them!
1. Does the loan have to sway us in the event of a crime?
Incredible but true: in 2022, this question is still a subject of debate. Yes yes. Basically, there is really no obligation on this subject. In the context of confession, the Church relies on canon law. In this text, it is stated that: The sacramental secret is inviolable ” , then ” It is absolutely forbidden for the confessor to betray a penitent in any way, by words or in any other way. (canon 983). According to canon 1388, no exception is tolerated. A priest who oversteps this law risks excommunication. AMAZING. Even if some compare “denominational secrecy” and “professional secrecy”, the profession of “priest” does not appear clearly in the law, unlike lawyers and doctors. The exceptions set out in the context of professional secrecy cannot therefore be imputed to them. After the various revelations of pedocrime within the Church itself, the law could well end up evolving towards an obligation to denounce… And when we know that we have to go back to 1891, even before the separation of the Church and the ‘State, to find a French law on the secrecy of confession, bah… We say to ourselves that it might be time to do something, yeah!
2. How does it happen, exactly?
It is a dialogue between the priest and the practitioner. During this discussion, the “fisherman” confesses his sins and asks God for forgiveness. The priest then makes a short speech about love, forgiveness and recognizing one’s weaknesses. The believer expresses his regrets/remorse for having done wrong. The priest then grants absolution (normally), and the Christian can go home, all forgiven.
3. What is “absolution”?
Once sins have been confessed, the priest (usually) grants forgiveness to the believer, and “restores communion and charity with God”. In rare cases, if the person does not regret his actions or refuses to commit himself to avoid repeating the same errors, the priest can refuse to give the sacrament.
4. Is the question of homosexuality always a reason for confession?
And there, we say to ourselves that no, that very fortunately, mentalities have changed and that being homosexual has long since been considered a sin by the Catholic Church… Well, yes. Unfortunately, yes. In the eyes of Catholics (the most extreme, let’s not put everyone in the same basket, will you) it remains a sin. We can console ourselves a little by saying that more and more priests and believers are abandoning the sinful approach to sexual orientation, but this is not yet the case for all… Quick question, for the old closed school mind: did you know that Michelangelo, painter of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, loved men? It’s okay, your little heart still works?
5. Is it still in a confessional?
Not anymore ! If in the past, the confessional was the only place of confession, things are less strict today. The sacrament can be received in a Church, in a parish room, an office, at home or even in nature, during religious gatherings.
6. Besides, what is this thing for?
Today, all of a sudden, it is no longer of much use… In the 16th century, on the other hand, it was THE novelty that made it possible to guarantee the anonymity of the sinner. The confessional was invented and introduced into churches at the time of the Counter-Reformation (or Catholic reform, in response to the Lutheran reform). In order to reaffirm Catholic dogma, reassure and bring believers together, the Church organizes a council: the Council of Trent (1547 to 1563). During the latter, in 1551, the institution organized a session on the Sacrament of Penance and made it compulsory to confess all mortal sins before Communion. At the same time, the first confessionals appeared. The act of confession is much older: it has been practiced in the Catholic Church since the third century.
7. Who has the right to confess a believer?
Only priests, by their ordination and by the authority of the Church, receive the faculty to forgive sins in the name of Christ. Something to add to your resume, no doubt.
8. Do you have to be baptized to be able to do this?
Absolutely. It is even, as for all the other sacraments, the very first condition to be able to have recourse to them! No baptism, no confession.
9. How many French people go to confession every year?
According to this article in Le Monde, it is “impossible to have precise figures on this practice”. On the other hand, the rate of confession would be much lower than the rate of Sunday practice. According to a 2017 Ipsos survey, only 1.8% of French people go to mass every Sunday. 5% at least once a month. In fact, we can easily deduce that very few French people regularly entrust their sins to a priest, while waiting for forgiveness.
10. Is this just a Catholic thing, or do Protestants do it too?
The confession of sins is common to Christians. On the other hand, Catholics and Protestants manifest it differently. For the reformers, Luther and Calvin, penance is useful. On the other hand, they do not consider it obligatory in any case, as it was defined in the Catholic Council of Lateran IV in 1215. For them, confession is beneficial only if it is free. We often hear that “Protestants do not go to confession”: this is false. On the other hand, they do it much less than among Catholics. Moreover, in the Protestant branch, the monopoly of the clergy on the sacraments is challenged: the pastor is no more empowered than any other believer to administer forgiveness. (Source.)
11. And in the other monotheisms, does confession exist?
In Judaism as in Islam, there is no intermediary between God and the believer when confessing sins. On the side of Judaism, the confession is individual, and is done during the feast of Yom Kippur. In Islam, one confesses only before God, no one can absolve in his place.